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Furlough, Redundancy and Back to Work!

This year has undoubtedly been an interesting one; the disruption that a global pandemic can bring has been unbelievable. For me, 2020 was going to be a new start for my family and me, having relocated to be closer to our wider family and starting a new job in January.

Then in March, our house sale finally went through, and then the UK wide lockdown started about a week later just as I was about to go back to work after moving home, Furloughed from the 1st April!

At first, I was pleased to have some precious time with my children, some time off work, albeit at 80% pay, and some time to get my new home straight. Then after a month, the novelty wore off. Three days of daddy daycare commenced and this has taught me several things:

  • The respect I have for my wife having nine months of maternity leave looking after two boys, while trying to manage a house.
  • Even the most challenging business stakeholder is easier to negotiate with than a 3-year-old!
  • How much I miss soft play and play parks to entertain the kids
  • Kids do make you go greyer!

There are certainly more items I can add to the list, but I don’t have time to go into it. The following three months have been the most prolonged period that I have not worked since I was 16 years old, which is nearly 20 years ago. This has left me out of touch from the technology world and missing something that has been a huge part of my life to date. So a decision was made to get over this by looking to get some structure and study in place, time to start thinking about the next stages of my career and what to do next.

With the above in mind, I decided it was time to sign up to A Cloud Guru, after receiving a couple of recommendations. I have previously used LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight, so wanted to try a new platform. It enabled me to start looking at some new skills such as Python, and some pieces around Data Analytics, an area that has begun to interest me more. If anything, it enabled me to keep my sanity.

At-Risk of Redundancy

Then a couple of weeks ago, the news came through that my employer was making a percentage of staff redundant. The news that I was dreading came; my role was at risk of redundancy. I have never faced redundancy, and it struck pure fear into me. The first thought is that I am useless at my job and not adding any value to the business, especially having been on furlough leave since April. But then sanity kicked in and made me start making a plan for if the worst-case scenario was to happen.

The first place to hit was my CV and LinkedIn profile, I needed to get this up together, and in a state, so I could sell myself. During my furlough period, I managed to chat to a recruitment consultant that I had been following on LinkedIn. In the session, we talked through my goals, looked at my current CV and my LinkedIn profile, several changes were needed.

After updating my CV and LinkedIn profile, I decided to reach out and tell my story to my followers. The response from the post was tremendous, a lot of support from friends and colleagues both old and new but also some brand new connections. The post also presented a variety of opportunities and insights into the current market. Fortunately, my job hunt was placed on hold due to the news that my current job was no longer at risk, and I was needed back from furlough. Due to the news that my line manager had decided to move to a new role, the decision was to keep my position and removed the risk of redundancy.

The relief that this news gave me has been like someone has lifted a considerable weight off my shoulders, and the experience over the last couple of weeks has been one of the worst of my career and something I wish never to have to go through again.

Back to Work (Nearly)

So as I enter my last week of furlough before I return to work, I am aiming to get a Microsoft exam under my belt and also a Haircut (Finally!). With children going back to childcare, it feels daunting to think about going back to work after nearly four months off work. All I can say is at least I am going to be working from home and working will be a break compared to dealing with a three-year-old and one-year-old!

Finally, because of my experience, I want to offer support to anyone who needs it over the next few months and beyond. Whether that is someone to look over their CV/Resume, some advice on their next steps, or support through a difficult time in your career, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

PS. Thanks to all my connections who reached out on LinkedIn and Will Rowe from Hancock & Parsons Ltd

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