"I'm on furlough and worried about job security. What can I do now to help me worry less about my future work situation?"
Our recent industry survey ‘Working through the Covid-19 Crisis‘ reveals that people on furlough appreciate the security it provides, but 67% of them have concerns about what will happen to their jobs when furlough ends.
We’re all living through unprecedented times and while no one can predict the future it is widely expected that there will be a major shift in the jobs market at the end of the Covid-19 crisis.
Sadly, some companies will not survive, and others will have to drastically rethink their structure. It’s also expected that people will move jobs once they can, so new opportunities will open up.
Some people on furlough find the situation overwhelming and hard to handle. There’s plenty of advice online for dealing with mental and physical stress, and I can suggest some constructive ideas to help you feel more optimistic about work in the future.
Whatever happens, it always helps to feel prepared. I suggest using your time on furlough to polish up your CV and LinkedIn profile, and to hone your interview skills. If you’re well prepared and your CV is in good shape, you can be one of the first – and best – applicants.
BUILD YOUR ‘BRAG PACK’
I’d start off by looking at your past achievements and building what I call your ‘Brag Pack’. As your career progresses keep track of the projects you managed well and are most proud of. If you arranged events then save invitations and photos, and the results they generated. Or if you developed new products, note the obstacles you overcame and keep a record of successful launches.
When you get great feedback from your boss or your peers, whether it’s an appraisal or just a ‘thanks for your help’ email, pop that in your Brag pack too.
Some people are naturally modest and don’t like to brag, but if you don’t sell yourself no one else will! So if you don’t already have one, now is the perfect time to start building your Brag Pack. It’s a great reminder of all the things you’ve achieved and a real boost to your confidence.
POLISH YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE
With that done, revisit your CV and LinkedIn profiles, and make sure they do you justice. Remember it’s not enough to say you have project management or new product development experience; you need to back it up with examples. Give examples of what you achieved, but without giving away any company secrets. Our CV tips and advice will help you focus on the points you absolutely must get right.
PREPARE YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS
Next, practice interview techniques and responses to difficult questions. Check out our top 10 Interview Tips.
If you’re new to video interviews, we can help you prepare for that too.
If you find it hard to sell yourself, you need practice. Do the prep, write your answers down and practice saying them out loud. People who speak in public or entertain at events practice their speeches or routines many times. This is the same; preparing on paper is a good start but if you turn up at an interview and have never actually said the words aloud, you’re likely to stumble over them and sound unnatural.
HELP YOURSELF BY HELPING OTHERS
Another way we can lift our spirits is to help others. We can use this unique time well by volunteering or supporting our neighbours. And let’s not forget our industry charity Look Good Feel Better, that helps to boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of people undergoing cancer treatment.
If you have a question or suggestion for our Career Clinic, please contact us.
First published in Pure Beauty Magazine