The year of 2023 brought an unexpected and challenging twist to the world of technology as several tech giants faced significant layoffs. The ripple effects of these workforce reductions reverberated through the industry, sparking discussions about the evolving landscape of tech employment and its broader implications. According to tech layoffs tracker Layoffs.fyi, the total number of individuals laid off from their tech jobs in 2023 was 262,595.
Now as we reflect back on that number, it might leave us wondering - where did all of the laid off tech workers go? After being laid off, next steps may seem uncertain to these individuals, but it is not the end of their journey. With technology skills still in high demand and an increase in the possibility for new opportunities outside of the world of tech, many of these workers find themselves on a new path. In this blog, we will discuss where some of these tech workers ended up after their layoffs as well as some helpful advice on actions to take after being laid off.
Applying Skills in New Ways
Some laid off individuals have decided to explore opportunities outside the tech industry, leveraging their transferable skills in roles related to project management, data analysis, or other domains where their expertise is applicable.
As reported by CNBC, a man named Bobby McNeil was laid off from his job as a senior technical lead sourcing recruiter for Amazon Web Services, left with the decision of what to do next. With the large number of layoffs in the tech industry, McNeil figured that there would be a lot of competition with trying to get back into a tech company right away, so he turned his attention to other industries where he might use his skills. He spent a few weeks networking and submitting applications until he secured a contract gig as a talent acquisition partner at a Fortune 500 company.
“The transferable skills that you gain from working in the tech industry can be really valuable in other fields.” - Bobby McNeil
Discovering a New Purpose
For some individuals, getting laid off provides an opportunity to explore different fulfilling things to occupy their time if they can afford the time off before getting back into a full-time job. These individuals might consider taking up a new hobby that has been put off, continuing an education to broaden skill sets, or deciding to explore entrepreneurship.
Melissa Zlatow was laid off from her job as a principal UX researcher and strategist at Meta where she worked for seven years. Following this difficult news, she decided to build a business incubator to help other laid-off tech workers connect with resources such as startups, career coaches, and management training. Zlatow realized how much she enjoyed helping others and decided to begin speaking at tech conferences and workshops about UX design, artificial intelligence and different aspects of her career that would help to mentor and inspire young professionals.
Zlatow also made the decision to take a year off before looking for another full-time job, taking the time to do adventurous activities like underwater cave diving and paragliding which she wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. When she rejoins the working world, she may end up in a different industry entirely.
“The gold standard has changed: Five years ago, working at a big-name tech company was an ideal to aspire to, but the layoffs have shown me, and others, that you can have an incredible impact on the world in so many other ways.” - Melissa Zlatow
How to Bounce Back After Layoffs
Experiencing a layoff from a tech job can be challenging, but it also presents an opportunity for reflection and growth. Here are some steps you can take after being laid off from a tech position:
1. Take a breath and reflect: It is important to allow yourself some time to process the situation and manage any immediate emotions following the difficult news. Reflect on your career goals, strengths, and areas for development before deciding to jump back into applying for new jobs. Take time to assess your financial situation and reevaluate your budget during this transition period.
2. Consult your network: Many individuals who are looking for jobs visit sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn to view and apply to different positions. It is also important to consult your professional network; attend industry events, join online forums, and connect with colleagues and mentors. Networking can open doors to potential job opportunities and valuable advice.
3. Update your resume: Crafting a strong resume will help you to gain the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Be sure to make revisions to highlight relevant skills, work experience, and accomplishments, as well as utilizing keywords found in job descriptions.
4. Seek emotional support: Job loss can be emotionally challenging, inviting feelings of failure and isolation. Reach out to friends, family, or a support network to share your feelings and seek guidance on how to rebuild your confidence and embrace optimism. Professional counseling or career coaching can also provide valuable assistance.
It is crucial to remember that a layoff is not a reflection of one’s worth or abilities. It can be an opportunity for growth and a chance to explore new possibilities. Use this time wisely to invest in your personal and professional development as you begin the transition to a new career.
The diverse and dynamic nature of the tech industry means that the paths taken by laid-off tech workers in 2023 are numerous. Individual choices were likely influenced by personal goals, market demand, and the evolving landscape of the technology sector.