Over the past few years, movements like The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, and The Big Stay have reflected employees' changing needs in the workplace. The latest movement to take workplaces by storm is something called “Career Cushioning.” This phrase has gained traction in the past year to explain employees’ growing fear of and thus need to prepare for a layoff that may, or may not, happen. So, if you’re worried about the future of your current role, here are three ways you can use Career Cushioning during the holiday season to brace yourself for any future impact.
1. Revamp Your Resume
If you’re unfortunately impacted by a workforce reduction, you’ll likely want to start searching for a new job as soon as possible. And so, you’ll be more prepared to start searching if your resume is up to date. When you’re updating your resume, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. The first is to maximize resume keywords. Using intentional keywords will help you pass applicant tracking systems. This is also a great time for you to make sure your resume includes achievements instead of simply job responsibilities. For example, in addition to mentioning that you manage your company’s Instagram, it can be even more impactful to recruiters if you can include engagement data since you’ve been managing the account.
2. Build Your Network
The holidays provide some nice down time away from the typical work day. You may have some obligations with family or friends that you need to attend to, but your professional network is another thing you can build or nurture over the month of December. If you have connections you haven’t spoken to in a while, a nice “Happy Holidays!” message or check-in could be beneficial in maintaining your relationships. This also is a good time to reach out to new people and form new connections. You can start with a simple networking email or message on LinkedIn. Who knows, a new connection could be the gateway you need to a new role.
3. Stuff Your Emergency Fund
While stocking stuffers may be towards the top of your financial priority list right now, it’s important not to neglect your emergency fund this time of year. Experts say it’s smart to have three to six months of income saved in your emergency fund. While that isn’t always feasible with holiday financial obligations, keeping a budget and intentionally putting money aside will help cushion your landing if you fall into the job market again. Analyzing your financial situation can be overwhelming, so check and see if your employer offers any financial planning benefits. If they do, you can keep more money in your pocket while an expert helps teach you how to keep it there.
When the future isn’t clear, being prepared for any outcome is never a bad idea. With these three tips, you’ll have the safety net to feel more confident going into 2024.