Career cushioning – lining up ‘Plan B’ job

Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

Over a third of workers have admitted to taking steps to ‘prepare to look for another job’.

Career cushioning – the process of being proactive about your career prospects to ‘soften the blow’ should anything go wrong with your current job – is a phenomenon that recruitment firm Robert Walters believes has grown in prominence due to ongoing lay-offs in Ireland’s tech sector.

According to a poll of 2,000 white-collar workers, the leading reasons causing workers to ‘career cushion’ is a lack of job security from their company (70%), turbulent economic conditions (56%), internal changes within their business (44%), and low job satisfaction (35%). 

When asked what type of tactics workers were taking to create a ‘career cushion’ – monitoring the jobs market (64%) and ‘tidying up’ their CV (45%) came out on top. This was followed by networking more (32%), applying for jobs (34%), upskilling / training (33%), working with a career coach or recruiter (20%); and finally, adopting a side-hustle (17%).

Grass isn’t always greener!

Interestingly, a quarter of professionals admitted that their perusal of the jobs market and self-assessment of their skills has led them to appreciate their employer more – with a further fifth admitting that they have discovered their current employer pays better than the market average. 

Analysing the poll results, Suzanne Feeney, Country Manager at Robert Walters Ireland, commented: “Career cushioning needn’t always be looked at as a negative by employers, in many cases it can lead to employees upskilling, being more determined to succeed or engaging in more networking – bringing greater value to the business.

“There is no guarantee that those that “career cushion” will leave, it’s an old adage but employees researching opportunities elsewhere can often illustrate to them that the grass isn’t always greener.”