Why 'Career Cushioning' Could Prove Beneficial For Your Financial Future

These days, the job market is a sea of uncertainty. In a time where layoffs are common, there are things you can do to be ready if there is a drastic shift in your professional life, no matter what comes your way. The popular hack known as "career cushioning" is a method of preparing for your next move before you're put in a tough spot. It entails setting goals and developing skills that will be useful for your job hunt and future career. 

Career cushioning is comparable to packing a paper map for a road trip in case your phone runs out of battery or bringing an extra bottle of water on a hike — these are additional, helpful resources that provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are doubly prepared. If you find yourself out of work, you can efficiently pivot to finding something new. Plus, the tools you utilize in career cushioning can benefit you financially too. 

There are lots of examples of career cushioning

One example of career cushioning that you can try is simply applying for new jobs to see how you get on. This will help you understand your own autonomy in the job-hunting process and that there are career options elsewhere if your current job is not a good fit — especially if you haven't realized it yet. It also allows you to practice searching for relevant jobs, writing cover letters, and interviewing for these positions.

Another example of career cushioning is honing your skills. If you have an idea of your career's next step, you could try reviewing listings for vacancies in that particular field to see what skills are required or recommended. Then, you can work to learn what you need to know or update your résumé with the skills you already have.

Side hustles are yet another way to cushion your career. A side hustle is work you do (and ideally get paid for) that is in addition to your main job. Side hustles can be creative, like blogging or podcasting, or they can be essential services, like food or package delivery. 

How career cushioning can be financially beneficial

In addition to the peace of mind that career cushioning provides, it could also help with your financial future. For example, a successful side hustle will earn you money for your savings, and every little bit helps. The cash you earn from your side hustle could go toward paying for a class to sharpen a skill, or it could be set aside for your retirement. Further, if you ever lose your primary source of income, you would have the money from your side hustle to fall back on until you find a new job.

Another way career cushioning benefits your financial future is that it can make it easier to shift from one job to the next or to move to a new position after a period of being unemployed. If you've been steadily applying and interviewing for jobs while working elsewhere, it also won't be as daunting when you really need something new. 

Your preparation may even help you find your next job a little easier, lessening the time when you aren't earning. Whether you pursue a side hustle, apply often, or brush up on your skill set, career cushioning is definitely something all workers and job-seekers alike should consider while they plan their future and next career steps.