Career Cushioning

What is career cushioning?

Searching for a new job while employed

Those who think they're about to get laid off may engage in career cushioning. This practice involves shoring up your resume, engaging with your network, and searching for a new job while you're still employed, just in case layoffs are coming your way (or your job otherwise becomes undesirable).

Origin of career cushioning

Career cushioning is an offshoot of the term cushioning, which comes from the dating world. "Cushioners" pursue other love interests while dating someone, just in case their current relationship falls through. (Yes, the practice is as gross as it sounds.)

In late 2022, as worries about mass layoffs and a global recession continued to rise, cushioning made the jump from the dating world to the business world. Career cushioning quickly became a buzzword in business and news circles, especially among influencers on LinkedIn.


Career cushioning's not really anything new. A lot of employees have always kept their feelers out for new opportunities. You'd be dumb not to!
A post citing one of many late 2022 articles on career cushioning
A post citing one of many late 2022 articles on career cushioning

Related Slang


Updated December 9, 2022

Career cushioning definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Career cushioning" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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