Don't get left behind

This week we’ve seen businesses are starting to make drastic changes to their workforce even while the furlough programme is still in effect. The 9,000 job losses announced at Rolls Royce are just one example of an organisation seeking to radically overhaul its business model.

Similarly, it seems clear from the economic confidence data that many people who are currently furloughed won’t get to return to their current job, and that the furlough payment is merely delaying an inevitable outcome.

I don’t mean to be alarmist, our team at Pitman Training dedicate our working lives to building careers not knocking them down. But ...

If you are currently furloughed and have so far enjoyed an eight week holiday, you need to be thinking seriously about what lies ahead.

Numerous studies show how skills atrophy over time and how difficult it can be to gain re-employment after six months or more out of work.

So my wake up call is simple, if you’re currently furloughed please be careful that you don’t get left behind and find yourself at the back of the queue for available jobs as the world starts to heal itself.

Ask yourself these five questions, so you can make a plan for protecting your future.

  1. What you will do if you’re unable to return to your current job after furlough?
  2. Will similar jobs exist or do you need to consider a different career path?
  3. What types of alternative job appeal to you?
  4. How best can you utilise the time you currently have available?
  5. How much time, energy and money are you prepared to invest to protect your future?

Even for furloughed workers on the reduced 80% payment developing your skills is likely be more affordable now that once unemployment hits. Why not recycle money you’d normally spend on transport, parking, coffee or lunch into an investment in your future.

There are a wealth of professional development options available to help protect your future and a variety of organisations that can help make sure you get the skills to avoid being left behind.

I urge you to take action, even if it only enables you to provide a good answer the inevitable interview question ‘So tell me, what did you do during lockdown?’

Naturally, if our team at Pitman Training can help you explore suitable options please drop me a line and we’ll be happy to help.

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.   Please feel free to connect if you'd like to join the conversation.