It’s a dark time to be a tech worker right now


The tech industry, once renowned for its stability and employee perks, is facing scrutiny as companies like PayPal, Cisco, and Amazon announce layoffs, impacting thousands of workers. Reports indicate nearly 300,000 job losses in the tech sector over the past year. Additionally, even those who remain employed have experienced cutbacks in benefits and increased work demands. Previously attractive tech giants like Google have scaled back on perks such as free meals, massages, and team events. 

The pandemic has contributed to these changes, but some alterations appear to be permanent. Moreover, companies like Meta are emphasizing efficiency, leading to significant workforce reductions and increased performance expectations. Former and current tech employees have expressed concern about the industry's shift, with some viewing the once coveted tech jobs as less appealing due to various factors, including the influence of late-stage capitalism. Social media and online forums have become platforms for individuals to share their uncertainties about the state of the tech sector and the dwindling allure of formerly sought-after tech jobs. This challenging landscape is exemplified by personal accounts, such as a former tech worker who shared his struggle with unemployment after being laid off.  

On Reddit, another laid-off employee by the username Catgut66, said they were fired after their employer outsourced quality assurance after 13 years. They wrote on Reddit that they are feeling the stress of having to find a new job to support their family.

“I am lying in bed thinking about family and freaking the F out! Wife makes shit for money so everything is on my shoulders,” they wrote.

Even after hundreds of thousands of layoffs, Brent Thill, a Jefferies analyst specializing in the tech sector, told the Financial Times that the layoffs will continue, and could get worse. As companies see other organizations do more with a leaner workforce, Thill added, they could choose to lay off workers as well.

 “It’s become contagious,” he said.

 Bert Bean, the CEO of Insight Global, emphasizes the value of "grit" as the top soft skill employers seek in candidates. He believes that demonstrating a strong work ethic is crucial for success in any role, regardless of academic qualifications. Employers are looking for individuals who can work hard, especially in the current challenging business environment.

Bean values candidates who exhibit characteristics of grit such as humility in the face of failure, adaptability to changing demands, and passion for their work. During interviews, employers may assess a candidate's grit by asking about past challenges, career goals, and their ability to handle high-pressure situations.

Bean recommends that if interviewees haven't yet demonstrated their grittiness, they should take the opportunity to highlight their strong work ethic before the interview concludes. He encourages candidates to talk about their work ethic and perseverance, as he believes that many candidates do not sufficiently express these qualities in interviews, and employers appreciate hearing about a candidate's commitment to hard work.  

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