Are you learning to code but worried about the tech layoffs in the news? Maybe you work for one of these companies and are concerned it might happen to you too? Or worse, maybe you just got laid off and are not sure what to do now?
Layoffs suck but they happen in every industry, and so we need to be aware of how to deal with them when they happen. In this guide, we’re going to walk you through some tips on how to best prepare (just in case), what to do once you’ve been notified, and what to do after you’ve been let go. It may never happen to you, but it’s always best to have a plan, so let’s dive in…
Why are tech layoffs happening?
There are a number of reasons why a lot of tech layoffs are happening, but probably the biggest underlying factor is interest rates which you've probably heard a lot about in the news.
With interest rates near 0%, companies could essentially get "free money" from investors.
Well, because investors didn't want to put their money in the bank and have it earn 0%, a a lot of money went to these high growth tech companies so that they could try and earn a return.
But now the music has stopped with central banks around the world raising rates.
This then has a knock on effect for both parties:
- Companies: debt becomes a lot more expensive (have to pay interest just like you do on your credit card or mortgage) so they have to be more mindful of costs
- Investors: they have "safer" alternatives to invest their money so they are investing in more profitable companies vs. high growth companies (both is obviously ideal but these are limited)
Here’s the thing though: layoffs are happening, but it's actually a small percentage of the workforce that's being laid off. It's not total doom and gloom like it seems in the news.
Interest rates are a factor but COVID had a hand in this too
When COVID happened, there was a dramatic change in how people lived, causing a huge growth in certain digital sectors. More Amazon next day deliveries, more people streaming Netflix, etc. Because of this, these companies saw a massive jump in sales and demand, and hired more people to meet that demand. Sure, some companies are playing it safe and hiring less, but there are still roles out there and companies are still growing. But like we said above, layoffs can still happen in every industry, so let’s walk through how to be prepared and deal with them, just in case they happen to you.
3 simple tactics to do before layoffs are announced
Chances are high that your company is totally fine and won't be laying off anyone, but it can be stressful seeing all this in the news and so it distracts your from your work and general enjoyment of life.
1. Keep an eye on what's happening in your company
If you’re a platform that sells paid ad space and the government announces plans that they will create HUGE difficulties to running paid ads, then you’ve got to be aware of how this will impact your role and company.
Do some basic research and start looking at how to future proof your position and solve it, or perhaps look at other potential companies.
2. Always be learning and skilling up
Not only will this help to raise your current salary and value to your current company, but it will also increase your opportunities if you need to move roles. Or something we always recommend doing is skill stacking. Combining different skillsets.
- Programming + Marketing
- Design + Programming
- Marketing + SEO
3. Build a runaway
Finally, I feel like your parents here, but try to live within your means and save a percentage of your income.
This will give you some runway to work with if you need to move jobs or even cities. A good rule of thumb is to have enough saved to cover your daily expenses for 2-3 months or so. More is better but this is a good chunk of time and breathing room.
What to do if layoffs have been announced
So your company has started letting people go from certain divisions and yours might be next.
Here’s what to do if it happens to you, and you get given your notice:
1. Don’t take it personally
Often layoffs are simply due to bad management, and not a reflection on you, your skills or your abilities, so try not to take it personally and be kind to yourself.
I know it’s hard to do but you need to seperate any doubts about yourself and your value, if you want to move forward.
2. Centre yourself
The worst thing that can happen is that you’re laid off and then still have to work in your role for a month.
It’s going to be very easy to start to freak out. If that's you, I highly recommend you take 5-10 minutes to learn about mindfulness and some basic meditation techniques to lower some of that stress.
3. This could be a good thing
If this is your very first tech job, you might not know this but moving companies happens a lot. In fact, moving companies to the same role is often one of the best ways to get a pay rise doing the exact same work.
Sometimes the company you’re in is limited by a set, max percentage pay rise that they can give, but can offer far more to new hires, and this happens all over. You can stay where you are for a 6% rise, or move to another company for a 30% bump!
4. Assess your current runway and needs
Figure out how long you can last. If you didn’t have a fund in place, go ahead and calculate your costs and what you have available. Simply by knowing how long you have, you can plan out a timeline and take the right actions, while also helping you have a little breathing room.
5. Take care of business
Do you have any holidays owed to you? What about any over benefits in your contract for the time you’ve worked so far? It could be that you can leave with a few months salary, but just make sure you get it.
6. Update your resume and Linkedin profile
Update your skills and details, and then let people know you’re looking for work. With the right experience and a message of your goals on Linkedin, you may even get calls from recruiters without you having to do much else.
That’s how one of our students recently got hired in his first coding role.
7. Apply for jobs now, before you leave
Don’t wait till you’re out of the role at your current company. Start applying for roles as soon as you’ve figured out what company you want to work for, and then go get them. Don’t wait till after you’ve finished up your last few weeks before applying.
It may even be that your current company is hiring for other departments, so look and apply asap.
What to do when you've been hired after a layoff
Congratulations on your new job! Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief, and then just remember those before tips that we mentioned above:
- Enjoy your new job
- Keep an eye on the industry
- Save a runway
- Continue to skill up
Coming back after layoffs can be stressful, and even feel like you have PTSD. But if you follow these steps for your day-to-day work, it can give you that peace of mind and security for whatever happens.