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'Career cushioning' is the latest work trend that's catching on and it might come in handy

It can allow you to keep a tab on all available opportunities in your field and create a safety 'padding' to your paycheck.

'Career cushioning' is the latest work trend that's catching on and it might come in handy
Representative Image Source: Getty Images/Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

We're seeing new work trends every few months and the new one on the block is "career cushioning." The United States is inching closer to a period of recession and big tech giants have already warned us about it. Big corporations like Amazon, Meta, Twitter, Google, and now HP have announced their biggest layoff in years, reports Forbes. In such a tense environment, everyone's future at their workplaces hangs in balance. All of us are looking for answers on how to keep our jobs safe and avoid being laid off. However, some users on LinkedIn have a different approach to this issue. 



 

 

They are talking about "Career Cushioning" as a way to recession-proof your income. LinkedIn career expert Catherine Fisher defines it as "taking actions to keep your options open and cushioning for whatever comes next in the economy and job market. Think of it like an insurance policy to set yourself up for success." Career cushioning varies from the conventional advice to work extra hard at your job in order to avoid being laid off during a recession, per BuzzFeed. Instead of attempting to make themselves essential in their current positions, "career cushioners" are going outside of their organizations and quietly beginning the search for their next job before it is absolutely necessary.



 

 

It seems quilt simple but there are a few key steps you need to follow according to Fisher. First, assess your skills and focus on developing any necessary skills to get your next excellent job. She mentions, "Forty percent of companies on LinkedIn globally explicitly rely on skills to find the right job candidate. Knowing that, take inventory of the skills you have, and the skills required for the role you want." Once you identify the skills you lack, work on them to acquire those particular ones.

Secondly, she suggests "nurturing your network" and staying connected with them. This just doesn't involve calling in a favor but engaging in "thoughtful conversations with colleagues and connections." It can allow you to keep a tab on all available opportunities in your field and create a safety "padding" to your paycheck. Others advocate for career cushioning by actively seeking new opportunities even if you're content in your current work. Even business owners like Kate Pozeznik, CEO of Quirk do it. 

Pozeznik recently explained in a LinkedIn post, "Given mass layoffs, economic uncertainty, and the rising number of dissatisfied employees, it's critical to be prepared for any eventuality. I know it sucks to hear that, but it's the reality. As a business owner, I'm not immune to market fluctuations either. That's one reason I apply for jobs and take interviews." 

Carrer Cushioning sounds like a great way to prepare yourself for the worst. However, some people might feel guilty looking for a job while they currently have one. Abbie Martin, a career strategist, told Bloomberg, "A lot of people feel that looking for another job while already employed is cheating on a company, which I find insane." People might feel loyal to their bosses or colleagues but that doesn't mean you should not have a safety net. Martin describes it as "job-searching lite" and added that you can totally do it outside of your outside hours. She said, "Be ethical. Maybe do your research on lunch break." 

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