This post is probably going to take on a story telling path because I must say that I definitely have a story to tell! I’ve been meaning to put out this post for a very long time but the truth is I didn’t feel ready to share this post and I also wanted my story to end positively in order to give others hope.
So before we get into it all, let’s start by defining the term furlough and what it means to be a furloughed worker. On google it’s simply put as “leave of absence” and so a furloughed worker is one that has been granted a leave of absence.
If you are from the UK, you would probably be familiar with this term. For those who aren’t too familiar with it, the UK government introduced something called the “job retention scheme” in March and this scheme served the purpose of retaining workers in sectors that had been heavily affected by COVID-19. The scheme meant employers in these sectors were able to claim 80% of their employee wages up to £2500 per employee. I will not be disclosing the sector I worked in or what company I worked for but let’s just say the sector I worked in was hit quite hard.
At the end of March, I received an email from the organisation detailing how much they had been impacted by the pandemic and that the only way out was for the organisation to furlough it’s workers. At the time, I didn’t mind at all! I felt like I was due a holiday anyway so getting paid 80% of my wage to sit at home where it was safe seemed like a dream come true!
What I didn’t realise unfortunately was that not every organisation that had put its workers on furlough would be able to retain all of them. The organisation I worked for ended up having to reduce the employee headcount by a huge percentage and unluckily for me, I was part of those being made redundant. At this point, I had barely worked at the organisation for a year so this meant that I wasn’t eligible for any redundancy package.
Redundancies are horrible and for some workers, unfortunately inevitable in this season.
If you find that you may be at risk of redundancy, I would say
1) Ensure you are aware of your rights – check gov.uk and citizens advice or even call them if you’re unsure about anything.
2) Start applying for new roles as soon as you’ve been alerted about this risk.
3) Please breathe and take it easy. You will find something new in due time
So back to my “story time”, after receiving this bad news I was very very calm for some reason. I think it was partly due to me just understanding that these were unprecedented times so anything could happen. Also, around this time a lot of people were being made redundant so as bad as it may sound, I felt like I wasn’t the only one in this predicament. Furthermore, I had managed to save some emergency funds whilst on furlough, didn’t have any huge responsibilities and lived at home so things weren’t as bad as they could’ve been.
The months that followed after being made redundant and job searching were horrendous to say the least! Being in the job market in a recession AND a pandemic has been a character building experience. I can’t count how many job applications I’ve sent, how many LinkedIn messages sent to HR personnel went unanswered and how many unsuccessful interview stages I have gone through!
It has been hard guys but after 3 months of job searching, I am so happy to announce that I am back in employment with a better role in the exact career field I want to go into.
I know not everybody’s story is going to be the same as mine but I just want to encourage everyone who is job searching at the moment whether it’s due to being made redundant, a recent graduate or just simply looking for another role to keep going and keep knocking on those doors. I honestly never thought a door will open for me anytime soon but it has!
Whilst waiting for a job please make sure to use this time to take care of yourself and your mind and if it all gets too much, take a break from it all.
I am sending you guys so much love and virtual hugs. I hope you enjoyed this post and took something from it! I am going to release a new post in two weeks which will go into more detail on how I found a job in a pandemic and tips to make your job applications stand out so please watch out for that. In the meantime, follow the blog’s instagram and pinterest accounts via their respective icons below.