Help My Career: What is ‘career cushioning’ — and should you be doing it?

by | Jan 6, 2023 | Stock Market

There’s no time like the present to cushion a potential fall. As recession fears loom — perhaps into next year — and tech companies like Amazon
AMZN,
+2.18%
and Salesforce
CRM,
+2.55%
 lay off thousands of workers, some Americans are bracing for the worst, such as losing their jobs, even though the job market is still looking fairly strong.

And in the wake of these worries, a new phrase called “career cushioning” has been gaining steam. But what is it, exactly? “Career cushioning” is generally defined as a person beginning the process of looking for their next job, or preparing to leave their current employer, while they are still in their present position. Basically, it describes someone attempting to bolster their prospects in the event they lose their job, which should make it easier to land that rebound gig. “A lot of this preparation is doing research on your own, building your networks, and having coffee with people who are in roles that you think you would want to be in,” Jamie Kohn, research director at Gartner’s Human Resources practice, told MarketWatch. Other career cushioning moves may include updating your resume and contacting recruiters to discuss potential job opportunities with them, career experts say. And it certainly pays to cut back on spending and shore up your emergency fund so that you are prepared to get by for several months without income.

“‘Anytime people are anticipating a recession, people look for ways in which to protect themselves.’”

Career cushioning may be something as overt as getting lunch with someone to expand your professional network, or as subtle as updating your job profile skills on platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed and Monster.com. And there is evidence that the latter is already happening more often: LinkedIn claims 365 million skills have been added to profiles on its platform over the past 12 months, which is a 43% increase year over year. Additionally, about 46% of U.S. workers say they are currently looking or planning to look for a new job in the first half of 2023, according to a Robert Half survey, up from 41% last year. While Google
GOOG,
+0.41%
 searches for the wo …

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