What’s Behind the Big Tech Layoffs. Skills to Keep Your Job
The tech industry is booming, and with it comes an ever-growing demand for talented workers. However, this growth has not come without its costs, as we have seen in the recent wave of tech layoffs. During the last 2 quarters of 2022, tech companies like Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, IBM, and Twitter (amid all the controversy) have announced and executed layoffs totaling tens of thousands of employees.
This has left many people wondering: why are tech companies laying off so many workers? And more importantly, how can you avoid being one of the unlucky ones? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind these layoffs and offer tips on staying at the top of your game during a tough time. Stay tuned!
A massive layoff like the one we are witnessing now seems odd after the Great Resignation was the big talk of 2021. Just 2 years ago, the tech industry was booming and tech companies were hiring in droves. So, why is tech suddenly downsizing?
First, as with any other industry, tech has its ups and downs. The tech market is cyclical and tech companies adjust their headcount according to the current demand. However, besides the usual business cycle, we can assume the tech industry is reshaping its approach to its workforce, hence the future of tech!
New Trends in Tech: The Future of IT
The tech industry is taking a different approach to the workforce, prioritizing automation and digital transformation. This technology-driven revolution is here to stay and tech companies are beginning to adjust their workforce accordingly. Instead of hiring more staff for certain positions. For example, tech companies are opting for machine learning and artificial intelligence to fulfill tasks that were previously done by humans.
Let’s review some of these state-of-art trends:
Automation, AI, and Cloud Computing
Automation, in particular, is being used more and more by tech companies to replace manual labor. AI, on the other hand, is becoming a powerful tool that tech companies use to increase efficiency and productivity. Finally, cloud computing has been adopted as a new standard for tech companies due to its cost-effectiveness and scalability.
- Automation is the process of delegating tasks from humans to machines.
- AI, or “artificial intelligence”, allows computer systems to learn and replicate human behavior.
- Cloud computing enables tech companies to access data and resources quickly, instead of buying expensive hardware infrastructures.
Other tech trends include data science, edge computing, virtual reality, blockchain technology, and more. All these tech solutions are becoming the norm for tech companies that want to stay competitive in today’s market.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The tech industry is also embracing the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to a network of physical devices embedded with software and sensors that connect to the internet and can communicate with each other.
In only 3 years, there will be over 152,000 internet-connected devices per minute!
The IoT technology enables tech companies to collect data, automate processes, and track customer behavior. This technology has a big potential for tech companies to improve their products and services, as well as create new ones.
Do you have any idea of how much tech is using biometric data to execute transactions, grant access, and verify identities? It is almost impossible to overestimate it!
According to Cisco Duo’s 2022 Trusted Access Report, only in phones, the percentage of devices with built-in biometrics capabilities, such as fingerprint scanning, has remained steady at around 81 percent in the last year. Biometrics are becoming more and more important in tech companies. These solutions allow tech companies to ensure the safety of their customers’ data and build trust with their users.
Safeguarding user data is a top priority for tech companies
This means tech companies are investing more in cybersecurity and privacy measures to ensure the safety of their customers’ information. Sensors and other tech devices are becoming more trusted, as tech companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect and respond to threats quickly.
Big Data Analytics
Most of the tech company’s success depends on its ability to leverage data. Big tech companies are investing heavily in big data analytics as they strive to get the most out of their customer information and improve user experience.
Netflix is one of the main examples of a tech company that is using big data to its advantage. Netflix uses big data analysis to detect and respond quickly to customer demands, delivering a more personal experience and boosting loyalty
How? Look below!
Analytical insights derived from big data can help tech businesses make better decisions that ultimately affect their bottom line. Companies are leveraging analytics to identify trends, processes, and customer preferences. Analyzing data can help tech companies create smarter products, better customer experiences, and provide better service.
This sounds awesome. Yet, what if you are not exactly an expert on these trends?
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What Does This Mean for Your Job? Surviving a Tech Layoff
Big tech companies are continuously investing in tech solutions that can boost efficiency and productivity. This means tech companies may continue to experience a wave of layoffs in the upcoming years. However, how can you ensure you are not surfing that wave? Keep reading as we are telling you!
Constant Learning: GOLDEN RULE!
If you watched Hidden Figures, you can remember how Dorothy Vaughan wasn’t allowed to be replaced by the new IBM computers. She took the initiative to learn how to use them, and she became an expert on FORTRAN programming, by herself.
On top of that, Dorothy took with her the whole team. She really said: It’s all or nothing! Dorothy Vaughan became the first Afro-American woman to supervise a team in the Langley Research Center at NASA. Afterward, she became the head of programming for the Analysis and Computation Division (ACD) at Langley.
In the frame above, you can see a snippet of the movie Hidden Figures when Dorothy takes the whole team with her! If you haven’t watched the movie, we highly recommend you do so as Hidden Figures is based on a true story.
In the early 1960s, Dorothy Vaughan saw the potential for computers and taught herself and her staff how to program in Fortran
This prepared them for the upcoming introduction of computers at NASA. As well, the story follows Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson, the human calculator who made the calculations that assisted the flight path for NASA’s first manned space mission in 1962.
The lesson? In tech, you need to stay ahead of the trends or you become obsolete. Take the time to understand what your tech company is investing in, read tech-related articles, watch tech videos about new tech trends, and attend tech events and web conferences. Don’t stay behind!
Reskilling and Upskilling
In one of our blog posts, we talked about the need for reskilling. You can read it here. Reskilling is one of the top strategies you can apply to keep yourself valuable as the demand for certain tech roles changes frequently. If you are looking to stay at the top of your game, consider that reskilling and upskilling will be critical.
- Reskilling helps employees update their skill set so they can move to a new job within the company and still be an asset.
- Upskilling involves teaching employees new skills or enhancing their current abilities.
In tech, the competition is tough and tech companies are looking for tech candidates with specific skills. This means tech workers should look at opportunities to reskill or upskill themselves by taking online courses, attending technical workshops and seminars, or even pursuing a degree in tech if they don’t hold one.
As well, tech workers need to make sure that their skills are up-to-date with tech industry standards and best practices. With this in mind, tech companies can maximize their business opportunities and remain competitive in their industry.
Don’t Forget about Soft Skills
Most think the IT industry is just about numbers, coding, and complex algorithms. While in part this is true, tech positions are much more than that! In fact, a bit of old research published in 1918 by the Carnegie Foundation, stated that 85% of job success is determined by interpersonal skills while only 15% comes from technical knowledge.
This may come as a shock, but one-hundred research is still valid nowadays. In LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89% of recruiters said that when a hire doesn’t work out, it’s usually because the candidate lacks soft skills.
Show Your Value
The hard truth is that the chances of being laid off if you work for a department that costs money, instead of one that creates revenue for the company are high! Thus, it is important to consistently show your value to your tech company. Especially, if you acquired a desirable, special skill that could be useful for your tech company.
You always should be communicating with tech teams about project challenges and successes, clearly demonstrating the results of tech projects, and attending tech team meetings
Another way to demonstrate your value is by networking in the tech community and sharing knowledge on tech forums or events when possible. Also, it is important to maintain a positive attitude and make sure that tech project processes are running smoothly. You can do this by identifying tech problems and tech solutions, advocating for tech best practices, and suggesting tech improvements when possible.
Just In Case: Update Your CV
Tech companies tend to lay off tech workers regularly, and tech layoffs are still a part of the tech industry. Therefore, tech workers should be prepared in case they are laid off. Having an updated tech resume is essential for tech professionals who want to stay at the top of the game when facing a layoff.
Update your tech skills and experiences, include tech projects you have worked on, list any tech certifications or awards you may have earned, and make sure your tech resume is up-to-date with the latest tech trends
Start with writing a tech resume with clear tech job descriptions and tech skills that you have acquired over time. As well, make sure your tech resume includes relevant tech keywords and tech industry terms. And also, don’t forget to write your achievements in detail. This will help recruiters know what makes you set you apart!
A Layoff Is Not Your Fault
When big tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft announced tech layoffs in early 2022 across several business units and various tech roles, many tech workers were impacted by this decision, some expected it while others were fully taken by surprise. No matter what the situation is, tech workers should remember layoff is not always a tech workers’ fault.
In most cases, tech layoffs are part of restructuring plans or due to economic downturns. Therefore tech workers should understand that tech layoffs can be out of their control and take it as an opportunity for growth and development – to learn something new, such as tech skills or soft skills. Consider it as taking a leap of faith and either, you try something new such as changing tech fields or pursuing an advanced degree in tech.
It is important to remember that tech layoffs can be an opportunity for growth and development, where tech workers can use the time as an opportunity to invest in themselves and acquire tech-related skills or experience that could help them land a new job, in case they end up getting laid off.
By understanding why tech companies lay off tech workers, tech workers can start to prepare themselves by staying on top of their tech knowledge and tech skills. Moreover, tech workers should remember that a tech layoff is not their fault and use this situation as a prospect for a career jump. With the right attitude and mindset, tech professionals can find success in uncertain times by staying at the top of their game!
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-The Monitask Team
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