The unknown; a COVID-19 career break

Time out

At the end of February 2020, I left my position as Creative Director at Forge. I had eight fantastic years, with some of the best colleagues I could imagine. But it was time for something new.

I hadn’t precisely planned what was next. I’d thought that I’d take 2–3 months off to explore side projects, read, write, go rock climbing, run up hills and see family. I’d take time to find my next role, whilst taking space to recharge. A sort-of mini ‘career break’.

In February 2020, London was brimming with exciting opportunities in the tech industry and I hadn’t imagined that this would change. I wasn’t worried about finding my next position. But, I saved money to tide me over in the short term anyway and I was excited about the unknown.

A couple of weeks into my break in March and it became clear that the ‘unknown’ was more unknown than I’d imagined. Trips and events I’d planned for my time off got cancelled as Coronavirus hurtled into reality. An invisible despot had arrived, infiltrating every aspect of life as we knew it.

I write this as the UK enters its fourth week of lockdown. I feel incredibly fortunate; currently, my family and friends are all healthy. I’d also prepared financially — albeit unwittingly — for a short time out of work, unlike others who have lost their jobs. I have no idea how long Coronavirus will last, how big the economic impact will be and how long it’ll now take to find my next role. But I’m thankful for what I have. My plans haven’t fundamentally changed; I’ll keep using my time productively, to learn, make and reflect and I’ll come out the other side having grown.