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How to Use Your Furlough Experience for Job Searches

Coach Tahir  Aslam by Tahir Aslam
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You might not leap over tall buildings or outrun a train. Sure, you're not a superhero. But, still, you are exceptional! Your ancestors-built civilizations constructed great monuments and started multi-million-dollar industries, who ploughed through the dark times and emerged stronger. The pioneers, the adventurers, the dreamers, and the inventors. There is a little bit of them woven into your DNA.

And when things got tough, you stepped up and became the leader, the guide, the teacher, volunteer, and healer. When the crisis struck, you stood firm. Now it's time to take ownership of your achievements. Things are difficult, but you've got grit. The determination to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and struggle through.

Perhaps you've been furloughed, or worse still, let go. But that's not the end of the road. What you did during those bleak moments means everything: Not just to your family, friends, colleagues, and society, but to your prospective employer too.

You didn't remain idle. The alarm clock still went off at 7 am. You signed up for that online course then sat down and planned your future.You kept going, no matter the odds, helping out at the homeless shelter, did some consultancy work, helped out an associate with a critical project. Nothing you achieved is in vain.

But you're struggling with your resume. How do you explain the gap? Worse still, what do you talk about during the interview? Use everything you did. Word it correctly, and you come across as civic-minded. The go-to person when the storm hits, and the waters get choppy, sheer will to see it through, no matter the odds. That's an attractive quality for an employer. It shows confidence, willingness, and a strong sense of duty.

It sets off a signal, a flare in the mind of the HR Manager, the recruiter, the boss. It's different and sets you apart from the dozen or so other applicants. You took the initiative and fought on. Get it in your resume. Talk about it during the interview. Don't be modest. You made the best out of a bad situation. You demonstrated qualities people admire in others. Nothing to do with bragging rights, it’s just you, and the values that spur you on.

The next time an interviewer asks what you were doing during these last few months, you can smile and speak with confidence, I made the best out of a bad situation and……

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