Why layoffs at big tech firms shouldn't make you panic in your job search

For many of us, the new year is an opportunity to start fresh, whether it’s a new hobby or a new job. It’s natural to seek out challenges or make changes to improve your life.
The end of 2022 saw some of the world’s largest tech organisations reduce their workforce and this trend is still continuing well into the new year. Given how commonplace the demand for tech skills has been recently and in some aspects still is, this came as a surprise to some observers.
That’s not to say, though, that this is an unexpected development, and nor should people be put off making that leap into a new role. Given the rise in the number of jobs made available due to the pandemic, this market correction has still resulted in a higher number of tech roles than we saw pre-COVID.
Let’s look at what this means for specialists working in these roles or similar ones, as well as those looking to start their tech career.

Key insights: layoffs at big tech

  • Although some of the world’s biggest tech firms are downsizing their workforce, this is not reflective of the job market overall. 
  • Specialists who have experience in larger organisations are in demand and will continue to be. 
  • There are a range of opportunities for talent that has left these companies. 
  • Ensuring that technical skills are up to date is key to success. 

Tech layoffs are not universal – but can happen at bigger firms

Although warnings of a global recession sparked fears over job losses in technology, this first truly caught the headlines following Elon Musk’s takeover at Twitter, upon which the company let go almost 75 per cent of its workforce. While it’s not typical behaviour for CEOs, it’s meant that any subsequent exits at other tech giants have gained further traction in the news.
It’s worth remembering that, with regard to roles in tech, demand has long outweighed supply on a global scale. The need for digital infrastructure was compounded by the pandemic as remote access and communication all of a sudden became vital for many workers. As such, since 2020 there has been unprecedented demand for people with tech skills and, even though the market is correcting itself now, there are still far more jobs in the technology sector than there were three years ago.

What does the future hold?

The first thing to make clear is that there will always be opportunities for people who have left companies as large as the ones who are making the news. That experience is valuable for organisations of all sizes, and tech specialists in particular are not short of offers. If this relates to you, you can feel confident when applying to a new role.
Ensure that your CV makes this experience most prominent as it will be the aspect that’s most valued by potential employers. Although it can seem daunting, you should be prepared to speak about how you left your last role in any job interviews. Your interviewer is going to be aware of what’s happening and will be understanding, but it’s important you can demonstrate how your skills were valuable to your former employer, and how you’ve developed those ahead of your next role.
What about those of you who might be concerned about job security elsewhere? Or, perhaps, thinking about embarking on a career in tech and worried about the news? Using our unique insights into the job market across the globe, I’ve already outlined the top ten in-demand tech roles for 2023 If you’re looking for work in tech, it’s vital that your skills are up to date and you’re on top of the latest developments. To put you in the best place possible while job searching, we’ve put together a list of the top skills employers will be looking for. A willingness to learn is a huge plus point for employers as they look to fill tech roles, so make sure that you’re highlighting this skill on your CV.
We also fully recommend that you listen to our podcast series, ‘How Did You Get That Job?’, in which we speak to people who’ve enjoyed success in tech and discover how they got to where they are today. Our guests come from a variety of backgrounds and don’t always follow the typical journey in their career. We’ve heard insights to which skills are desired by potential employers, and the approach to take when progressing in your tech career.

What next?

Whether you’ve worked for a large tech organisation or you’re at an earlier stage of your career, take the above into account and see what your next step is in progressing your tech career.