I got laid off this January, and I am trying to find guidance on finding my next job. I have almost 4 years of experience (2 FAANGs). So far I had 7 first round interviews, made it to final round on 2 (failed 5), and got one offer, which is a really big pay cut (govt job) and I have to relocate far, so I am not really wanting to take that offer.
Almost every new job opening is a pay cut, even for senior positions (I wasn’t senior). Is the market really that bad now? I’ve seen posts on Reddit and other places of people getting a job quickly after getting laid off, and not only that, it is a pay increase, which makes me feel like I am doing something wrong, since I’ve been job hunting for 4 months now. Sometimes I get demoralized after so many rejections but I keep trying every day to get better skill wise, I feel like I got laid off because I was an underperformer. Even though I was never put on disciplinary action, it did take me a lot of effort to understand and accomplish my tasks, unlike other of my coworkers, so I keep reflecting if I could have done something different.
Anyone in the same position than me or has experienced this before could give some advice? Or any comments are appreciated, thanks.
Is the market really that bad now?
Unfortunately, yes. 😢
It's effectively required to really stand out now, especially for high-quality jobs. There's a good discussion on how to do that here: "How to get interview calls?"
I’ve seen posts on Reddit and other places of people getting a job quickly after getting laid off, and not only that, it is a pay increase, which makes me feel like I am doing something wrong, since I’ve been job hunting for 4 months now.
You're not doing anything wrong, that's just survivorship bias from folks who share online. Reddit in particular is notorious for having unverified (i.e. false) stories.
Even though I was never put on disciplinary action, it did take me a lot of effort to understand and accomplish my tasks, unlike other of my coworkers, so I keep reflecting if I could have done something different.
This is actually something Taro is really built to help with! My first piece of advice here is to adjust the mentality: It's totally okay being "behind" others as long as you improve quickly. I have worked with a lot of late bloomers, many of which were my direct mentees. There's nothing wrong with really coming into it later in career.
In terms of advice to grok tasks and code faster, I recommend these:
Anyone in the same position than me or has experienced this before could give some advice?
I'm not in the same position, but maybe the right move here is to take a long break? This gives you time to mentally reset and the economy could be better by the time you return.
A good friend of mine was hit by the Google layoffs, and they have been taking a break for the past 6 months. If you were laid off by FAANG, I imagine you have some amount of financial cushion to be able to do this?
All that being said, I'm sure you're a great engineer. If you were able to work at 2 FAANG companies and write a question this detailed and thoughtful, you clearly have some skill. Don't let the layoffs get you down! 😉
At the risk of revealing my identity, I would still like to share my experience, so that you have a perspective from an ex-FAANG.
I was also affected by layoffs and I had to take > 50% paycut when I switched jobs last year. Though I got a job within a month, I think I was fortunate ( was on H1B visa )
The TC is definitely lower than what it used to be. As currently, FAANG+ are not hiring as much. I would say, take a job that pays you a decent living wage, so that you have access to health insurance, etc.
If TC is not an issue, then wait to get back into a FAANG+ Adjacent. Or else, bite the bullet and take the paycut, if the role is interesting & people seem kind.
I was recently laid off in March. It took me around 3 months to land a job with the same compensation. Thanks to the severance period, I'm able to stay in this country while being on H-1B.
My situation was a little similar in the sense that I thought that I did not do too well in my last job. Talking to Alex, while I was on the job helped me to get a good perspective on the overall scenario. So, after getting laid off, I tried to list a few things that I could have done better in that situation. I also found that given the tough situation I was put in with ever-changing leadership and no clear higher-level goals, I did everything in my power to constantly improve.
So, without being too bitter about the company and myself, keeping in mind the learning from my job, I started interviewing.
Luckily, I did not find many problems landing interviews. However, I observed that because of the market conditions, the companies have raised their bar significantly. Also, they are willing to keep the interviewed candidates waiting for weeks before they can find that "perfect" candidate. I was made to wait for 3 weeks after a couple of onsite interviews eventually getting rejected. In another instance, I was asked to share my work samples 2 weeks after the onsite interview. This time, I rejected them for being too picky (just because I had an offer in place by then).
Therefore, I would suggest setting realistic expectations for yourself and the companies. I would suggest developing a mindset of doing your part well while not caring about the results because that is anyways not in your control. I know it's easier said than done. All the best in your search and wish you good luck. :)
I am available to chat about my layoff experience further if needed.