Surviving layoffs in tech
We've started the new year and the layoff news just keeps hitting. In April 2023, I was laid off from my product management role that I had just relocated to Berlin for, barely 4 months earlier. I'm still in the process of interviewing for a role. I did have some life things to sort through during this time that made applying to roles really difficult so I had some very limited criteria when the time came. Here's a few things that have helped me through the last 9 to 10 months.
Take a brief break #
The immediate pressure to start looking and applying for new roles is going to be intense. Take a day, take a week, or take a longer period of time to settle your mind. For me, I tried jumping back in and quickly realized I just wasn't in the right headspace to interview. My confidence was shot and I was exhausted. This will also help you ensure you're clear about where you want to go next. It's 100% okay to take a break.
What's the plan? #
Get clear on your plan, your goals, and what's important to you. If you have a partner, talk through your plans and get clear on what it is you want to be doing. Whether it's taking an extended break, pivoting to a new career path, wanting to spend more time on hobbies...have a plan. I've struggled with not having a full-time gig at times. I would have a full on anxiety attack and a combination of remembering what the plan is and having a wildly supportive husband has been key. Having a north star to reorient yourself can be helpful. It's also a great time to figure out what it is you want in your next role. What kind of company values are important? What kind of work? Figuring this out so you can be strategic about where you apply helps the process and gives purpose to applying.
Make sure you take care of you #
Job hunting right now is overwhelming. There have been so many tech layoffs and seeing a position you want to apply for on LinkedIn with 900+ applications is disheartening. I've never submitted so many applications and had so many interviews before. It is rough right now. Job hunting is a full time job but if you start to get overwhelmed - take a break and chill from applying for a day.
Use your network #
My most successful interactions have been with tapping into my network and getting a referral. Don't be afraid to ask for help. I don't like feeling like a burden but my close network wants to help me succeed. Ask for help!
Get outside #
Remember to step away from the screen. Go for a walk - it really actually does help.
Be kind to yourself. You aren't a bad person because you were laid off, and I truly and fully believe something better comes next. But you need to take care of you first!