Dreading going back to your job after furlough? Arden University's student support manager shares how to appreciate the job you have in a post-Covid-19 economy!

If you’ve been furloughed for the past few months chances are you’ve had some time to think about what you love, and don’t love, about your job.

One of the few positives of lockdown has been giving people the time to think and re-evaluate their lives and their careers.
If you didn’t like your current job before furlough the thought of returning to it can be especially daunting.

Additionally, many people are worried about returning to work and then being made redundant as companies wrestle with the massive economic downturn the Covid-19 lockdown has caused.

With recruitment freezes now firmly in place across many sectors it’s a challenging time to be moving jobs so if you’re unhappy in your current role it’s worth taking some time to think about how you can feel better about the job you have!

Arden’s Student Support Manager, Sian Duffin, explains how making some simple changes can help you feel better about your current job.

1. Be the change you want to see.
Why not think about how you can begin to change the culture of your team or organisation? Try sending a thank-you note or email, whether someone has helped you personally, or just because you want to make them feel valued.
Try and smile more and be interested in others – the little things can sometimes have the biggest effect. Becoming known as the person who appreciates others can go a long way to make you feel more valued yourself. 

2. Have an honest conversation.
If you are feeling undervalued, have a conversation with your manager, as they might not be aware how you’re feeling - it could be something easily ironed out between you and could even strengthen your working relationship.
Ask about opportunities to progress, the potential for funding support for further study or an apprenticeship; make your job work for you and get qualified while you are there. Having clear objectives and activities to complete may also provide a renewed sense of purpose and direction, and could be a quick win if new opportunities aren’t immediately available.

3. Identify the source of stress.
Stress is a challenging thing to manage, so try to find the source and address it straight away. Many employers will now consider flexible working or working from home. If you have one, engage with your employee assistance programme, or even visit your GP.
Some counselling could help if your stress feels overwhelming and you might learn strategies to help change your thinking and increase your ability to cope. 

4. Take some time to be mindful. 
Try to notice the small positives and focus on your breathing. Take time each day to go outside, get some air and some sunlight. Look at the rest of your life, too; use your support network and keep an eye on your diet and your sleep. Try planning things to look forward to and work towards them. 

5. Think carefully about what your new challenge could be.
Is there a different role or project you could work on in your company? If you’re ready for the next step up but don’t have the right qualifications, explore the opportunities to learn while you earn. A distance learning degree or studying a part-time masters in the evening would mean you don’t have to quit your job, but can still actively work towards taking your next step up the career ladder.

6. Focus on your own learning and development.
Read for your own personal development, seek out podcasts and say ‘yes’ to any training courses that you are offered. Network online – recruiters will take note of this, if you do decide to move jobs.
Look for volunteering opportunities or the chance to shadow someone and build experience in the role you want to be in. Set goals for your own development and work towards them; ticking off a module completed on a course, or a day observing a job you really want can feel positive and encourage you to take the next steps to change your life. 

Looking for a new direction?
If you’re ready for the next step but don’t have the right qualifications, why not explore the opportunities to learn while you earn. 
A distance-learning degree or studying a part-time masters in the evening would mean you don’t have to quit your job, but can still actively work towards taking your next step up the career ladder.
 

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