When Should I Return to Work?

Going back to work now is the smarter choice.

Has the recent nationwide health crisis affected your employment? Maybe you were laid off and had to file for unemployment to make ends meet. If so, you’re not alone. Over the last several months more than thirty million people filed for unemployment, but as companies return to work and begin bringing back employees, many people are having to ask themselves, “When should I return to work?” A lot of people think it’s obvious—stay home earning money as long as you can—but the answer isn’t that simple. There’s a strong argument for making that tough choice and deciding to go back to work now. Read below for four things you should consider when deciding when you should return to the job.


  1. Unemployment benefits are changing. While some states have temporarily waived the requirement for individuals to look for work while on unemployment, this condition is beginning to be re-implemented in many states. If you are offered, but refuse, employment, you could be disqualified from further unemployment benefits. In addition, the supplemental income provided by the federal government will be discontinued at the end of July. This additional stipend has been a huge help to many individuals who were struggling, but the state’s unemployment on its own might not be enough to support you and your family.


  1. Beat the competition. Let’s face it—a lot of people will wait until their weekly $600 each week stops before they start the job search. That means, come August, everyone will be looking for employment. If you start applying now, you’ll likely have your choice of several different jobs. Wait a few weeks, and businesses will have their choice of applicants. The businesses that are already ramping up hiring are those that have weathered the storm, and could potentially offer you more stability and opportunities than other companies.


  1. Jobs are about more than a paycheck. Sure, you might be making money at home, but are you also making connections, building experience, and learning new skills? Employment is about more than just the money you bring home. Working can give you a sense of accomplishment, but more than that, a job now can influence your position in the future. The sooner you start working, the more quickly you begin to build longevity and loyalty with a place, which in turn could lead to raises and even promotions. Not to mention, many companies offer health and retirement benefits to employees, things that might not be as easy to obtain on unemployment.


  1. Your community needs you. Many of the companies hiring right now are the ones providing vital services to our communities. These businesses are working hard to make sure people get the goods and services they need, and they need your help. Start work now, and businesses will be thankful for your work and treat you with gratitude and respect for making that hard decision and returning to work now instead of later. Companies are looking for people like you who step up and take initiative.


If you’re concerned about health, be sure to ask the business you’re applying with what they’re doing to keep employees safe. Many of these employers are the essential businesses that have continued to hire throughout the pandemic, and they have established policies and guidelines to protect their workers. If you’re still hesitant to return, but would like to discuss your options, a staffing agency is a great place to start. Staffing specialists work with companies across a variety of industries, and could help talk you through your concerns and answer any questions. Or, if you’re not ready to jump back into permanent employment, a temp agency has plenty of positions where you could work short-term before deciding what your final plans are. If you’d like to learn more, contact your local Penmac office.


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