Workers want a cushion for their career

As layoffs spread faster than a TikTok dance craze, workers are trying to get ahead by securing new jobs before the corporate axe comes a-chopping. 

Driving the news: Workers are increasingly partaking in “career cushioning.” No, it’s not ensuring that your office chair has proper lumbar support. It’s the act of starting the job hunt while still fully employed. You know, just in case.  

  • Workers aren’t being very sneaky about cushioning, either. Several HR employees for Amazon have updated their LinkedIn images with the #OpenToWork icon in full display for their managers to see, despite still holding jobs at Amazon. 

Why it matters: Career cushioning is more than a sign of uncertain economic times and could stifle productivity. As workers shift focus and energy to networking for a new gig (or launching side hustles) to ensure financial stability, productivity at their actual jobs can dip. 

Why it’s happening: Workers are feeling a palpable sense of unease in the air, with the number of LinkedIn posts mentioning “layoffs” increasing by 17.9% last year compared with 2021 and posts mentioning “recession” shooting up by an almost-unbelievable 879%. 

In Canada: A survey from Robert Half found that 50% of Canadians are looking to switch jobs in 2023, which means half of the workforce could already be getting that cushion ready.