With alarming headlines highlighting massive layoffs from companies such as Microsoft and Amazon come the fear of one’s job stability taking an imminent dip. Can ‘career cushioning’ give you an upper hand should the worst-case scenario present itself?
The he corporate world has been shaken by the seismic effects of the pandemic in more ways than one, and companies letting go of loyal employees have been an upsetting effect in many cases. Unfortunately, the reality is that job security is seldom guaranteed, and as companies look for new ways to remain afloat in a vastly dynamic market, they may view an employee as no longer fit to contribute to their vision. To ensure that you do not find yourself falling into an abyss of hopelessness should this day come, taking measures from now is never a bad idea. Whether or not such an undesirable outcome occurs, broadening your skill set will only enhance your value in your current job as well as open up new doors for your exploration.
A SOFT FALL
While the term, ‘career cushioning’ may have originated from the corporate world with talks of layoffs in the post-pandemic workplace, the concept has always been around. For eons, people have always looked to safeguard themselves with a plan B – a different trajectory one can take in case the initial plan fails to pan out. Career cushioning essentially refers to increasing your chances of becoming employed in case you are required to part ways with your current employer in the future. It’s the bubble wrap to your seemingly fragile job stability as the corporate world undergoes a paradigm shift of new working modes and employee expectations.
Leaps in technological advances have had immense effects on conventional workplaces in recent times. Whether you are anticipating your current desk job to be stolen by a robot, or simply worrying about the precarious position your job faces in an increasingly competitive market, working to cushion a potential blow to your career has a multitude of benefits.
WONDERS OF NETWORKING
How you go about cushioning your career would very much depend on your current job and the field that you plan to remain in. Regardless, networking is always capable of bringing in better opportunities than you thought imaginable. Never underestimate the power of sharing a single cup of coffee with a professional in the field – it may very well help you secure a new job with greater benefits to enjoy than your current employment. If you are actively looking to shift to a different company in anticipation of a layoff, be sure to let your network know that you are open to new jobs. Your skill set and work ethic may be exactly what someone in your corporate network is looking for.
EXPAND YOUR SKILL SET
Being aware of your current skills is an important prerequisite to expanding on them. In the golden age of the internet where learning has become available at your fingertips, building on your resume is perhaps easier now than ever. Take a deep dive into identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and pinpoint the areas in which you can grow. While hard skills get you the job, soft skills such as communication skills or time management are often the ones that will make you stand out amongst the rest.
HAVING A HEALTHY AND INFORMED RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FINANCES IS UNDENIABLY IMPORTANT, AND A FEW BUCKS SAVED HERE AND THERE MAY DO WONDERS IF YOU FIND YOURSELF UNEMPLOYED AND NEED SOMETHING TO SUSTAIN YOU TILL YOU LAND YOUR NEW JOB.
THE EMERGENCY FUND
If your current situation is too demanding and leaves you with no time or energy to invest in a new learning quest, saving up may serve as an alternative to ensuring you have something to fall back on. Having a healthy and informed relationship with your finances is undeniably important, and a few bucks saved here and there may do wonders if you find yourself unemployed and need something to sustain you till you land your new job.
Social media can be the perfect platform for you to network and have possible work opportunities flowing in. LinkedIn needs no introduction and is responsible for many employees finding their dream jobs. Be sure to make the most out of this platform by keeping your profile up to date with your achievements, newly learned skills, and experiences. It is also beneficial to communicate with employers who you wish to work with that may open their doors to you once you are ready for that shift.
Career cushioning probably would be beneficial for all. Whether you aim for more security through upskilling or creating new branches to your corporate network, it can be a stepping stone for you to enrich your resume and increase your chances of employment. The only possible downside may be that your current employer would perhaps not be all smiles if they stumble upon you actively seeking to change jobs. However, that can always be worked with too. For example, LinkedIn provides features where job seeking from your profile is not visible to your current employer.
Whether a layoff is truly a potential danger or a nagging worry of your imagination, career cushioning comes with no harm, may benefit all, and can transform the way you approach work by opening up new horizons. Therefore, give your career all the buffer it needs to guarantee professional success.