“Career cushioning”, the art of leading your career with caution

“Career cushioning”, the art of leading your career with caution

Many neologisms have recently appeared to describe our changing relationship to work, including “career cushioning”. This trend encourages current employees to stay on the lookout for new opportunities, without, however, neglecting their professional obligations.

The expression “career cushioning” can literally be translated as “career cushioning”. It refers to a strategy which, according to certain experts, could be beneficial to employees who are poorly motivated by their daily professional life. She invites them to consider their current job as a springboard, and not as an end in itself. This state of mind would allow them to recalibrate their level of demands regarding their work, and to devote more time (and energy) to the creation of new opportunities.

In this sense, “career cushioning” is the opposite of “rage applying”, this trend which consists of applying to dozens of advertisements in reaction to a disappointment or professional disappointment. This concept encourages, on the contrary, to show less impulsivity. But that doesn’t mean we have to settle for a job that doesn’t give us complete satisfaction. Fans of “career cushioning” encourage employees looking for renewal to update their profile on LinkedIn, acquire new skills, develop their network or carry out creative projects alongside their work.

Breaking the dynamic of disengagement

The goal ? Be proactive. But be careful not to fall into the pitfall of “working in a wig”. This somewhat outdated expression refers to a reprehensible practice which consists of using certain resources from one’s main employer (time, tools, etc.) to advance on a side professional project. Thus, you could be accused of “working in a wig” if you respond to emails relating to your “side job” during your office hours, or if you use your company’s software to redo your CV.

To avoid any misunderstanding, you can talk to your manager about your desires regarding your career development and your personal aspirations. It is possible that the latter will entrust you with more interesting missions if you tell him of your desire for renewal. Because companies have every interest in taking measures to break the dynamic of disengagement.

But this phenomenon is particularly difficult to understand, as it is so insidious. No study precisely quantifies the number of workers affected, even if surveys make it possible to assess the extent of the problem. The Gallup Institute estimates that 59% of employees worldwide are poorly motivated by their current job. Disengagement at work would cost the global economy $8.8 trillion, as indicated in the latest edition of its annual report, “State of the Global Workplace.” Such a trend raises fears of strong turbulence on the job market, like those observed in the United States over the past three years.

In this context, “career cushioning” can prove to be an interesting tactic. It offers a safety net to employees who are in doubt about their career prospects, while encouraging them to break out of stagnation. For their part, business leaders and managers must take actions, cyclical or structural depending on the case, to offer them jobs that motivate them in the long term. And thus prevent them from leaving them as soon as they have the opportunity.