Why You Should Make ‘Career Cushioning’ Part of Your Job This Year

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Have you ever casually browsed job boards to see what’s out there? Got a recruiter’s call even though you’re not sure you want to leave your current role anytime soon? Started side-hustling because it never hurts to have a plan B? Congratulations, you were “career cushioning”—which means you’re ready for 2023’s hottest work trend.

In short, career cushioning is exactly what it sounds like: being proactive about your career prospects to cushion the blow should anything go wrong at your current job, regardless of she is laid offOne toxic boss or just suddenly waking up with the feeling that you’re stuck in a role Which doesn’t work for you anymore.

It’s about keeping your options open, says Miriam Groom, an industrial therapist, career coach, and the Montreal-based founder of mind career Advisory Services. She says the motivations are similar to the “Great Resignation” of 2021, with 47.8 million Americans leaving their jobs. (Although we didn’t see many workers leaving here, according to financial position24 per cent of Canadians changed jobs during this period.) The record-setting number is driven by workers feeling underpaid, lacking opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work. Study by Pew Research Center, Groom says she’s seen a surge in demand for career coaching since COVID. “People aren’t going to settle down anymore,” she says. “They’re thinking, ‘Why am I working for this boss? Why am I coming this far? Why am I even in this job?'”

Career cushioning, Groom says, is a way for people to address those questions while still being able to pay their bills. Rather than give up on something else, some are waiting to find a gig that better aligns with their values. “A lot of people are sitting back in these corporate roles, and want to switch from large organizations to something more grassroots where they can make a positive impact on the world,” says Groom.

Others worry about the growing threat of a recession, which seems more real after the recent wave of layoffs in industries like tech. ‘People are giving more throne than career’leave cool‘ Now, ‘ says Groom, referring to the workplace buzzword of 2022, which was all about doing the bare minimum, empowered by a labor shortage that made workers less likely to be penalized. But instead of putting in extra, unpaid hours at a job they’re unhappy with, workers are getting smarter and spending that time diversifying their sources of income or looking for new opportunities.

How to make career cushion

If you’re considering a career change, bored with your current role or worried about losing your job, the easiest way to have a career cushion is to make yourself easy to find on LinkedIn. That way, opportunities are more likely to come to you. “People are often unaware that headhunters and recruiters are actively seeking employees just like you,” says Groom. Best way to hack the algorithm? “Update your LinkedIn with key words related to the job you want,” she says. Recruiters use LinkedIn like Google: They enter search terms and sift through the results to find candidates. Dulha says to start by searching for your ideal role on a networking platform, and bookmark five jobs that match your criteria. Pay attention to the language used in each job description and add some of those keywords to your profile – in your title, in your “about” section and in descriptions of your past experiences. For example, if the keywords you’ve identified are “customer excellence,” “10+ years of experience” and “pharmaceutical industry,” your profile might say: “A passionate sales executive with 10+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.” Prioritizes customer excellence with.”

You can also add a “slash” to your titles so that you can prepare for jobs that are close to what you’ve done in the past, and that you can easily switch. For example: You currently work as a Project Manager but want to become a Product Manager, a similar role but a role that focuses more on overall strategy rather than looking after the day-to-day deliverables of a project focuses. In this case, Groom recommends that you change your headline on LinkedIn to “Project Manager/Product Manager” so recruiters looking to fill any position can find you. To avoid your boss finding out about your updates, make sure you have turned off your “Notify my networks” setting – a feature that automatically alerts you to any changes you make to your profile. Updates your connection.

Work with a Career Coach

If you’re looking to break into something new, a career coach with a background in recruiting is a great resource. This is because they have insight into industries or types of work that you may not have considered. Career coaches can help you “reverse engineer” your existing resume and skill set so that you land searches that match the types of jobs you’re qualified for, even if they’re outside your niche. “They know how the other side works,” explains Groom. “If you’re a lawyer who works for the government, a pharmaceutical company may want to hire you because you know how to get applications through government processes.”

At Mindful Careers, Groom’s team conducts “behavioral profiles” of candidates using interviews and psychometric assessments to discover what motivates a job seeker. You may be in the wrong company, wrong role or wrong work environment. If you test as an introvert, for example, you may be best suited for hybrid or remote roles.

just think about changing jobs

People are often on the right track, in the right industry, says Groom, but a small change is needed. In her case, she was working in consulting industrial psychology—which satisfied her motivation for position and money—but she benefited from starting her own coaching business because she was also inspired by giving back. “It was finding my balance, and adding something, not taking it away,” she says.

it’s a form of career cushioning that’s less about finding a new job, and more about thinking about how you can make your current situation better for you. For some, this may mean going part-time in order to have more time to focus on the new business venture. It could also be doing the same kind of work, just at a firm that’s a better fit for you, like a lawyer who leaves corporate law and joins a firm that specializes in pro bono work. Or, it could be finding new responsibilities at your workplace so that you feel like you’re making yourself invaluable and are less concerned about being affected by layoffs.

develop new skills

One way to future-proof your resume or expand your career horizons is by developing new skills. These can be related to what you’re already doing, or if you’re interested in exploring other avenues, they can be things that will ease your transition into a new industry. For example, take a current customer of Groom’s who suspects impending layoffs at her company. This person works in recruiting but is obtaining a certification that is not needed for their current job but could pave the way for a potential path into HR if they are not let go.

Even better: Try seeing if your current company will pay for new certifications like SEO or email marketing, which often fall under training budgets or personal development funds. “Certifications are great because you can really improve on specific skills that you may be lacking in,” says Groom. Google and LinkedIn have free course options, while online courses like those from Harvard and Princeton run for thousands of dollars but come with name recognition. micro credit There is another way to promote your resume and attract new opportunities.

get a side hustle

“Many people are cushioning careers from entrepreneurship,” says Groom, “whether by taking part-time contract work or monetizing a hobby and starting a new venture.” Someone who makes beautiful ceramics can set up a storefront on a platform like Etsy. “It’s very cheap and you can do it in your spare time.” Pro Tip: Build a niche for your business on Google, and get reviews from people you’ve worked with. “It takes a while,” says Groom, “but people will start calling you, and before you know it you’ll be busy landing your job.” The advantage of creating your own side hustle is that if you lose your “main” job, you’ll have some income from your side job while you look for work. Or, you can slowly grow this business with the goal that one day it becomes your full-time gig.

He said: walk carefully. “I had a phone call the other day from an employer who was frustrated because an employee said, ‘Oh, I can’t make that meeting because I’m doing my side job,'” says Groom. “I wouldn’t suggest you do this during working hours.” Also, check your employment contract carefully as it may state that you can only work for one company at a time.

Networking Is Part of the Career Cushioning

“Most networking at the moment happens through LinkedIn,” says Groom, cautioning that you need to know exactly what job you want before you can reach out to people. If you’re running around unsure of where you really want to end up, you’ll just be wasting your time—and theirs. Let’s say you’re in accounting, and you want another accounting job one level up. “Find an executive who works for your ideal company, and connect with them by adding a note in the message section,” she says. “Ask them if you can grab coffee or have a Zoom chat.” Tell them what your goals are, what you want to do and see what happens.

“Finding a mentor is also a great way to cushion a career,” says Groom. “This relationship can help you make valuable connections in your industry.” That said, persistence is usually required before you find that right person. Often, the person you contact first may not have time to pick you up, but they may know someone else who may. The Groom says, “You just have to keep asking.” “Be very specific about what you want, and what you are looking for.”

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