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Tech layoffs are back: what does it mean for your job?

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Following a series of high-profile, brutal layoffs in 2022 and 2023, job cuts are making an unwelcome return to the tech sector. Although the rounds of redundancies haven’t come as thick and fast in Q1 of 2024 as they did last year, the effect is still destabilizing and has led some commentators to expect more of the same for the rest of this year. 

All of this comes on the heels of a period of optimism, when it looked like a global recession had been side-stepped and there was reason to believe the tech layoffs of previous years had done their job and shored up the sector. 

Instead, the U.S. has been the worst hit––more than 179,000 workers lost their jobs in tech in 2023 and so far this year, that figure is already over 40,000, according to

So why does it feel like groundhog day now?

Stubborn market conditions is one oft-cited reason, which is another way of saying that companies simply aren’t meeting their bottom line. A pivot from a post-Covid growth mindset to an efficiency position––code for cutbacks––is, the companies say, at the heart of most of these moves.

When sales cycles slow down, as they have, budgets tighten and a company’s tolerance for risk hits the floor. At this point, firms begin to offload workers they were sure they needed back when talent was thinner on the ground and everyone was battling for the best people to grow their businesses.

Or at least, that’s the official position. On the other hand, there’s also some speculation that tech companies are not merely correcting for pandemic-era over-employment in a market ruled by high fuel costs, the impact of war, inflation and high interest rates. 

Rather, some tech firms are suspected of subtly shedding humans in a move towards AI-powered models, as potentially demonstrated by the fact that Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees around the same time it announced plans to invest $10 billion in OpenAI. 

When tech’s biggest players lost people earlier this year, the cuts were smaller and more targeted, rather than aimed at bloat-reduction. Making room for AI appears to be the logic behind it.

For this reason, AI-related roles promise to be more robust, at least in the short to medium-term. And conversely, roles that an algorithm can do easily are on the chopping block. Data analysts, non-specialist software developers and generic IT support: take note.

Other arguments state that layoffs are a malign strategy designed to weaken a tech labor force that is beginning to unionize more than ever before. Big tech workers––the legions at Google, Meta, TikTok, Twitter/X and Microsoft––have been as vulnerable as those in less mature firms. 

If you work in tech, whether you can ever get comfortable these days remains open to debate. Tech firms tend to hire en masse and in waves - chances are if you get thrown overboard, you’ll catch the next wave not too far down the road. But there are tangible things to consider.

Up your ROI (return on investment) 

Knowing you’re an asset is step one. Increasing your value as an asset is the rest. Bear in mind that 70% of employers think creative thinking is the number one skill they want in an employee, so work on polishing that part of your persona. Find out what your employer values most on paper, then show them that side of you. 

Befriend AI 

AI, as one of the reasons behind tech layoffs, is an area to brush up on; pivot your skillset towards using tools companies will rely on to automate their processes, and you’ll buy yourself more time on the payroll.

Show up

Finally, bear in mind that remote working is now seen as a worker perk, and not a plus among employers, so turning up at the office more gives you the superpower of visibility at a time when all of your colleagues are at home, remote-working behind Zoom screens.

Dive into the nextpit Job Board today to uncover the perfect role you've been searching for.

Senior Fullstack Engineer, American Express, Phoenix

At Amex, the Senior Fullstack Engineer leads the technical side of software development for assigned projects, including their design, development of prototypes, and coding assignments. You’ll be head of an agile team, contribute to software builds and head up code reviews and automated testing. This role pays between $110,000 and $190,000 depending on experience. Find out more about working at American Express, and apply online here

Operations Manager, External Games, Netflix, Los Angeles

Netflix Games Studio in Los Angeles, California, is pioneering Netflix's venture into video games and is looking for an Operations Manager. You will oversee gaming development, delivering on time and as efficiently as possible. Collaboration across internal teams and with third-party services will be key and as well as managerial experience, your AAA software developer game should be strong. For the most experienced candidate, this is an incredibly well paid position. Find out if you’d be a good fit now.

Database Engineer, Boeing Intelligence & Analytics, Annapolis Junction, MD

A $10,000 sign-on bonus is part of the deal for the new Database Engineer at Boeing in Maryland. Developing new database systems will be day-to-day, as well as optimizing the performance of Oracle databases for optimal performance, and creating software for data and ETL operations. This role has a strong focus on national security, and the salary is highly competitive at $210,000 to $235,000. FInd out more about the requirements and conditions for this role here.

Don't wait for your ideal job to find you – take back control by exploring the nextpit Job Board today. This article was written by Dara Flynn.

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