What is career cushioning – can it help you safeguard your job?

Be prepared if the worst happens at work.Photo: Getty

Many businesses face an uncertain future due to rising costs of living, pushing workers on edge and fearing the worst.

You never know what might happen at work, but there are steps you can take to protect your career if the worst happens. One of his methods that is becoming more popular is the “carrier cushion.”

Career coach Amy Wilkinson says, “Simply put, career cushion is thinking ahead about your next career steps and having a back-up plan to protect yourself against potential job loss.” .

“As we move into more turbulent economic times and the job market inevitably suffers, it’s a way to future-proof your career.”

read more: Why Every Employer Should Have a Stay Interview

How to soften your career

First, Wilkinson recommends figuring out what your unique strengths and skills are. “You can do this by looking back at what you do and what you enjoy,” she says. “Think about what other people are asking you for help and what’s become second nature to you. If you’re really stuck, hire a career coach.

The next step is to update your resume. This will prepare you for any opportunities that may arise. It helps to keep up to date with industry trends and be ready to apply as soon as you find a great job.

“Then we start building the network,” says Wilkinson. “LinkedIn is great for this. Consider trying online networking to meet and network with other people in your industry.”

StandOut CV director and former recruiter Andrew Fennell says developing a side hustle or upskilling in your current role is a good way to protect your career.

read more: Why people are quietly quitting their jobs

“Side hustle is a way for people to make extra cash, and it can be anything depending on your skills,” says Fennell. “Some people start tutoring, others start self-made e-commerce businesses. It’s an option for people with

Upskilling means learning new skills (such as learning a language or learning how to code) to become invaluable to future employers. “People with more skills and more responsibilities are usually safer when their jobs are cut,” he says Fennell.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of carrier cushions?

A career cushion can help you feel confident in your abilities, make it easier to spot future opportunities, and make you feel more secure in your current role. It gives me more control and autonomy in my career,” Wilkinson says.

“Like insurance, you may not need to use it, but it makes you feel safer and more protected than if you didn’t have it. I can’t.”

However, it also has potential drawbacks. “Focusing on the next step can mean taking your eyes off your current role, which won’t help if there’s a restructuring,” says Wilkinson.

Additionally, revealing that you are looking for other opportunities can damage your reputation and relationships in your current role.

Burnout is also a potential problem. “The career cushion can lead to burnout if you’re constantly seeking new goals and skills and aren’t given time to relax,” Fennell says. It’s really the only option for people who have the time to look for a job.”

That said, if it’s the right move for you, a career cushion can be a good way to bounce back from unemployment should the worst happen.

“Getting laid off can be devastating, both financially and emotionally,” says Wilkinson. “The carrier’s cushion makes it ‘ready for redundancy’ so you can immediately do the preparatory work you’ve already done.” You have a clear direction, an up-to-date resume, and a network to tap into. ”

Watch: Why is there still a gender pay gap?

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