What is Career Cushioning and how can it protect you from Layoffs?

Never Stop Learning

 Feb 01, 2023

What is Career Cushioning and how can it protect you from Layoffs?

The year 2022 has been the year of phenomenal workplace trends. The Great Resignation came first, followed by moonlighting, then a quiet resignation. Amid massive layoffs as well as the impending crisis, the one trend which has recently emerged is “career cushioning.” Furthermore, it describes a notion that isn’t exactly new, the same as its early pioneers. Although this isn’t a revolutionary phenomenon, it is being discussed freshly as workers prepare for possible mass layoffs. So, what exactly is career cushioning, and how can it protect you from mass layoffs? 


Even though life is unpredictable, this pandemic[1] left us all more aware of this than ever. But along with it came the unpredictable nature of employment, prompting individuals to come up with unique ideas for securing their financial situation. It led to workplace trends, including-

Career Cushioning

 In the face of these major layoffs and the upcoming recession, one such trend which emerged is “career cushioning.” The majority of us work more than 40 hours per week, yet with the economy on the verge of a recession, major tech businesses laying off employees, and the anxiety over being quietly fired, it will be difficult to feel secure about your job. Career cushioning, which includes future-proofing your career, is the technique of developing a plan b at a time when job risks are rising.

When you’re not satisfied with your current position, career cushioning refers to keeping your choices open. It involves taking precautions against a potential layoff, such as upgrading your skills, looking for employment with financially secure companies, or even beginning a side business. Simply said, it is the backup plan in the case of unemployment. Although it may seem new, this trend has existed in various forms for some time. It is gaining ground right now as a result of the recession period, mass layoffs, and political unrest around the world that have fostered a sense of unease among workers across all industries. Employees are now under pressure to have a plan B ready.

What Is Career Cushioning?

The term “career cushioning” comes from the relationship dictionary, where couples explore other romantic possibilities while staying in an established relationship. In the business world, it means maintaining numerous options while also planning to “cushion the landing” if any unexpected situation takes place. The pattern is not unexpected, considering that more businesses are letting go of employees as they get ready for a possible recession-driven on by rising inflation as well as higher interest rates.

Making a backup strategy for future unemployment has become a technique known as career cushioning. People refer to it as cushioning since it protects you from unfavourable results like sudden job loss while you’re still working. The truth is that businesses do not guarantee job stability, no matter how hard-working you are. To keep your alternatives open and build a safety net for the way the economy is moving, you should practise career cushioning. Consider this tactic as a successful insurance plan that you may utilise to position yourself towards success regardless of what state the economy is in. It’s a good thing that you don’t need to sit tight for a crisis to use it. If you’re unsatisfied, you can utilise it as a backup plan. If you are unhappy with how your career is going, you can utilise it as a backup plan.

How to Cushion your Career?

Career cushioning might be as complicated—or as simple and direct as one might want. The key is making investments in personal growth, which entails learning a new skill focusing on their investable strengths but also opportunity areas, continuing to improve your existing skill sets, staying in touch with your online community while building your brand, staying up to date with market dynamics, as well as, most importantly, being ready for new opportunities.

Career cushioning is not just a preventive tactic; it may also be used in times of anxiety or fear. If you’re hesitant to come up with a secondary plan in case you are not fired, and your company’s profit margin is stable, then you must do some research to see if you should really be panicking. Ask your managers for feedback on your performance and areas for improvement. There is no better way to satisfy your need to create a back – up plan than to go out and explore it for yourself. Commit to looking for a new career, and do not be inactive about it; start by applying and giving interviews. It can turn out that you receive the motivation you require to leave a position that feels rough, or you seek something that entertains you more than your current job.

What Is The Right Time For this Workforce?

According to famous career counsellors, not every employee needs an immediate career cushioning session. People with solid financial standing and a strong performance history need not worry. Only employees who were hired by unsustainable start-ups or organisations after making questionable career choices should bother about it. Consider career cushioning only if you are employed by a business that is having a hard time making a profit and is only progressing because of funding. Some companies are experiencing funding winter because investors are cautious due to the current market conditions. Without cost-cutting measures, it might become difficult for many falling businesses to operate, which could result in you losing your job.

Career cushioning is not merely a trend; it is here to stay. These days, it is increasingly relevant. So, if you’re not satisfied with the way your career is taking or want to choose a completely different path upon upskilling, you can also utilise it as a backup plan. No matter the state of the economy, you should also be ready for the worst. However, if you believe that your company is not economically stable and may be preparing for layoffs, now is the time to begin your career-protective measures.

How Can Career Cushioning Protect One From Potential Layoffs?

Several it giants have been laying off workers for the past three months to reduce expenses or as part of “rebalancing” strategies. Major businesses, including Cisco, Intel, Twitter, Meta, and others, have already reported significant layoffs. Both Google and Amazon are expected to announce significant layoffs. Almost 130000 employees have been terminated by at least 800 companies globally, and the number is steadily rising.

Some workers use “career cushion” to shield themselves against being let go. A possible recession is causing layoffs and hiring freezes to rise, particularly in the tech industry, and some employees are beginning to worry about their job security. Employees are constantly looking for a career “Plan B” as a result of the growing fear surrounding layoffs, which now has overtaken a wave of “quiet resignation” with “career cushioning,” a new workplace trend. Understandably, many employees are beginning to make plans in case they might lose their jobs given the approaching possibility of layoff. How can career cushioning shield us from possible layoffs?

People who have a “career cushion” typically work to increase their employability and create a backup plan in case they lose their jobs. In difficult economic times, those who practise career cushioning frequently strive to add a layer of security. In addition to providing professional stability, it helps lessen the emotional impact of being fired. Employees can increase their skill levels in pertinent areas to stay ahead of the competition, improve their preparation for the job, and reduce their risk of being laid off.

Simply said, it’s a way to “cushion” your fall after a “career bump.” It aids people in realising their full potential and improving their skills. In addition, it helps professionals stay job-ready and competitive when layoffs take place by maintaining the relevant skills. Career cushioning is a trend that will continue, layoffs or not. Training and education will help in professional growth in terms of providing a safety net in case something goes wrong.


Career cushioning may be summed up as attempting to increase stability in your career and being ready for the unexpected, whether you’re beginning to be ready for a job hunt or actively searching for a new position that seems more stable. Don’t wait until your post is terminated to begin being active. Consider your controllable factors, and then start making tiny changes; you won’t believe how strong your sense of authority is. Remember, Long-term career success is possible with even the least progress. To learn more about IT recruitment services, workplace trends, and more, keep reading our blogs. 

Read our Article: Tech Hiring in 2023: Key Trends and Predictions to look out for

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