Soon after Elon Musk acquired Twitter this past October, approximately half of the social media giant’s staff was laid off. Meta, Stripe, and Amazon also recently laid off large portions of their staff. According to the Wall Street Journal, the pandemic and economy are the two main reasons to blame for the massive tech sector layoffs.
If you’re currently working in the tech industry (or in any industry for that matter), here are three things you can do to prepare for a potential layoff, or navigate your next step if you’re in the midst of one.
1. Network internally
While you might be feeling the pressure of tech companies scaling back, keep in mind that your coworkers are in the same boat. This means it’s a great opportunity to network within your organization.
Networking can be as simple as making internal connections by stopping by someone's office or sending a Slack. Make your intentions clear by asking if someone wants to connect and discuss the current state of the tech industry. You both can brainstorm ideas of what the future could look like for you.
The benefit of having someone else to bounce ideas off of is your coworker's perspective can bring more insight than just you thinking alone. Maybe your connection has experienced a layoff before and has more knowledge of how to navigate it. Maybe you have knowledge of organizations that are hiring. Sharing tips, tricks, and insight with a connection can help you feel less alone during these uncertain times, as well as ensure you’re prepared for whatever the future may throw at you.
2. Acquire new skills
One thing that will help you in the job market is being able to adapt and take on different roles. Some ways of doing this include participating in training you can find online, along with obtaining certifications. Doing this will help you have an understanding of different roles within tech, which in turn can make you more marketable.
Specific roles that it would be smart to familiarize yourself with right now include software developing and engineering. According to CompTIA, employment in the tech industry continues to rise as of October 2022. The specific section of tech that saw the most hiring between September and October was for software developing and engineering roles. By acquiring certificates and training online, you can feel a little bit more prepared if ever faced with a job change and want to find a tech position. This is not to say these are the only roles you should find more information on. In general, obtaining any additional knowledge and skills that can help you adapt to a different role is useful.
3. Leverage social media
The tech industry is in the spotlight right now. Everyone’s wondering what it looks like inside the walls of a tech giant, and so, what better time than now to share your story. Twitter employees who lost their jobs have done just that, and the response has been beneficial for these employees. People swarmed to LinkedIn to share their personal farewells to their companies and highlight open doors at other organizations. The hashtag #oneteam is circulating alongside a spreadsheet for open opportunities. Variations of different hashtags with the word “tweep” are circulating as well, as this is the word used for former twitter employees.
The general consensus for tech workers who’ve been laid off is that they’re valuable assets worth fighting for. So, use this time to get your own story out there. In doing so, you may just find yourself right back to work.
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