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Life After Lockdown – Planning Your Successful Re-Entry

  • May 30, 2020

While many employees have been enjoying working from home and others have been keen to get back into the workplace, now is the time to think about the next stages.

You might have already returned to work in a workplace that looks very different, or perhaps you’re still working from home. Whatever your situation, the reality is that as we move forwards, your working life will be different from the one you left in March.

This can throw up all kinds of questions as to what the future holds.

You will be considering the future of your career, your current workplace, and how to navigate this workplace in the coming weeks and months.

Returning to work in a place that looks different might be a challenge at first, but there are ways to familiarise yourself and feel in control.

In today’s article, we look at the key areas employees must consider right now and as we go forward.

Your Employer’s Future

The first thing you must consider is your employer’s position. The pandemic has changed many businesses, and while some have remained relatively untouched, others have faced significant difficulties.

Your employer should have been keeping you informed in terms of returning to work, restructuring and redundancies, but of course, this is not always the case.

If it is clear that your current organisation will be making cuts, you must ascertain where you stand with your manager. It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but you must plan for your future.

If we do enter a recession, for every business that makes redundancies, others will be hiring. If you find yourself in a position where you will need to look for a new job, upskilling and demonstrating your skills will be crucial – I will talk about this more later.

Next, let’s look at how to manage your career in the coming months.

Advancing Your Career

The next few months will be critical in many people’s careers. As the job market shifts to adapt to the new economic changes, there will be a mixture of challenges and opportunities. If your role is secure and your organisation is in the position for you to return working as usual, then nothing should change.

In this case, your priorities should be working alongside your employer to get back to speed, get used to working in your socially distanced office and demonstrating your key skills.

In times of significant change, this is an excellent opportunity to prove your skills to your current employer, and develop your skills thinking about future opportunities.

Stepping up to help management, taking on additional roles and overcoming challenges posed by COVID-19 will all be great additions to your CV when the time comes to move on.

However, if upon returning, you realise that your role or your workplace is not conducive with your career goals, it might be time to think about moving to one that is.

A Change of Role?

Think back to before the pandemic – where were you in terms of advancing your career? The outbreak stopped everyone in their tracks, but there will no doubt have been employees who were considering, or even applying for new roles. With recruitment freezes in many organisations, your career plans might have been put on hold.

If the same career opportunities aren’t available anymore, what does that mean for you?

Returning to your role and finding those previous opportunities are no longer there can be a shock, but it is key to weigh up the pros and cons of this.

Yes, you might have envisaged being in your current role for many years to come, but instead, focus on how a move to a different position will be even more beneficial to you.

In times where organisations are making cutbacks, you might feel as though looking for a new job will be a difficult task. However, many organisations are continuing to thrive, and while some are making redundancies, others are recruiting in numbers – the key to navigating this job market is upskilling.


Now is the time to amplify your critical skills and become more attractive to employers. As I mentioned earlier, taking on additional responsibilities is a great way to do this. Additionally, consider the following –

  • Find a way to adapt old working practices to fit in with life post-COVID-19. Are there changes you can make to the workplace or your processes that will make life more manageable for everyone?
  • Be proactive and set your objectives if old ones are out of date and your manager has not discussed new ones with you. What are your new goals for the next three months?
  • Overcommunicate and be hyper-aware of problems in your workplace. There will likely be teething problems from the recent changes; how can you apply yourself to solve these problems?
  • Take additional courses, either provided by your employer or online. Online courses have seen a surge in uptake since the start of lockdown – if others are upskilling themselves, don’t get left behind.

Your role after lockdown might be very different from what you have been used to, especially in the period as we return to the workplace and as we find a ‘new normal’.

But what is key to remember is that it is possible to keep your career progressing in the way you want. It’s about being aware of your current situation, constantly re-evaluating, and upskilling yourself as much as possible.

What Next?

If your pre-COVID-19 job is not able to provide what you need and you are looking for a new role, we can help.

We have a range of roles available, call our team on 01772 259 121 or get in contact here to discuss your career options.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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