5 Things you should be doing during furlough
With thousands of people across the UK already on furlough, and the scheme cut-off date extension to 19th March likely to lead to thousands more, we are going to discuss ways in which employees can use this time to benefit both personally and professionally.
What is the furlough scheme?
Employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month.
Employers can only claim for employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.
Beneficial ways to spend this time
Many individuals will have settled into their new temporary routines without work, but for those more recently furloughed as a result of the cut-off extension here are some ways to help make this period as beneficial as possible.
Take some time for yourself.
Although the rest of this post will be discussing ways to spend your time productively, one of the most important things you can do during this time is look after yourself. This is an extremely stressful period, and many people have probably not taken time out for themselves in years.
What are some things you always wanted to do, but never had the time? Create a list of activities you want to spend more time on over the next couple months, these can be as simple or difficult as you want.
Often people can settle into the rhythm of a job, and don’t take time out to reflect if they are on track with their goals. This is the perfect time to sit back and reflect on your career. What have you achieved already, what do you want to achieve in the future and what steps do you need to take to get there?
Start by thinking about what your end goal is; it is fine if you do not know the specific ‘role’ you want to end up in but try to think about the field or industry and the options available within those. Once you have a general idea where you want to be, where are you in the career ladder towards that position?
Do the research
Now you know where you are and where you want to be, you need to start becoming an expert in your industry.
Start searching for job descriptions at your level and the next level up, this will allow you to easily track what experience you are missing. Ensure you are aware of who all the industry experts are, where the most up to date information is being posted and any trends emerging over the coming months. The more information you can digest during this time, the better informed and valuable you will be when you return to work.
It is unknown what the job market will look like once we come out of this, and there will likely be changes to roles and team structures, but keeping up to date with the most current job postings and trends will allow you to be more adaptable to the market.
Training and Development
Throughout your time being furloughed, although you are not able to do any work for the company you are able to undertake training if required. Discuss with your manager if there are any opportunities for training, and when you might be able to do these.
If your work does not have any plans for training, there are plenty of training opportunities you can take advantage of outside of your work.
Here are a variety of sites that offer free courses:
Below are some sites who offer both free and paid courses:
Make sure everything is up to date
If you are thinking about searching for new opportunities once the job market starts to gain traction, ensure you spend this time working on your profiles and documents. This means reviewing your CV to ensure it is completely relevant and current, you have drafted your best achievements ready to put into a cover letter and your LinkedIn profile has been updated.
Once everything is up to date, start researching into recruiters who might be able to help with your job hunt. Many recruiters would have had a slowdown in vacancies, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t continuing to communicate with their clients regarding future roles. Recruiters are also keen to spend this time searching for top talent. This will allow them to have candidates ready as soon as positions start to open up, speeding up the recruitment process.
There you have it! Some of the ways you can make your time on furloughed more beneficial.