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Aftermath of layoffs?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community2 years ago

Feeling so bad for ex-colleagues, lost trust in leadership, don’t know when the next round of layoffs are. How do I gain motivation to start working like before?



  • 33
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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago

    This is an interesting (and good) question, thanks for asking! I think it goes to show how much the landscape has changed and how this will affect different "generations" of the tech industry differently. I know a lot of people who joined the industry in the past 5 years, including my mentees, who have never seriously thought about layoffs before. This was especially true if they went to FAANG companies straight out of school. And well, now they need to think about it, and that's an overwhelming mentality shift.

    For me on the other hand, I have been exposed to layoffs constantly:

    1. My dad is a software engineer and has been laid off before/survived many layoffs.
    2. During my main internship, I saw 10% of the company get laid off.
    3. Halfway into my time at PayPal (my first job out of school), I saw 10% of the company get laid off after it split off from eBay.

    That being said, I have 2 core pieces of advice here:

    1. Acceptance - Layoffs are simply a part of corporate life. There will always be companies that overhire, and the market will always have surprises in store for us, especially now. This is a macro-trend we simply cannot change and must deal with. Once we accept that, we can stop fixating on it and move on to more positive things (covered in the next point).
    2. Find a pure career goal - If you tie your self-worth to your compensation, company brand, level, or just being employed at all, you're going to have a lot of anxiety as layoffs threaten all of that. Those are all important of course, but I believe that it's more healthy to have those be more secondary career goals. In terms of your primary career goal, it should be something more idealistic and aspirational. For example, my overall career goal is to "Leave a positive impact on as many people's lives as possible". I did this by mentoring engineers back at Meta and Robinhood, building free side projects loved by millions of people, and now I'm carrying on this mission with Taro. Something as pure as helping others can be done regardless of what company you work at and whether you're working a day-job at all. I also recommend watching this Taro Premium Session where DoorDash Staff Engineer Seed Zeng talks more about healthy career goals.

    This is all easier than done of course, but one of the most powerful things you can do for your career is to make your mentality more resilient and positive. Community helps a lot figuring all this out and finding solidarity, and luckily for you, you're part of one of the best tech communities around with Taro Premium.

  • 35
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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that if you're working at a reputable company like Meta or Stripe, you will almost certainly get a very healthy severance package that should be enough to carry you to the next opportunity (of course, this is much trickier if you're on an employment visa or something). This will allow you to either double-dip by finding a job before it runs out or give you some time to relax, clear your mind, have some fun, and do some soul searching.

    Life is a constant roller coaster. The ride is more fun when you believe in your own ability to pick yourself up and see everything as a door to your next opportunity.

  • 10
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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 years ago

    I really like Alex's answer. My philosophical answer boils down to understanding (1) why do you do what you do and (2) what can you control?

    • For 1, many of us choose to work in tech through some combination of the compensation, the interesting work, or the colleagues. Despite the sad state of the layoffs in the industry, do some of these still ring true for you? Focus on that.
    • For 2, reflect on how much control you have over the situation? If you're like 99%+ of employees, the answer is probably, very little. So in that case, there's no point getting anxious about something you can't control. The question of whether to stay at your current company or leave is one that you've answered before, I'd evaluate it in the same way.