Home Business Some workers say the tech cuts have intensified competition for jobs

Some workers say the tech cuts have intensified competition for jobs


Though Tiara Richardson read news articles warning of impending Big Tech layoffs while she still held out hope for her job as a content designer for Meta. would be safe. He had been with the company for four months and said that at one point his team was considered a priority for the company.

So when the fired email lands back in his inbox in November, she said she was devastated.

Richardson, 40, of Raleigh, NC, had been working remotely with a team he enjoyed for the past four months and found his stride when he and about 11,000 of his colleagues lost their jobs.

“I just started screaming,” she said. “I have never been in this position before. … I started thinking, ‘Oh my God, what if I can’t get a job?'”

Richardson joins hundreds of thousands of tech workers who are in the same boat — unexpectedly laid off and hunting for their next gig. Twitter, Meta, Stripe, Lyft and, most recently, Salesforce and Amazon are among the most prominent companies cutting workforces.

While many laid-off tech workers have found jobs, they say there are fewer and they have to compete with a larger pool of top talent for new hires. roles. Several workers say the layoffs aren’t deterring workers from the tech industry. and they still view tech jobs as opportunities for professional development and increased earnings. But layoffs are prompting them to seek roles that may offer more job security in the long term.

The data suggest that the outlook is not so bleak yet. Employers added nearly 223,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. Rand Ghayad, LinkedIn’s head of economics and global labor markets, wrote in a recent blog post that tech layoffs aren’t entirely a reflection of economic conditions. They are, in part, a move to return to more normal work.

A month after being fired, Richardson took to LinkedIn to say he was open to new opportunities. When you start applying for jobs In December and January, he saw hundreds, if not thousands, competing for the same positions in his industry. (LinkedIn shows how many candidates applied for the position at the top of the job posting.)

“Competition will be fiercer,” he said. “For the jobs I applied for, I got more rejection notices than before,” he said.

Hiring in the technology, information and media industries is at its lowest level since July 2020, according to member data from LinkedIn. However, nearly 40 percent of industry LinkedIn members who changed jobs in November stayed in the industry. Others went into professional services such as law or accounting firms or the financial services industry. The wait for tech workers to land their next gig may not be long, according to October data from ZipRecruiter. About 37 percent of laid-off tech workers surveyed found a new job within a month, and 79 percent were rehired within three months.

Getting fired was an unfortunately familiar experience for Meagan Moakes, but it could have come at the worst possible time since her husband was fired two days ago. Moakes, a 37-year-old Dallas native, has been sacked four times in his career.

“The fourth time, you’re kind of riding,” Moakes said. “We went from a two-income family to a joint-income family to a non-income family within 48 hours.”

Moakes said her plight is vastly different from her husband’s, who is more in demand as a video game developer. But as someone who has worked in customer relations roles for tech companies large and small, she said she often applies for jobs with between 350 and 3,600 other candidates from Big Tech companies. As a result, he begins to doubt his abilities and achievements.

“I feel like I’m lost in a sea of ​​numbers,” she said.

Vahan Terterian has applied for at least 150 positions since losing his job in December, but only a handful have responded with interest. The 26-year-old Denver native was most recently a product manager at rental technology company Nomad, where he worked for seven months before being laid off.

“I had a sinking feeling in my chest,” he recalls thinking about his impending layoffs.

After taking a few days to recover from the shock of losing her job, Terterian said she also began to realize how many people she was competing with for current openings — a much different reality than when she started in May.

“The market is flooded with high-quality talent,” he said. “So it seems slower than when I first got this job in May. It was getting stronger [back then].”

Terterian said he asks hiring managers more specific questions about financial stability, hiring and outlook to avoid another layoff.

For Amber Adamson, 36, the strategy is to improve her coding skills to make her more employable in technology. Adamson, Norristown, Penn. resident, who left a teaching role, started her first tech job in June as a junior email developer for veterinary services company Covetrus, but was laid off in September.

He says the barriers for new entrants to the industry are many. First, the prerequisites often require years of experience for entry-level positions, he says. Then there are the hundreds of qualified candidates he’s competing against. He writes that more and more laid-off workers from Big Tech companies can be hired.

“I’m hoping to make myself more desirable to recruiters so they contact me,” she said. “You really have to be willing to sell yourself because the market is saturated.”

Some employees find that the best route to a new job is through a professional network. Charell Star, a former brand media, social media and partnerships lead for Meta’s payments business and 20 years in marketing, was part of Meta’s layoffs in November after more than two years at the company.

The Maplewood, NJ resident was four months into her five-month maternity leave. It was the second layoff of his career.

Star said the best leads come through contacts who hear about his layoff or see him announce it on LinkedIn. He gets advice on unposted jobs or roles that haven’t been created yet, and some of his working contacts refer recruiters to him. He says that while layoffs increase competition, they also create a sense of community.

“We have a camaraderie going through this together,” he said. “I advise people to start networking and reach out to old contacts … you never know where an opportunity will come from.”

Richardson, a former content designer at Meta, said he was creative in his job search. With a background in fashion and interests in media, fashion, retail, entertainment and technology, she connects with her big dream jobs. How big? He said he contacted the head of human resources at Parkwood Entertainment and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and reached out to the Obama Foundation.

“My advice is to keep a positive mindset and don’t be afraid of your shot,” he said.

Five quick tips for job seekers

  • Enter a summary: At the top of all professional profiles and resumes, there should be a summary that highlights the job seeker’s most marketable skills and gives employers an idea of ​​their personality. This is even more important for candidates who do not have direct work experience for the position they are applying for.
  • Use keywords: Professional profiles, especially online ones, should be sprinkled with keywords to help a candidate navigate their resume through computer systems that may be reviewing it for the first time. Experts say job seekers should research the most common qualities and skills needed for the job and include them, if any.
  • Highlight achievements: Job seekers should avoid referring to job descriptions to explain their previous experience. Instead, they should highlight their accomplishments with as much specificity as possible.
  • Connect with professionals online: Candidates’ professional networks can often lead to the next job. Experts say that job seekers should connect with people they know within industries that interest them. But they should also ask for introductions from people their friends, family and colleagues may know, as well as message people they have no connection with.
  • Post on social media: To increase the chances of being hired by professionals, job seekers would do well to let people in their personal social networks know that they are looking for a job and give specific information about what they hope to find.

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