Has the tech job bubble burst? There’s still hope, jobseekers.

·4 min read

Jobs in tech have always had a "land of Oz" glow about them, especially during the pandemic when so many career pivoters looked to the tech industry as a path to finally get higher pay and better benefits.

But with layoffs mounting at companies like Netflix, Better, Klarna, Peloton, and others, can jobseekers still be hopeful about a role in an industry that’s clearly going through some challenges? In short, yes.

Sure, some layoffs are happening.

May was particularly brutal for the industry, with more job cuts in the technology and fintech industries than in the entire rest of the year put together, according to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. More than 4,000 tech jobs were axed in May — a 10-fold increase compared with the 459 jobs cut in the first four months of 2022. And over 1,600 fintech jobs were cut in May, compared with 440 in January through April.

Hiring freezes are occurring, too, such as Meta (FB) and Nvidia (NVDA) recently announcing hiring slowdowns, among others.

Unemployed Tired or stressed businessman sitting on the walkway after work Stressed businessman concept
(Photo: Getty Creative)

But it’s important to know why layoffs are happening. Context is everything when it comes to layoffs, and many experts seem to agree that this kind of course correction in tech was long overdue. The pandemic fundamentally altered the economy and while tech firms saw huge interest in their products while everyone sheltered in place, many firms have had disappointing starts to 2022 as Americans return to somewhat normalcy — including our shopping habits (those “stimmies” have long since dried up after all).

And, as Yahoo’s Myles Udland writes, “a slowdown in hiring across the U.S. economy is the explicit goal of both the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve as policymakers work to bring down inflation down from 40-year highs.”

The good news? There’s still a lot for jobseekers to be excited about. Some firms may be cooling down hiring but overall U.S. employers added 390,000 jobs in May, above analyst expectations, and the unemployment rate was just 3.6%.

“Despite concerns of a slowdown, this doesn’t look like a labor market about to tip into recession,” wrote Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor’s senior economist. As Zhao notes, even as some firms have had layoffs, the tech sector actually added more jobs than it appears to have cut — information companies added 16,000 jobs and professional and technical services added 48,200 jobs in May.

And jobs site Indeed announced that job postings are still 55.7% higher than they were pre-pandemic baseline and new job postings were up 78.4%.

Portrait of young beautiful woman employee getting fired from work. Female walks through the office, carrying box with personal belongings. Business, firing and job loss concept
(Photo: Getty Creative)

The reality is layoffs are always a risk factor when you work in Corporate America. That’s why it’s incredibly important to create professional resiliency if you ever happen to be on the chopping block yourself.

Here's what you can do.

Don’t wait till you’re laid off to job hunt

There’s nothing wrong with taking interviews and getting to know recruiters in your field. You’ll be ahead of the game if you wind up looking for work down the line.

Bring your A game

Jobs in tech are still incredibly competitive, so practice your interview skills and get ready for a long haul if you’re going for competitive jobs. If you haven’t heard of the STAR interview framework, get familiar with it and practice before you interview.

Keep your professional network active

These are the very same people who may be able to help you find new work if your job is cut. Referrals can be a huge boon to a job application in competitive fields.

Optimize your LinkedIn page to attract recruiter attention for the jobs you want.

Look for keywords in the job description you want to make sure they appear on your profile. Turn on the “open to work” feature as well so recruiters know you are interested in new opportunities. Additionally, invest in new skills and education that makes you more appealing to hiring managers.

And finally, keep a few months’ worth of emergency funds handy in case of layoffs.

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Mandi Woodruff is an inclusive wealth-building and career expert, cohost of the Brown Ambition Podcast and founder of the MandiMoney Makers community.

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