Financial pressures. Wondering if you’ll have a job to go back to. The mental health impact when every day feels like Groundhog Day. Wondering if you can still do your job as well as you could before. Generally just feeling anxious about living through a global pandemic.
These are just some of the worries and strains of what it feels like to be furloughed from your job. Like most people, the novelty of not having to set the alarm five days a week soon wore off. There is only so much daytime TV or homeschooling a person can take – especially when, for a long period time, we were pretty much confined to our own four walls.
But one of the biggest things to affect me – and many of my clients and candidates who I have caught up with since returning to work – is a real loss of confidence.
Why was I furloughed in the first place? Am I not good at my job? Will I be asked to go back to work? Is there still a job there for me? Will I remember what to do? Will my job have changed as a result of the pandemic?
These are just some of the questions that I, and many others, have been asking ourselves since everything changed in March.
Some people kept up to date with the markets by staying tuned to the news and regularly reading up on new developments; others threw themselves into online training courses in order to pursue new skills or reinforce old ones.
It was a strange time. Often, you didn’t know what approach to take for the best. Should you just enjoy the time off and take the opportunity to relax or should you spend your time preparing for the “new normal” at work?
And, whilst regular catch ups with colleagues over Zoom or WhatsApp messages did take place, it’s very easy to feel out of the loop. You’re not at your desk so you worry over who’s checking your emails and if your clients and candidates are being taken care of. You’re not up to speed with what’s happening in your market. And you certainly don’t have the pressures of trying to run a recruitment desk and hit your targets during a pandemic.
What has helped my confidence, though, is being able to take part in Recruitment Juice training and follow up sessions. It’s been great to interact with people in different teams across the business and ensure I’m keeping my knowledge up to date.
HRC have also devised their own internal training scheme – we’ve even been given new branded notebooks to pour our thoughts into – and that has really helped to get my head “back in the game” (because it really has felt like mush up until now).
I’ve also enjoyed our company wide updates, because it’s meant that I’ve been kept in the loop with decisions that our executive team are making; how our markets are performing; and able to see everyone in the wider business.
Making sure we all remembered our passwords (!) and had access to all the systems and programmes we need before we came back was also reassuring. It might seem like a small thing, but who wants to spend their first day back at work frustrated and stressed because you can’t get logged into anything?
This whole experience has been a massive culture shock. And I have no doubt that getting back to work will be, too. I am on flexible furlough, working part-time, and I am thrilled to be back at my desk (well, the kitchen table).
It might take me a while to build my confidence back up again, but I believe that this is something we should all be talking about openly, since so many of us are feeling this way.
If you’d like to speak to me about talent sourcing or a new role within the Financial Services market, click here to drop me an email
and get in touch.
Back in Business is part of the HRC Group and offers support for companies bringing their teams back to work (either in the office or virtually). If you would like to help your employees reconnect with your business plans and your values - and restore their confidence - get in touch with Morna Ronnie by clicking here.