Layoffs Sweeping the Tech Industry
After a banner year for tech in 2021, layoffs season is underway. Several big name technology companies have recently announced layoffs and other cost-cutting measures as employers brace up for a potential recession next year. These economic worries have prompted tech startups and giants like Twitter, Stripe, Meta, and Lyth to announce an alarming number of layoffs and hiring freezes. So far this year, more than 41,000 workers in the tech sector have been laid off.
Asides being bad news for the tech ecosystem as a whole, people working to improve diversity in tech are worried that the tech industry might be going underwater, exposing them to job insecurity, low hiring levels as well as reduction of earnings. This brings us to the next question:
Is Silicon Valley’s Golden Era Coming To An End?
Tech companies are not just waking up one day just to slim down their labor costs to dominate headlines. The layoffs are the result of multiple factors, primarily uncertain economic conditions – recession, inflation, and rising interest rates, causing a shift in the market. These are global downturns affecting various industries, one which the tech world is not immune to. Let me walk you through a short story.
In 2016, the tech industry experienced a digital downturn due to economic recession, causing the industry to hit a massive layoff cut across the globe. Similar to what’s happening in the space now, if not more, the tech layoffs surged in 2016, as we encountered straight months of nearly daily layoffs.
Yet, the industry found its footing again two years later, after economic recovery from the recession. Since then, the industry has been expanding far beyond California’s Bay Area – a trend accelerated by the pandemic. This means that despite the growing list of roadblocks, Silicon Valley remains incredibly robust; the industry will bounce back.
As A Tech Newbie, How Will You Make Sure These Trends Do Not Affect You?
The answer is that you don’t stop! As a newbie in tech, ensure that you don’t feel discouraged about pursuing your career goals. The truth is, companies will always be hiring. There are more jobs than qualified people. It’s on you to stay ahead of your competition. Tech jobs pay well. Tech skills are still in high demand. Admittedly, over-hiring did happen in the sector for some companies but this does not necessarily mean it’s the end of the road for the tech ecosystem. Winter makes farming difficult and nearly impossible, but it doesn’t make farmers irrelevant. You don’t have to give up on learning but start preparing to make the top candidate pool when these companies start hiring again. Like I said, it’s on you to stay ahead of the competition.
If You’re Already In The Workforce, What Should You Do?
Make yourself indispensable. Most companies go out of their way to make sure their payroll cuts have the least impact on clients. The more valuable you are, the more secure your job will be. Look for opportunities to showcase your talents and special skills. Whenever possible, promote your accomplishments. Don’t assume your boss recognises your contributions. Finally, as companies downsize, the “survivors” are often asked to pick up the additional work. Understandably, this causes resentment and hard feelings. Instead of complaining, look at this as an opportunity to increase your value to your organisation.
If You’ve Been Affected By The Layoff, How Can You Bounce Back?
Start networking again so job opportunities start coming your way. Share a post on LinkedIn informing your connections about the layoff. With several layoffs this year, the LinkedIn community is actively helping people connect with recruiters from hiring companies. You can reach out to recruiters via LinkedIn and see if they’re hiring for a role you are interested in. Don’t forget to ask for a referral if you know someone in the company you’re applying for. A referral can help you fasttrack your application and increase the chances of hearing back for interviews.
A Final Word
The recent trends in the tech industry may be scary right now, and that’s because we’re in a global recession. Several industries, including the tech space, have been forced to trim their costs where they can (affecting their work force) to scale up investment returns. Be sure to put your mind at rest as the tech wave is not over, it’ll surely bounce back again!