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Secrets to Career Cushioning

Shatakshi Sharma, St Stephens College, University of Delhi Graduate, ISB MBA, strategist to government of India, former BCG management consultant, advisor to tony blair institute, ivy league exchange student, LinkedIn Top Voice and co-founder of Global Governance Initiative

Career insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.

In this GGI career insight, we will be sharing insights into: the tricks of cushioning your career and if it is even worth it.

Have you wondered what is career cushioning? And why it is going viral on social media?

What is career cushioning?

After the wave of quiet quitting, there is a new trend going around. So, what is it all about?

Career cushioning is almost like an insurance or a Plan B.

There seems to be an imminent global recession which is impacting the USA and a lot of tech giants. Massive layoffs are taking place.

A study by LinkedIn showed that 31% of US professionals were worried that their employers were considering budget cuts and/or lay-offs.

So, what kind of steps should you take to cushion your career and prevent being taken by surprise when you are fired?

1. Understand your organisation

You need to begin by understanding how unstable your organisation and role are.

Organisations that are recently funded or have raised only 1 or 2 rounds are going to be very unstable.

I know of EdTech and FinTech organisations that raised a lot of money during the funding boom in India, but are on the verge of shutting down now. They are unable to get more funds from the USA, China and India.

Coming to the stability of your role-

Whenever a funded venture goes south, marketing professionals take the biggest hit.


Because whenever an organisation gets funded, a lot of the money goes to the marketing department.

Thus, it is this department that gets hit first in the scenario of a funding winter.

If you feel that your job is unstable, then it is advisable to actively look for a new role.

2. Diagnose your skills

You might not have taken an interview for a long period of time. Thus, it becomes extremely important to take an interview and diagnose your skills.

My own organisation, Global Governance Initiative, has a free case based test which diagnoses your skills using our in-house AI platform Schrödinger.

3. Stay with the trends

You have to keep up with the current trends.

If, for example, you are solving a case in a virtual setting, you must share your screen to interact with the interviewer.

Gone are the days where traditional methods would get the desirable results.

4. Update your LinkedIn

I know of friends who were recently fired and had to spend their valuable time updating their LinkedIn accounts.

If you are making a good impact, it is a good practice to update your LinkedIn every month.

This includes your bio, description, work experience, headline and profile picture.

5. Moonlighting

Taking a side gig will save you from being in a position where you are left without a job and a salary.

I am advocating for moonlighting with competitors as it is unethical. But, if it is a complementary sector and the companies are not rivals then it is absolutely fine to have a second job.

You have to look out for yourself because your employers may not.

6. Networking

You should start warming up your leads.

You shouldn’t be waiting to get laid off to start your networking.

If you know of friends who are working in dream, reach and safe firms- start reaching out to them

They don’t necessarily have to be your first connection. You can have a wider reach by writing a short message to your network on LinkedIn and meeting up with them.

7. Career Programs

A lot of interesting career programs have come up that do not just advance your skills, but also provide you with employment and networking opportunities. At my own venture, we help students cultivate hard and soft skills required to excel in their careers. In addition to this, they attend masterclasses taken by industry leaders, network and gain employment support.

Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.

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