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With nearly 50,000 layoffs in tech so far in 2022, tech workers have reason for concern. Throughout the first year of the pandemic, tech companies added workers at a record pace. As economic fears increase, however, these same companies look to cut staff and reduce overhead.
What lessons can we learn and how do these cuts impact workers? This massive pendulum swing shows the risks of growing too quickly. And it’s not all bad news for tech workers.
How tech layoffs affect the industry
Tech layoffs have had a ripple effect on the entire industry. Those workers who are fortunate enough to keep their jobs often face increased workloads and pressure to perform. This can lead to overworking and a lack of job satisfaction. Those who do lose their jobs often find it difficult to land a new job because of the highly competitive nature of the tech industry.
The result can be financial instability and a loss of confidence, which affects both laid-off workers and those who remain employed. Workers in both camps are now less likely to have full confidence in an employer’s ability to keep them on the payroll through hard times.
The tech labor pool and remote work options
The tech industry is dealing with multiple forces at once. Tech companies are willingly laying off workers. At the same time, tech workers — along with workers in most industries — are being much more selective about where they choose to work.
While tech companies may complain about a shrinking workforce, the reality is that they’re not doing what’s necessary to attract and retain high-quality workers. Today’s workforce looks for a company that treats its employees like humans, stands up for what’s right, and gives workers the flexibility of working remotely.
While this situation isn’t great for tech workers, there is one silver lining: The rise of remote work has created more opportunities for laid-off tech workers. With more companies embracing remote work, tech workers simply have more opportunities for employment.
The dramatic rise of remote work has also led to the creation of new job platforms that cater specifically to remote workers. These platforms make it easy for tech workers to find companies that are looking to hire remotely, which may include these newly formed companies.
Turning the tables on backgrounds
As a result of these changes and with tech companies seeming willing to lay off huge numbers of employees, tech workers have a chance to turn the tables. While a company that’s given you a job offer may run a background check on you, it’s important for you to do your due diligence and check the company’s layoff record.
While you’re never going to get absolute job security and past layoffs are not a guarantee of future layoffs, it’s still better to know what you’re getting into by reviewing a company’s layoff history. Google the company’s name along with the word “layoffs.” This will bring up any news stories about layoffs at the company.
Since we’re specifically interested in tech companies, you can also check out websites like Layoffs.fyi, which track layoffs at startups and tech firms. This site gives detailed information about each company and lets you sort by different criteria.
Of course, not all layoffs are created equal. A company that has had to let go of a few employees here and there is not necessarily one you should avoid. On the other hand, if a company has had multiple rounds of layoffs in quick succession, that’s definitely something to take into consideration. It could be a sign that the company is in trouble and may not provide long-term stability.
What’s next for the tech industry
It’s no secret that the tech industry has been through a tough few years. We’ve seen billions of dollars of value wiped out, huge layoffs, and an overall loss of confidence in the industry. So, what’s the future of the tech industry? Will it rebound after all the recent layoffs?
The short answer is yes, the tech industry will rebound. In fact, it’s already starting to. We’re seeing companies invest heavily in new technologies and software, which is creating a lot of new jobs — albeit at a slower pace than a few years ago, which may mean tech companies have learned a thing or two.
Of course, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed. Many companies are still struggling to find the right balance between growth and profitability. And there’s also a lot of concern about the impact of political uncertainties in the tech sector. So if you’re looking for a new role in the tech industry, whether you’ve been laid off or you need a change from your current company, it’s good to be cautiously optimistic.
Top tips for those affected by a recent tech layoff
The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you suddenly find yourself out of a job, but it’s important to keep a level head. Remember that this is just a setback, not the end of your career.
Update your resume
Highlight any relevant skills and experience you have, and showcase your achievements in previous roles. If you have little experience, now is also a good time to volunteer or intern so you can add to your resume.
Network, network, network
No matter what industry you’re in, networking is always important. But it’s especially crucial if you’re looking for a job in tech. Start by reaching out to friends, family, and acquaintances who work in the industry and see if they know of any openings. You can also attend industry events and meetups or even just connect with people online through forums and social media groups. The more people you know, the better your chances of landing a new job.
Consider going freelance
If finding a new full-time job feels like too big of a challenge right now, another option is to freelance. There are plenty of opportunities for freelance work in the tech industry, so this could be a great way to get your foot in the door while still earning an income. And once you’ve built up a portfolio of clients, it will be much easier to find full-time work down the road or keep doing your own thing.
The tech industry may have had a few hard years. While some of that was self-imposed from tech companies, tech industry workers have skills in high demand. Leverage those, leverage your network, and you just may find yourself in a new role at a company you enjoy, working from a location you love.
Ayesha Whyte serves as a chief people officer and legal advisor for multiple companies through her firm, Dixon Whyte LLC.
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