Career dampening replaces silent abandonment as a new workplace trend

Simply put, career cushioning – not exactly new to the workplace – involves being ready with a plan B to cushion the sudden impact of a job loss or a dismissal due to economic lows or declining employment trends. Here’s what experts told CNBC TV18 about how to prepare for such an eventuality.

First there was “quiet quitting,” and now, with increasing layoffs and job insecurity, a new trend has emerged in the workplace called “career sinking.” — which loosely translates to employees being ready with a plan B. This time around, the workplace has borrowed that trend from the dating industry. Cushioning in the field of romantic relationships is a strategy used to cushion the blow of a breakup. In the workplace culture, this means leaving your options open and taking steps to “soften the landing” if something unexpected happens.

Given that a growing number of companies are laying off employees as they prepare for a future recession spurred by high inflation and rising interest rates, the trend is not surprising. But, like most trends, it already exists in one form or another.

Most of today’s workplace trends, such as “great resignation” and ‘quietly stop’, relate to employees leaving their jobs due to reduced compensation received or unfavorable working conditions, such as the relationship with the line manager. On the other hand, career amortization only helps individuals to be ready for any changes that may occur in the near future. A modern method of career continuity is career amortization.

“I don’t think career amortization, like all workplace trends, is a new concept. Personally, for me, I always keep in mind to keep in touch with HR professionals on LinkedIn, to keep improving myself and to save money so as not to be very badly affected by an unforeseen scenario,” said Pranjul Mehta, a professional who has worked in the IT industry for the past five years.

What falls under career amortization?

“Finding your passion, upskilling/re-skilling yourself, updating your LinkedIn profile, building/maintaining a strong network, and giving yourself time to think about your next steps are all examples of career buffering strategies,” Daya said. Prakash, founder of TalentOnLease.

According to experts, here are some steps employees should take as a habit to cushion their careers for the future:

According to Prakash, the most valuable resource for an employee is their professional network. Employees need to nurture and nurture their network constantly, as it is a very valuable asset.

“A simple and effective way to build your cushion is to set up job alerts. Additionally, you can alert your network that you are looking for a different position by using the OpentoWork photo filter on LinkedIn, which is a very effective way to receive leads on job postings,” Prakash said.

Improve and stay up to date

With new skills emerging every day, job criteria are also changing. Shantanu Rooj, CEO and founder of TeamLease EdTech, told in June that with the recent increase in layoffs and the emergence of new jobs, employees should stand out as potential candidates for new jobs. opportunities.

“Companies are looking for digitally savvy, highly adaptable and versatile people who can be molded into any type of role. Employees will need to develop not only adjacent skills, but also diametrically opposite skills – combinations such as technology and creativity, technology and psychology are becoming commonplace,” he said.

Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO of Learnbay, told that upgrading yourself is the best option to cushion your career. “Taking note of your current talents and looking for methods to improve them is another great strategy for protecting your career. Many of your current job abilities can be transferred to new career opportunities and new industries,” he added.

Analyzing your career trajectory can help employees better understand the demands of recruiters in the broader industry landscape, said Amulya MS, Director, HR, Utthunga. According to experts, having a career track record helps employees invest time in honing their abilities, setting goals, and building the network that will protect them from adverse scenarios and also succeed in the current job.

Anshuman Das, CEO and co-founder of Careernet, suggests employees need to strike the right balance between high-growth and stable career opportunities. High growth does not ensure stability and when the labor market experiences attrition, such an industry will be targeted first.

Having a financial backup is essential at every stage of life as it indicates how prepared you are even for the unexpected. “In an increasingly connected world, something, even on a distant continent, could trigger a crisis. And that can have an impact in the form of job loss or even a pay cut. The emergency fund helps you get through these difficult times. You can avoid borrowing from friends and relatives, taking out expensive personal loans or dipping into your retirement savings,” said Gaurav Rastogi, co-founder of Kuvera, an online investment advisory firm.

Rastogi said emergency funds should have three must-have features. First, it must be inflation resistant. This basically means you need to invest that amount to help it earn returns above the rate of inflation. Second, it must be done in such a way that you have access to it without delay or penalty. This will avoid the high interest burden of options like credit cards or personal loans.

Third, before saving, always ask yourself how many days will the emergency fund last? “While many say you need to have 3-6 months of cushion, we’ll take it a step further and say plan for at least a year. When job losses occur due to economic uncertainty, it usually takes a lot more time for things to bounce back,” Rastogi said.

Should you start cushioning your career?

Like all other workplace trends, career sinking is not a new term. Employees have been doing it for a very long time. Although the current scenario of layoffs and global economic downturn has made this a “necessary” trend to follow.

In simpler terms, career cushioning involves keeping your choices open and preparing for what the economy and job market may offer in the future. The strategy can be thought of as an insurance plan that you can use to set yourself up for success no matter how the economy performs.

“Career cushioning can help you feel better about where you are now because you have a strategy in place if you lose your job,” Prakash said.

The benefit of career cushioning is that it helps employees keep their alternatives open, according to Kumar. “The truth is, job stability is not guaranteed no matter how hard you work. It might be time to start planning for your future if you work in a field where recruitment is down. Career cushioning includes taking steps to keep your alternatives open while providing a buffer for the direction the economy is taking,” Kumar said.

(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)


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