The tech industry has seen massive layoffs in recent years in companies both big and small. Following slower business growth after the pandemic’s extremely high profits, tens of thousands of workers were laid off from their various roles in tech. This causes a large number of individuals to face the challenges of unemployment and the uncertainty of what might come after. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median unemployment duration is 8.3 weeks, lower than the 9-week median before the pandemic. However, laid off workers must make a critical decision - what kind of work to pursue next. The good news is there are plenty of opportunities, and that unemployment in the tech industry is still substantially lower than the US average. These instances might spark a desire for workers to bring their tech expertise to other industries, or to start anew with their own businesses. There are also those who worked in tech in a non-tech role who would then find a new position in a different industry. The possibility for new opportunities for these affected individuals could provide a more positive mindset during these hardships.
Tech Giants’ Layoffs Continue
While these layoffs were very prevalent in 2022, we are still seeing them continue to this day. Tech giants like Google and Meta were among the top companies for layoffs last year, and still are in 2023. Most recently, Google announced a cut of 12,000 employees, 15% of which are in its home state of California. Many of the positions of these workers are tech-related, there are also those that are not. For instance, this cut also includes 27 in-house massage therapists, showing the different skill sets that make up the tech industry and the risk of these positions in giants such as Google itself. Late last year, Meta also announced a huge cut of employees following the company’s rising costs and expenses. Their team is being reduced by 13%, with over 11,000 workers losing their jobs.
Laid-Off Workers Search for New Roles
For those who have been a part of the tech layoffs this past year, it might feel as if they are entirely set back on their career paths. However, with more and more jobs being added by companies in different industries, there is a greater chance that these workers will be able to continue on to a new position. According to a survey conducted by ZipRecruiter in October 2022, 37% of individuals who worked in tech and got laid off found a new job within one month, and 79% found a new job within three months. This shows that many of these workers are able to get back on their feet and find a new position rather quickly, though it may not be for the same job that they had before. Depending on what kind of work they had done in the tech company that they were laid off from, they might decide to move on to a different industry. Of those that were surveyed by ZipRecruiter, 74% of the workers found new jobs in tech, 6% in retail or e-commerce, 5% in financial services, 2% in healthcare, and the rest in other industries. There is always demand for certain tech skill-sets in more industries than just tech, and those laid off appear to find that they might have more luck applying their tech skills in a non-tech industry. At Sedna, our recruiters work with candidates to place them in roles within the tech industry but also in other industries like the federal government that are actively looking for workers with tech skills and experience. Recent research indicates that government positions offer better benefits for workers than private industry.
While many laid-off tech workers have rejoined the workforce under already existing companies, there are also those who have taken the opportunity to start their own businesses. While this is a challenging feat in itself, these individuals enjoy the idea of making work better for themselves and others with their own values and practices. It would normally be hard to take time off from their high-wage job in a tech company that they had previously in order to pursue entrepreneurship, which takes a lot of time and effort. Spending time on building a product or service while unemployed is a great option for many people. Working for yourself can be a great way to increase satisfaction and flexibility in your work, however when starting out it may take time, even a few years, to grow your business to the point that it can replace your full time salary. Starting and building a new business requires a lot of different skill sets, hard work, risk, and discipline.
It is true that many of those affected by the 2022 tech layoffs have found their way into the next step in their career journey, whether it be back into tech, another industry, or their own business. The large numbers of individuals that have faced these challenges show the unpredictability of a career in the tech industry, especially when it comes to working for tech giants like Google. Highlighting the idea of new opportunities for laid-off workers is important, especially for those who feel they cannot bounce back so easily. Sometimes certain positions are worth the risk, but weighing the decisions of choosing other paths might prove more beneficial in the long run. Working with a recruiter offers a no-cost way to have someone help you navigate the search and free up your time to review all of your options, instead of spending all of your time reviewing job listings.
Sedna Consulting Group has helped many individuals find tech roles among many industries, including finance, government, and healthcare. If you have been affected by layoffs or simply want to find a new role that is perfect for you, send us a message on LinkedIn or Instagram or visit our contact page to connect with our experienced team of recruiters.