Work is truly a complicated relationship. Why else are relationship terms like– quiet quitting, breadcrumbing, gaslighting, cuffing, and others being used to describe the latest trends at work? Now we tackle another one, called cushioning.
In career cushioning, the person takes action to have their options open in preparation for whatever comes next.
It’s not a totally new concept, and it is mostly gaining ground because of the recent Great Resignation; then came the mass lay-offs, and there have been talks of recession in the wind. People are trying to prepare if they do get laid off, making sure that there is a job waiting in the wings for them.
Most employees who are cushioning are openly looking for jobs, but they are not quitting. When your cushion is dating, many people see this as cheating. But career cushioning is seen more as a practical move because of the state of the economy today.
How do you do career cushioning ethically?
- Don’t quit. Stay at your job, do as much as you can, and learn if there are opportunities there. Don’t quit, either. Be mindful and thankful that you still have a job. Do your job as best you can. Nobody wants to get termed before they find their plan B. Or what if the company was able to pull through?
- Improve your network. Enhance your online profile, and make sure your LinkedIn is updated; networking is a very important asset for professionals.
- Elevate your skills. Know your skills and strengthen them if you can. If you have time, learn a new one that you are passionate about. Time to bulk up your resume.
- Apply for a job. If you can make time in your schedule, apply for an actual job you have searched for, go to interviews, and meet with new people. You can use the opportunity to shake off your interview rust.
- Get a side gig. Almost half of our country’s workforce has a side hustle. It’s a great way to earn extra cash. You can also use it as a way to “try” that job you are cushioning beforehand or a slow way to move into another industry.
There is also another reason why people start to do job cushioning. It’s when they have lost their passion and reason for their current job, as well as getting burned out. It could be a toxic workplace, or just that their vision is not aligned with your company’s vision, and they feel trapped, tired, stressed, and burned out every day on the job.
DCC’s Employee Development program seeks out behaviors like career cushioning. Are your employees burned out? Are they worried about their careers? Our program champions open and honest communication, so your employees know where the company is headed. We have ways to keep your employees engaged in freeing them from burnout and the daily stressors of the job. It’s time we told you more about it. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.