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Coping with Tech Layoffs: Staying Motivated While Pursuing a Career in Tech

Coping with tech layoffs graphic

ARTICLE SUMMARY

This article provides practical strategies and insights to help you cope if you are suddenly laid off.

In today’s ever-evolving tech industry, coping with the uncertainty of layoffs can be a demoralizing experience. Whether you’re considering a transition into the tech field, already established in a tech role, or have recently been affected by tech lay-offs, it’s crucial to stay motivated and resilient during these challenging times. 

WHY DO TECH LAYOFFS HAPPEN ANYWAY?

There are a number of reasons why a lot of tech layoffs are happening, but probably the biggest underlying factor is interest rates.

With interest rates near 0% for the past few years, companies could essentially get “free money” from investors. This is because investors don’t want to put their money in the bank and have it earn 0% interest, so they invested in high-growth tech companies instead. This allowed tech companies to raise a lot of money and grow very quickly.

However, the music has stopped now that central banks around the world are raising interest rates. This is because higher interest rates make it more expensive for companies to borrow money. This, in turn, makes it more expensive for companies to operate and invest in growth.

As a result, some tech companies are now facing financial difficulties. They may have to reduce their spending, which could lead to layoffs.

Other factors that could be contributing to tech layoffs. These include:

  • The ongoing war in Ukraine is causing economic uncertainty.
  • The rising cost of living, which is putting pressure on businesses’ bottom lines.
  • The slowdown in economic growth, which is leading to lower demand for tech products and services.

This article provides practical strategies and insights to help you cope with the ongoing changes in the tech industry. Let’s explore each stage and find ways to navigate through them successfully.

TRANSITIONING INTO THE TECH INDUSTRY AMIDST TECH LAY-OFFS

The tech industry is a constantly changing landscape, and one of the biggest challenges facing tech professionals today is how to stay ahead of the curve. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of major tech companies announce mass layoffs, affecting thousands of employees. Especially this year in January, we experienced a staggering 90,000 people let go across different teams within a wide variety of tech companies.  These layoffs can be devastating, both financially and emotionally.

If you’re looking to transition into the tech industry, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved and the competition that has fostered out of the last year we just had. However, there are also a number of opportunities available. Here are a few tips for transitioning into the tech industry amidst tech lay-offs:

  • Do your research. Before you make any decisions, it’s important to do your research and understand the current state of the tech company you are applying to. This includes understanding the business the company is involved in? Is it sustainable, are they profitable long term? What skills would the company need to survive? 
  • Network with people in the industry. Networking is one of the best ways to learn about new opportunities and to make connections with people who can help you in your transition into this career. Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn. This is still very effective.
  • Stay up-to-date with relevant skills: One thing I have learnt is, your skills still matter, you have to find the right demand for it. There is no use learning PHP in 2023 (😄) if there is no demand for it. Leverage learning and upskilling for skills that are still in demand. 
  • Be persistent. It may take some time to find a job in the tech industry, but don’t give up. It’s also important you have a strategy with applying for jobs, the saying goes “have many eggs in your basket” , however I’d advise it’s better you have the “right many eggs in your basket”. 

NOT AFFECTED, BUT ANXIOUS IT COULD BE ME NEXT

If you’re not directly affected by tech lay-offs, you may still be feeling anxious about the possibility of being laid off yourself. This is a normal reaction, and it’s important to acknowledge your feelings. First let’s talk about the process that occurs if someone is being let go 

In the UK, there is a consultation period that spans 30 days. In those days the company is trying to decipher the best fit for the business purposes going forward. After this anyone that has been let go has a 1–3 months notice period depending on their position. If the employee has worked for 2 or more years they will also be entitled to statutory pay. This gives each affected employee at least 2 months to plan and execute their next steps. 

In the US and Canada, you might get severance pay which is calculated based on the number of years you have worked with the company. However, employers by law are not required to offer their employees this. Now that we have covered some technicalities. So given the worst case scenario depending on your location you have between 2 weeks and 3 months to prepare.

Here are a few tips for dealing with the anxiety of being laid off:

  • Get business savvy: What does your company need right now to stay afloat? How can you become the go-to person for this need? What other important roles within the company can you support or become? These questions are to help you think about ways you can be more valuable to your company.
  • Plan now: If you were to be laid off today, what do you wish you had? An alternative source of income? Emergency funds for 3-6 months? These are questions that you have to start asking yourself. 
  • Talk to someone you trust: Talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or career counsellor can help you to process your emotions and to develop a plan for your next steps.
  • Stay positive. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts and emotions that come with being laid off, but it’s important to stay positive. Remind yourself of your strengths and your accomplishments, and focus on that.  The future might be uncertain, however right now It’s just right.
  • Take care of yourself. Make sure to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you to cope with stress and to stay motivated.

I GOT LET GO! NOW WHAT?

If you’ve been laid off, it’s important to take some time to process the news and to develop a plan for your next steps. Here are a few tips for what to do after being laid off:

  • Allow yourself to grieve. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions after being laid off, including anger, sadness, and anxiety. Give yourself time to process these emotions and to grieve the loss of your job. In as much as our job forms a significant part of who we are, it’s good to remember that you are not your job. It doesn’t determine your value.
  • Update your resume and start networking. Once you’re ready, start looking for a new job. Update your resume and start networking with people in your field. You have been in the industry, so you most likely have a new perspective on how you would like to navigate it this time round.
  • Take care of yourself. Make sure to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you to cope with stress and to stay motivated.
  • Don’t give up. The tech industry is constantly changing, and there are always new opportunities out there it might not just be in a big tech company for now. 

I hope these tips help you to cope with tech lay-offs and to stay motivated while pursuing a career in tech. You’re not alone in this, reach out, stay connected and opportunities will present themselves.


OMOTOLA SHOGUNLE


AUTHOR: Omotola Shogunle – SheCanCode Blog Squad

To find out more about Omtola please click here:

To send Omotola an email: [email protected]

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