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Who Gets Cut In A Mass Tech Company Layoff?

After a layoff, some will be cut and the rest will survive. This begs the question: Who gets cut? There is a lot of misinformation about how these decisions are made, so this video goes over how this extremely painful process actually works.

Here are the core points:

  • Layoffs vary heavily based on company - There is no standard when it comes to layoffs, and different companies value different things. There is no such silver bullet that will protect you 100% from layoffs.
  • Potential layoff factors (remember, there are exceptions to all of these):
    • Performance - High-performers will be preserved over low-performers
    • Org priority - Higher revenue orgs will be preserved over loss makers
    • Seniority - Senior engineers will be preserved over more junior engineers
    • Tenure - Engineers with deep domain expertise will be preserved over newbies who are still learning the ropes
  • For most people, layoffs are effectively random - At the end of the day, layoffs are almost always made by executives with very incomplete information. You can be a consistent high-performing software engineer who is a 10-year company veteran and still get cut. Do your best and keep your expectations realistic.

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