So you’ve been furloughed? Use it to advance your procurement or supply chain career

As the lockdown continues and the government announces plans to ensure furlough could last until October, some might be wondering what steps they can take to achieve their career goals in the short and long term.

Online Learning

It’s an ideal time to focus your energy on your career goals and achieving those next steps. Supply Management Jobs explore three things you can do to help advance your procurement or supply chain career, even whilst on furlough.

Ways to advance your career whilst on furlough

1. Learn a new skill

One way you can help advance your career is by learning a new skill. Whether that is specific to the field you currently work in, leadership skills or something completely different, keeping your mind active and adding to your repertoire will put you in good stead for the future. 

There are many online learning options available so you don’t even have to leave your house and can choose the best times to study - perfect for lockdown times. 

CIPS offers a range of e-learning options related to procurement and supply management. With over 250 hours of professional training, their e-learning courses are flexible, trackable and accessible. Find out more here.

Brush up on your existing skills

Whilst learning new skills will add more to your arsenal and prove more stimulating than binge watching Breaking Bad for the fourth time… brushing up on your existing skills will also be beneficial. Learning about things you already know is a great way to cement your understanding and also discover new trends and thought-leadership on the subject.

Furthermore, you often receive a certificate or notification of completion upon finishing a course, meaning you can use these as evidence of your knowledge and understanding - useful for any future performance reviews or progression conversations.

Grow your network

Finally, you can use this time to grow your network of peers. As we know, an important aspect of career progression is having the right connections and being active in your professional community. Having a strong network is a fantastic way to find new opportunities and achieve the respect and approval of colleagues.

Whilst you might not be looking to leave the company you’re on furlough from right now, it is important to build those relationships so that, when the time comes, you have a network to call upon. In these uncertain times, the volatility of business could mean that you have to rely on that network sooner than you had expected. So, you’ll be thankful you took the time now to grow it.

You could find other members of your course or join virtual networking events to find other like-minded industry professionals. But you absolutely must not just add everyone who comes up as suggested on your LinkedIn profile - they might accept but the likelihood of them talking to you, let alone recommending you, is slim. Start with real people that you can connect with over a common interest, and don’t be shy to reach out first.

Following the above steps will help you to use this time to effectively advance your career even whilst you are on furlough.

We hope that these tips were useful to you and you are staying safe and well during this time. If you are currently hunting for a job, then head over to our vacancies page where we are advertising various roles across the UK and beyond.

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