Career and Jobs

Layoffs Aren’t The End Of The World. Here’s How To Land Your Next Gig

Companies and their constellations of managers, employees, investors and boards love the word “growth.”

Growth means expansion and more funding. It means hiring up and scaling output. It leads to fun office perks and big bonuses. It signals success, and which company doesn’t want to brag about that?

We’re now seeing that the overambitious growth at startups and established tech giants alike — Microsoft
MSFT
, Google
GOOG
, Amazon
AMZN
, and Meta — has a human toll.

MORE FROM FORBESHow The Wave Of Layoffs Shifts Power Dynamics

This hiring-and-firing dynamic has ensnared 160,000 workers who were laid off from tech companies last year and an estimated 46,000 more workers who received their digital pink slips via Zoom, Slack and email this month.

Job cuts show no sign of slowing down as companies navigate a combination of high interest rates, diminished profits, a pullback in investments and a lagging economy. So we’ve compiled expert advice from our contributors on how to burnish your resume, hone your soft skills and land a new job quickly.

Highlight Soft Skills

Despite the sustained gloomy outlook, tech workers can still leverage both hard and soft skills, writes Future of Work expert Sarah Doody. “Regardless of your role at a tech company, your skills and expertise are valuable and can transfer to many other industries,” she writes. “Just because your last job was at a tech company, that doesn’t mean you can’t get hired in another sector, and maybe even with a salary increase.”

MORE FROM FORBESLaid Off From A Tech Company? 3 Ways To Find A Tech Job In A Different Industry

Skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, team work and worth ethic should not be overlooked — “they can often be the difference between you receiving job interviews and offers or not,” Doody writes.

Offering actionable advice on how to highlight these skills, she says to start first with asking colleagues and close friends for feedback.

MORE FROM FORBESAffected By The 2023 Tech Layoffs? Leverage Your Soft Skills To Get Hired In Another Industry

Sell Yourself Even If It’s Hard

Selling yourself might not come naturally, but it’s a necessary part of landing a new job, Doody writes. Instead of repeating that famous mantra, “always be closing,” better to think of how to “always be connecting,” she advises.

“If marketing is about ensuring people know about you and what you have to offer you, then sales is about ensuring they connect the dots and see enough value in the product or service to actually buy it,” she writes.

MORE FROM FORBESHow To Sell Yourself In Your Job Search

Look For The Silver Linings

Layoffs could be a boon for non-tech companies looking for skilled tech workers, writes Leadership Strategy expert Gleb Tsipursky. These companies “can gain a competitive advantage by offering a positive company culture and opportunities for career growth,” he writes. “This can help attract top talent who may be looking for a more stable and secure work environment.”

MORE FROM FORBESThe Silver Lining Of Tech Layoffs

While Leadership Strategy expert Caterina Bulgarella warned of the real costs of layoffs to the workers left still standing, Tsipursky says companies can use the shake-up as an opportunity to reevaluate culture and values.

After a tech company went through a recent round of layoffs, it “led to a more positive and productive work environment for the remaining team members, which in turn led to an increase in employee retention,” he writes in his latest post.

MORE FROM FORBESTech Layoffs Are An Opportunity To Build A Resilient Tech Team

Make Your Next Move

Laid off or not, regardless of industry or position or title, employees’ careers will always undergo transitions and changes, writes Careers contributor Joseph Liu. It always helps to take a breath, slow down and assess.

MORE FROM FORBESWhat To Do If You’re Laid Off Or Thinking About Quitting

“Regardless of the cause, transitions often open up a mix of personal and practical challenges that range from clarifying exactly what’s next to rewriting your cover letter and resume,” he notes.

“Successfully managing any professional transition involves first reflecting on where things stand in your career, then taking concrete action to make your professional ambitions a reality.”

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