I used my furlough as an opportunity to career transition

Hi everyone!

I got furloughed in April at Tommy Hilfiger. I was a designer there for 3 years with plans to receive a promotion and move to Amsterdam to work with the collection team. That didn’t happen and that is okay because I try to see rejection as redirection. During this time I have explored a career transition as a writer, something I have been doing anonymously for the past two years on the side. Now I have the opportunity to do it full time. If you have been furloughed or laid-off please know that you are still a whole person regardless of a job title or salary. You are always your number one priority. I wrote these two pieces below to help anyone feel less alone and to encourage you to leap forward to whatever makes you happy. If you are struggling please know you are not alone. I hear you. I see you. I stand with you.


Love how you pivoted the situation. Everything happens for a reason. Thanks for sharing and being uplifting. :slight_smile:


These are beautifully written. God bless you for being so honest.


Thanks so much for posting this. I was laid off from my position as well, and I have been using this time to reassess and reevaluate my career path. I have been working as a designer for the past 15+ years and I have started to think about what the possible transitions could be. So I have been taking some online classes in marketing trying to figure out if that could be a possible next step for me. It always seemed like there might be more out there for me, and maybe this time I will figure out what that is :slight_smile:


That’s amazing. I love to hear that. The best advice I got in this career transition was that our talent and skill does not go to waste when we leave a career, it simply transfers to the next thing we do. As a designer, we are an artist at our core and that will stay with us wherever we go and whatever we do. Best of luck on your new venture!


Thank you so much for writing this! It truly is a tough time in my life and not sure what to do as I am not as young as most of you!
Does any have any idea about our unemployment insurance will run out? It was to end the end of July? Any extensions would really be helpful. Heard it could go through January? Any one heard anything ? I really need to know if I need to take a much lower job to get some money coming in… Thanks so much and hoping to hear something. God Bless us all!

Amazing, thanks for sharing! I’m in the same boat and am also using this time as an opportunity to try totally different things and see what direction it could take me. Best of luck :slight_smile:

I have been using this time to educate myself and explore other career options as well. This time that we all have to slow down and evaluate our lives is very important and I feel we should all take advantage of the silver lining and maybe take a leap of faith into new possibilities for our careers and our lives.

The Pandemic unemployment benefit payment runs through the end of July 2020 for now. Your normal unemployment is on a different payment schedule. Check with your state unemployment department to determine when your benefit payment is scheduled to end. There have been press releases about extensions for the Pandemic unemployment benefit - consider that congress is out of session.

Good luck, Elle. I think the “figuring out” is the hard part :).

Good articles, Miss Mary! The Ross/break analogy is perfect. I was looking through a Tony Robbins book the other day (“Awaken the Giant Within”). He mentioned two questions to ask yourself when going through a challenging time and I think that they can be helpful to reframe the situation.

  1. Whats great about this?
  2. How can I use it to my advantage?

I think that asking yourself these specific questions can get you brainstorming about how to use this time for your benefit in a specific and positive way. Im in the thinking process right now and the questions are helping me develop answers.


Ive decided to take up graphics design as a back up seeing as how I still have some sort of creativity. Its not worth it to sit in one spot and think your job market will be okay.


Hi everyone! I am in awe of everyone’s positivity from my post. I wish you all the best on your future endeavors. Earlier this week I was laid off, then asked to come back, and I refused to do so. I have only been laid off (3x) and this was the first time I quit. I was closing a chapter of my fashion career as a designer on my terms and it felt powerful. I will be writing about it and posting it on here once I’m done. I will talk about my mindset and what lead me to that moment of saying no, I will not come back, because I am putting myself first. It’s been a wild ride this week and I want to thank everyone for being a great community here!


Kudos to you for following your heart and pivoting in a new direction!
I’ve been using this time to learn, look into other options and hopefully to transition out of Apparel.
Thank you for giving voice to the fact that in loss new and better opportunities exist!!!


I have been in merchadising/planning for 20 years and my most recent position was at Stage which is officially liquidating as of this week. My pivot is into personal finance where I am going to try and start my own small personal consulting gig; if any of you need help with your personal finances (budgeting, expense analysis, advice, or just a sounding board) feel free to reach out for help at MarklandFinancial.com. Even if you don’t need my help, I would appreciate any feedback any of you could give me as I try to pivot out of retail, at least for the moment! Good luck to all!


Very cool! Can you tell us a little more about your career transition? Are you going to be working as a freelance writer, or as a staff writer? I’ve heard a lot of people talking about this time as a great opportunity for a career transition, but it’s not clear to me if employers are interested in hiring people who don’t have prior relevant experience.

Hi! I am pursuing the entrepreneurial path and creating my own digital content creation business as a writer while also freelance writing on the side to build income. The most important mindset I am still trying to develop when career transitioning is to not compare my chapter one to someone else’s chapter 20. We cannot control how other people perceive or value us. What’s most important when entering a new journey is knowing our own value and leveraging that to be open and curious to mastering a new skill and discovering new things about our potential. Career transitions take patience, self-compassion, and willingness to be open to challenges everyday.

Here’s my site and if you’d like to connect more, feel free to reach out!

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I relate to so much of your sentences here. I was furloughed in March 2020 and then laid off in June 2020 and have not worked since. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and a test of establishing my self-worth, self-esteem and self-values constantly. Thank you for sharing! We are definitely not alone.