Move over ‘quiet quitting’, there’s a new work trend taking off in Australia and around the world. It’s called ‘career cushioning’.
‘Career cushioning’ is when you seek to create a soft landing for yourself in the event that you lose your job. Rather than actively looking for a new job, workers are brushing up on their skills and low-key seeing what other opportunities are available.
“It’s a response to this trend we are seeing globally where professionals are trying to brace themselves to counter the challenges of an economic downturn,” LinkedIn work expert Cayla Dengate explained.
“There is this sense of anxiety about future-proofing your role and making sure that if you don’t hang onto your job, there will be another one in the works.”
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While future-proofing your career and upskilling isn’t a new concept, Dengate said it was gaining mainstream appeal right now as more Aussies looked to secure their professional futures. It also comes as Aussies feel the pressure from rising interest rates and inflation.
More than half of Aussies (53 per cent) said they were “cushioning” their careers by actively learning, while an additional 35 per cent would like to add new skills.
There may be valid reasons for their concerns too. LinkedIn Research found the hiring rate was down 14 per cent, year on year, while 29 per cent of Australian business leaders said they were planning to cut staff.
How do you ‘career cushion’?
If you want to jump onboard the career-cushioning trend, Dengate recommended upskilling to make sure you have skills that are in-demand now and in the future.
Currently, some of the most popular courses on LinkedIn Learning are about project management, speaking confidently and effectively, and strategic thinking. More granular courses about Excel, Microsoft Power BI and learning Python are also popular.
You can also tap into your existing network, Dengate said, and tee up coffee dates to see what opportunities are available.
“It’s about seeing who is hiring and staying up to date with your LinkedIn profile so you are ready to pounce if need be,” Dengate said.