For decades, the tech industry enjoyed unprecedented growth. Even during the pandemic, when unemployment reached historic rates not seen since the 1930s, tech companies continued to swell with remote work.
Then everything changed. Google, Amazon, and Meta laid off thousands, and the job cuts continue. Those big tech companies weren’t the only ones. Wired magazine reports that “tech companies have laid off more than 400,000 people” since 2022.
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of affected tech workers, rest assured that you’re not alone—we’ve been there too. We learned how to bounce back from being fired, laid off, or losing a job due to company closure. These coping strategies helped us, and we hope you’ll find them beneficial, too.
Losing a job can be a shock to your system and a blow to your self-esteem. Take some time to process your emotions. Feelings like sadness, anger, fear, and anxiety are normal but remember: your employment status is not a measure of your personal worth.
To ease these feelings, you may need some extra rest. If you need to take some time off before you launch into a new job search, do so. Engage in activities that make bring you joy or help you relax. Talk to a trusted confidant. Once you’ve come to terms with your feelings, you will be better equipped to take the next steps.
During the tech crisis, much job loss has been due to companies’ inability to sustain the employees they had hired. However, if you were fired from your job rather than laid off, now is a good time to reflect. What behaviors or traits did your former employer cite as reasons for the discharge? Don’t beat yourself up or focus on the negative, but view the experience as a way to grow and improve.
Now is a great time to tap into your professional network. You have former classmates, professors, workmates, and acquaintances from industry events. Make sure you’re connected on LinkedIn. Change your status to “Looking for job opportunities” or “Open to work,” and post about your interest in finding a job. One of your contacts may know of an opening or have a recommendation for you.
You can also use social media, a blog, or a personal website to flaunt your expertise to increasing numbers of viewers. When your posts are informative, someone looking for skills like yours might take notice.
Once you’ve taken some time and reached out to your network, it is time for your job search to begin in earnest. Online job postings are a great place to start.
You may be tempted to look only for the type of job you had before. If your initial applications are not successful, however, you may need to expand your search to expand your horizons. Check out other jobs you may be qualified for. Don’t limit yourself to tech companies—your technical skills may be sought after in other industries as well, from major non-profits and government entities to retailers and manufacturers.
If it takes more than a few months to find a new job, you may worry that your work history has a glaring career gap. The good news is that career gaps aren’t the red flag they once were—especially since the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent tech industry crisis.
Instead of fearing the gap, embrace it. How? If you’re currently experiencing a gap, there are plenty of things you can do to make it meaningful. Take a course. Work on a passion project. Volunteer your services or pick up some gig work. When you include these activities on your resume, your career gap essentially disappears.
Next, embrace previous gaps. Include them on your LinkedIn profile using the Career Breaks option. Briefly explain the reasons for career gaps in your cover letter and at your next job interview. Focus on the positive, such as what you learned during that time.
Keeping a positive attitude isn’t just good for your mental health during a job search. It can also have a bearing on whether or not you get hired. How?
Berating your former employer, coworkers, or company will not win you any favors with a new one. Don’t disparage your previous work situation on social media or verbally, even if you feel that what you are saying is true. Especially in the tech field, you can count on hiring managers Googling your name and interacting with your online profiles. Instead, when you must mention them, highlight only the positive aspects of the experience, such as the skills you gained or used.
Finding a tech job is still a challenge in the current economic ecosystem. If you lost your job during the tech crisis, be sure to keep a positive attitude, connect with others, and embrace your situation as you look for a new position. In so doing, you will be building valuable soft skills that you will take with you into your next job.
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