Career cushioning: 6 tips for coming up with a Plan B for your job

Susie Cohen

The past year has produced a long list of workplace trends such as hybrid work models and remote work, along with catchy buzzwords such as “big resignation” and quiet retirement.

A new term has emerged this year. It’s a carrier cushion.

Refers to the act of creating a backup employment plan in case your current job situation doesn’t work out for whatever reason.

Of course, the concept is nothing new, but in a rapidly changing work landscape impacted by new technologies, geopolitical conflicts and a looming recession, a career cushion should be on everyone’s radar. am.

In fact, according to Google Trends, searches for career cushions have increased 5,000% in the last 12 months.

Wondering about the safety of your job and wondering if you should be a career cushion? Here’s everything you need to know.

keep options open

Career cushion is about keeping your options open when you’re not happy with your current job.

It’s about preparing for possible layoffs by taking steps such as upskilling, searching for a job in a financially stable organization, or starting a side hustle.

Simply put, plan B in the face of unemployment. But it’s also how people feel in control during times of economic uncertainty.

Here are 6 ways to create a carrier cushion the right way.

1. Confirm your values

One common reason people don’t feel satisfied or satisfied with their work is because their values ​​don’t align with the company’s.

For example, does your manager expect you to email him nightly and on weekends when you put family first?

Or maybe you’re stuck in a toxic environment when all you want is a creative organizational culture that supports the mental and physical health of your employees.

Defining what is important to you in your personal values ​​and role can help you determine if your current job is what you really want.

2. Self-evaluate over time

Upskilling is always a good idea. Ask yourself which areas need improvement. Is it knowledge, experience, or education?

At worst, you keep working and only getting better.

And at best, even if you do get laid off, you’ll be ready to accept whatever the job market has to offer you.

If the company you currently work for offers training opportunities, now is the time to start taking advantage of them.

You can also ask yourself what your long-term career goals are and whether you’re on track to reach them. If the answer is no, plan your next steps.

3. Stay up to date on industry news

If the economy changes in an unexpected direction, the market will have to adjust. It brings new developments to the industry landscape that can turn into opportunities.

Stay on top of business news and follow all the new industry trends in case you need to find a new job.

Sign up for relevant industry newsletters, follow business areas on social media platforms, and scroll through online job sites (

Obvious, but worth remembering. Online Pro Update his profile and resume to reflect his current experience and measurable achievements he wants to showcase, or anything else that might catch the attention of a hiring manager.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your soft skills as well. Soft skills are more important than ever these days.

4. Network from the Heart

Think of your professional network as a garden. It must always be maintained and nurtured.

Strengthening your network isn’t just about making new connections, it’s about strengthening existing ones.

In difficult times we rely on our communities, and job hunting is no exception. Tapping the right person at the right time is a magic formula that can help you get your foot in the door. So keep in regular contact with your connections.

I don’t want to contact them just because I’m looking for favors. Reciprocity is important for positive network relationships.

5. Application/Interview

Nothing satisfies my curiosity about creating a backup plan like going there and seeing for myself what it has to offer. Promise to look for a new job, apply and start interviewing instead of being passive.

As you search for jobs, you’ll realize that you have options and aren’t tied to any one role or company. It also gives you the opportunity to expand your network and gain a better understanding of the job market and compensation packages for specific positions.

And you might get the boost you need to move on from a role that feels precarious, or find a company that values ​​you better than your current organization.

6. Consider a side job

Something that can help soften your career is getting a side job to give you a little more autonomy.

Starting a side business is a great way to make extra money. You can also try out new ideas or “try” new careers.

Some might say preparing for the worst is pessimistic, but not being ready to turn around when faced with unemployment can be a huge burden.

Think of carrier buffering strategies as insurance.

Luckily, you don’t have to wait until an emergency arises. It can be used as an alternative path if you are dissatisfied with your current career.

If you’re feeling uncertain about the economy or industry, it may be time to start thinking about the next step in your career.

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