2020 has certainly been a year to remember, dealing with the Covid crisis has been difficult on us all but with the jobs market in free fall, over 250 000 redundancies and the ability to earn a living for some, impossible, it’s no wonder we are all unsure of how the future looks. If you are one of the 9.6 million people who were furloughed in March it must have been a rollercoaster of emotions, grateful to still have an income but feeling left out of the loop of a business you spent so much time contributing at.
So after all this time, you might be set to return to full-time work. How does this make you feel? Anxious at getting back into the work routine? Nervous about what work will be like? Worried that you could be made redundant? Scared of how your colleagues might feel toward you if they have been working throughout? Excited to enjoy career purpose again? Whatever your feelings they will be heightened at the prospect so it’s important to mentally prepare yourself. Here are our tips to life after furlough.
You are going to feel Tired. In fact, expect to feel exhausted, getting back to a work routine takes it out of you. It’s hard enough to return to work after a 2 week summer holiday let alone starting back to work after over seven months off. Give yourself 3-5 realistic goals for your first two weeks, take your breaks and go to bed early to give yourself a chance to recharge. Don’t try and come in all guns blazing, take time to understand the new landscape and what the expectations are.
The team dynamic has completely changed. It might be that some of your colleagues have worked throughout this time harder than ever, compensating for missing colleagues in a business in decline or even in a boom. Show support to those people, they are likely to be close to burnout and in desperate need of rest or someone to talk to. Take time to reconnect with all of your colleagues to find out their experience, don’t assume there is animosity, everyone is fighting their own battle and as a team, you have to come together again for the sake of you all.
Feeling disconnected with what has happened in the workplace since you were last there. Spending time talking with colleagues and managers will help to fill in the gaps, use 121s to discuss the business challenges and where you feel you could contribute. It could be highly valuable for business leaders to get your perspective on the company, offer and work on a type of swot analysis, this will support your learning and give you a project which will be highly beneficial to you and your employer.
Regretting not enjoying furlough more. As the cold draws in and you become busier at work thoughts of furlough might creep into your mind, you might wish you had enjoyed it more or spent more time doing certain things. How about focussing on the positive things you did, the people you connected with, the time you spent thinking or really enjoying your own company. Write a list of three things you did in lockdown that you wouldn’t normally have had the chance to. It might be that you spoke to a family member more often than ever or you redecorated a room in your house or perhaps grew a tomato plant, whatever it is you achieved this.
Feel supported. Think of two or three people you can speak candidly to, the next few months are going to be tough, having people on your side to check in on you and how you are getting on in your new normal will be invaluable. Explain your situation and ask them if they would be happy to help you through a difficult time. Never be afraid to ask for help, you will be surprised how many people are willing to lift you up.
YellowBricks are an employment specialist supporting people and businesses to make key hires, if you are interested in finding out more about us, visit our website.