Top things to do if you’ve been furloughed

Ashby Jenkins

Being furloughed is bringing out mixed emotions in many people, for some the thought of being paid four days to work zero is appealing, others are understandably concerned about the effect the salary drop will have on their standard of living. It’s another change in a time that we are already having to cope with so much and creates an additional layer of stress.

It’s difficult but I would urge you to view being furloughed as an opportunity, this measure means that you will be able to return work quickly and it has prevented many people being made redundant in a considerably slower job market. It will also give you a chance to review your skillset and focus on what you need to develop to achieve what you want from your career

It is so important that you don’t leave your skills and knowledge to stagnant, we could be in lockdown for another six weeks and you will be amazed at how quickly you lose skills and forget ways of working. As such I wanted to share some great resources for learning during this time, my team are already utilising them and most of the below are free or affordable.

I would advise you to look at the following and use your findings to guide your learning:

  • Examine where you want your career/life to go – let what makes you happy guide this
  • Pull together a list of gaps in knowledge that will prevent you from getting to where you want
  • Once you have this you can formulate an action plan of training that will work for you.

Sector-specific webinars – we will be announcing our first webinar on the topic of “Leading teams remotely” in the next couple of days, after this, we will be running resilience training and interview workshops but you can check out the IOF’s here, Just Giving, CAF, LinkedIn Learning or keep an eye on your LinkedIn feed for random webinars that pop up.

E-learning – Your learning doesn’t have to be related to your job, the EdX programme pulls together free 6-12 week courses from various American universities on topics from ancient literature to climate change, you can also pay for accreditation. You can also look at Reed, they offer a range of work and non-work related course, some of which are currently heavily discounted.

LanguagesDuolingo is completely free and gamifies learning, I would also recommend Yabla for when you have a good understanding of a language. Also, Netflix, Amazon and 4oD have loads of foreign language series and films to help you immerse yourself more.

Youtube – No one loves Excel but a lot of us need to use it for our roles and only have a very basic understanding of its capability. Youtube has loads of online courses covering a wide range of topic, it’s worth having a search.

Coding – Decided that your current career isn’t for you? Code Academy provides free coding training (there is a more advanced paid package), it’s useful for anyone to have a basic understanding.

Hopefully, this gives you some inspiration for learning if you’ve been furloughed but if not please do share this with friends and colleagues who might find it useful.