'Career cushioning' is the latest workplace trend, seeing employees create a 'Plan B' ahead of a looming recession and job cuts

 Some employees are "career cushioning" to protect themselves in case they are laid off.

Although the job market is still relatively strong, layoffs and hiring freezes are picking up speed, especially in the tech sector.

The panic around job security has replaced a wave of "quiet quitting" with "career cushioning," a new workplace trend that has employees scrambling for a professional "Plan B."

"With the threat of redundancy looming over employees, it's unsurprising that many are starting to plan ahead in the event that they may lose their job," Brean Horne, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, said in comments sent to Insider.

"This doesn't mean employees are changing their attitude towards their current role," Charlotte Davies, a career expert at LinkedIn told Insider. "They're using 'career cushioning' as an insurance policy to set themselves up for success should they need to in the future."

What is 'career cushioning?'

The concept of "career cushioning" comes from a dating term. In romantic relationships, cushioning refers to people who consider other partners to soften the blow of a potential breakup. 

In professional life, "career cushioning" means workers will start to look for other jobs while still in their current roles. 

It can refer to employees who engage in any level of job-hunting. Some are merely browsing job listings, while others are actively applying for new roles. 

Those who career cushion are often trying to add an extra layer of security during uncertain economic times. Cushioning not only gives employees professional security but can also soften the emotional blow of being laid off. 

How can workers protect themselves?

Those who "career cushion" are normally trying to establish a contingency plan and improve their employability in case they are made redundant.

"Career cushioning" can also help employees "strengthen their networking contacts to help them transition into another position if they happen to lose their current one," Horne said.

For a lot of people, career cushioning is an exercise in building confidence, LinkedIn's Davies said. She recommended workers try to upskill if they are worried about job security.

"You can give yourself the confidence that if things do go wrong, you're armed with a wide set of skills to support a future job search," she said.

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