I've been furloughed now for two weeks and this is until further notice. My boss has encouraged me to look elsewhere given the uncertainty.

On the application, the question asks "Reason for leaving" but I'm still technically there. Do I write, "still employed," "furloughed," "temporarily unemployed?"

  • Since you're still working there, thing of this as why you want to leave/may have to leave.
    – user8365
    Jul 23, 2014 at 18:16
  • 1
    I would write "furloughed" Jul 23, 2014 at 18:32
  • Jeff- the answer is because I might not have a job in a month or if not sooner. I'm still technically there for the time being. Purple Vermont- that sounds like the best answer.
    – Maddy
    Jul 23, 2014 at 18:43
  • Write: "furloughed until further notice by the company" Jul 23, 2014 at 23:02

3 Answers 3


You should just write "Furloughed". Just be honest, it is what it is. Potential Employers know that things happen throughout a persons career and that during economic uncertainty people who thought they had job security get laid off all the time.

Ask your employer if you can get a good reference. The sooner you get another job the less risk they have of having you take unemployment.


The moment they furloughed you you should have started looking, the big hint from your boss was to tell you I can't save your job.

Always answer this question honestly. In your specific case you will not have to hide the fact you are looking from your employer. They expect that you have been looking since the first furlough notice went out.

Every company realizes that a significant number of people look while they are still working. So the question really means "for your current employer only, why are you looking?".

They will typically also ask if they can contact your current employer. You should tell them yes. People answer this no when they haven't told their employer they are leaving, or they are afraid a a bad review. I would interpret that the message from your boss, is that they won't give you a bad review, or that they never give a bad review.


On the application, the question asks "Reason for leaving" but I'm still technically there. Do I write, "still employed," "furloughed," "temporarily unemployed?"

You haven't actually left yet. The most accurate and honest answer is probably "Furloughed". That's probably what you should write.

Think this one over thoroughly, before you are interviewed. Be prepared with solid answers for the questions likely to arise based on your answer:

  • Do you think this furlough is only temporary?
  • If your current employer ends the furlough, would you go back?
  • How many people were furloughed, or was it just you?

You want to reassure a prospective employer that you have decided to move on from your current company and get a new job. You don't want a new employer to think that you'll join them until your former company ends the furlough and asks you back.

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