Preparing For The Worst-Case When Furlough Ends

You’ve been asking your company for details about what will happen when your furlough ends and you’re not getting a satisfactory response, or you’re getting a fairly standard response and suspect something might be afoot.

There are a lot of people in this exact position right now as the deadline for furlough looms. It’s going to be a very confusing time for everyone unless your employers are on the ball. Many are certainly not.

Aside from the technical, logistical and emotional side of going back to work after a long break, there is the very real possibility that once furlough ends, many people might not have a job to go back to at all.

This pandemic has been a time to be working together as a community, but this particular moment is a time to be thinking about your own backside for once.

The Worst-Case Scenario

Let’s just get this over with and then start planning what to do in the next few weeks.

You’ve not heard anything robust coming from your company about going back to work and you’re only days away from furlough ending. They give you a call and tell you that there isn’t a job for you when you get back due to the financial strain the company has been under recently.

Oh Crap.

Right, so that’s the worst-case scenario. That wasn’t so bad, was it? A bit like ripping a plaster off.

Don’t panic. You just need to start planning ahead.

Planning For The Worst-Case Scenario

It’s called a worst-case scenario for a reason. There are other, better, possibilities but if you want to be prepared for every eventuality, prepare for the worst-case.

Think as if you’ve given two months notice to leave your job already, you might not get luxury of advanced warning in the worst-case scenario. This might be tricky because you might not want to give up completely on your old job (unless you hated it, then why aren’t you doing this anyway!?).

At the very least:

  1. Get your CV/Resume in order, up to date and looking sharp.
  2. Start searching for work. I know it’s a recession, but there are still jobs to be had. Some industries aren’t affected as much if at all by a recession. For example, accounting, entertainment, food, logistics. Do some research into what industries are still going strong and consider what you can do for them. But also find contacts in the industries and companies you know well.
  3. Get your LinkedIn game up to scratch. Start reaching out to contacts in the companies you’ve found during your research. Build relationships over the next few weeks and be prepared to enquire about opportunities as you get closer to the end of furlough and potentially get firmer responses from your own company.
  4. Start practising your interview, presenting and conversational skills ready to hit the job scene if you need to. A great way to practice is in front of a friend, or even record yourself on your phone and refine.

If everything ends up going back to normal and the worst-case doesn’t happen, then all you’ve done is lay some solid groundwork for the future if you ever did want to move on.

You’ve also got yourself back into the swing of work so that it won’t be a jolt when you start again.


I could go into more detail here, but I think that’s going to put you in a strong position whether the worst-case scenario happens or not. I don’t want you to be working your ass off all day trying to find work while you are on furlough, just get the foundations laid and build up your network.

The key thing is to not just bury your head in the sand until the day you’re supposed to go back. Businesses have been through the worst period of financial strain in recent history and we are now in a recession. It would be remiss not to consider the worst-case scenario when furlough ends.

There’s no need to panic either way. If you’re prepared for it and it doesn’t happen, that’s fine. If you’re prepared for it and it does happen, that’s fine too.

If you’re not prepared then, well, I suppose you could come to us for advice on what to do next! 😉