Are you tempted to change your job after furlough?

A woman at work

A lot has changes since the pandemic hit and millions have changed their careers since it hit. Recently, it was revealed that hundreds of thousands changed jobs and switched careers after furlough. And if they haven’t changed yet, many are still considering it.

One in four employees (26%) were furloughed at some point. For those that still working, 22% have gone to work for someone else and 12% were working in a different sector.

Who was furloughed and for how long?

Those under 24 and over 65 were most likely to have been furloughed at some point. Single working parents were also more likely to be affected.

Naturally, some industries were impacted more than others. Over 55% of employees in arts and recreation and 69% of those in accommodation and food services were furloughed at some point. In total, 54% of women were furloughed for more than three months, compared with 45% of men.

What the experts say

Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst, from Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Being furloughed was no picnic in the park. The shock of being locked out of work caused hundreds of thousands of people to lose faith in their employer. They worried so much about the future that they found work in another sector entirely. Others used the weeks or months they were away from work to reassess what they really wanted and decided they needed a change.

“So far it has already sparked hundreds of thousands of job hunts. Over a fifth of those who were furloughed and are currently working have changed job. And while a similar number were job hunting, they were twice as likely to say this was because of the pandemic. In some cases, this is because they’ve lost faith in their employer. They are concerned they could find it just as easy to let them go if they needed to cut costs again.”

The true impact of furlough

For most people, furlough was a helping hand during a few months of trouble, and half were furloughed for three months or less. However, in some industries people have had to rely on it for far longer. Around a quarter were on the scheme for six months or longer. Women and single parents were particularly badly affected.

The question remains, just how many people were still on furlough when the scheme disappears? And what will happen to them next? It’s always harder to find work when you have been away from work for longer. So there’s a real risk they will struggle, especially if they come from an industry which is still on its knees.