Makhan qualified as a Probation Officer in 1990 and began practice working with high-risk offenders convicted of sexual abuse against children. In 1995 he moved to work in statutory child protection work, later moving to the NSPCC and therapeutic work with children and young people victimized by sexual violence. From 2003, Makhan held academic leadership roles at the University of York (2003-2006) the University of Warwick (2007-2012). He moved to Canada in 2013 to take up the role of Director of Professional Practice with the British Columbia College of Social Workers, the statutory regulator. He returned to the UK in November 2015 to take up the role of Director of Social Work at Coventry University (2015-2020) and joined Warwick in November 2020. His doctoral study at the University of Sussex was on the topic of the emotional experiences of graduates as they transition to the workplace.
His research interests include the marginalization of emotion in social work and exploring ways to better support newly qualified social workers to establish emotionally resilient selves in the professional workplace. He also continues to hold a profound concern and commitment to tackling violence, and its impacts, on children.
Makhan is the Head of the Department Social Work and Social Care and a SWE Registered Social Worker. He also maintains his registration as a Social Worker in British Columbia, Canada to foster international collaborative professional relationships.