For many, furlough is a new word. For something that was once relatively uncommon, it’s become a regular occurrence in recent months. So what is a furlough, and what are some top tips for people who have recently been furloughed? You’re going to want to check this out.
The most frightening part of being furloughed for most people is that it is an unpaid leave of absence. Most people rely on the entirety of their paychecks to get by. Finding ways to cut down on expenses or tapping into your emergency fund will get you through your series of missed paychecks.
Being furloughed is a temporary leave of absence used as an alternative to a layoff, allowing for a company to bring back on their employees when the company starts to recover from the economic downturn. The most important thing for individuals being furloughed to understand is that it really is temporary. While the uncertainty of how long can cause anxiety, try to enjoy your newfound free time because it won’t last forever.
Keep Yourself Busy
While you are unable to conduct your job while being furloughed, you are able to do whatever else you’d like. During this time, you can volunteer, read a book, gain a new skill, or simply relax and take a break from your professional obligations. While stress and anxiety about the future will surely creep in while you are furloughed, keeping yourself busy, and preoccupied will help keep your mind at ease.
Take at least three days to go through the phases of grief. Take a day to do absolutely nothing. Order food, watch tv, read, sleep. Take another day to knock out some things on your to-do list that you’ve put off for a while. Take another day to try something brand new. COVID-19 is changing the way the world is working, taking at least three days to reset before taking on unemployment or job sites, or even the mountain of laundry you haven’t touched is perfectly okay
Annie deKanter, Brand Development Manager
Furloughs aren’t easy for employees or employers. They’re usually a last-minute cost-cutting measure meant to help save the business. If you’ve been furloughed, I’d recommend reaching out to your network connections on Linkedin immediately to see if there is another job you can jump to. Also, keep busy freelancing and retain your relationship with your employer. If you’ve been furloughed and not fired it means your employer wants to keep you, it’s just not economically feasible, so don’t burn any bridges.
Update Your Documents
Blow the digital dust off your resume and wake up your snooze-worthy document with compelling content. Modernize your resume and LinkedIn profile by infusing your unique value (e.g. your personal brand) into each and transform your boring list of job duties into accomplishments. Think through how you’ve made your organization stronger, more efficient, and/or profitable.
Meg Applegate, Job Search Strategist
The concept of a furlough is pretty foreign to many of us but seasonal employees are pretty familiar with the concept. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, these positions are unnecessary because the consumer base has been quarantined at home. The most important thing to remember when you’ve been furloughed is that you need to stay sharp. If you spend enough time at home, you’ll become rusty. When employers begin to ramp up after this pandemic passes, they won’t want to waste a lot of time while employees get back up to speed. Come up with mental exercises you can do while furloughed so that you’re an asset to your company when you go back.
Work for Minimum Wage or Freelance
Try and find a minimum wage job to tide you over until you are recalled. Alternatively, you can freelance. If you are in a good position financially, you can use the period to learn a new skill that will make you a more attractive prospect to employers.
I have been furloughed before and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I ended up looking for another job during the month-long furlough and found a more stable company. A top tip for those who are furloughed is to see other employment opportunities. Furlough is a sign that your company isn’t performing well. A job loss may be next in the cards for you.
Becky Beach, Designer and Business Blogger
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