A human-first approach to bouncing back after layoffs and finding your next position.
Whether you’ve been in tech for a while and you’ve been laid off, you’re new to tech, and you got laid off because you were the first one in so now you’re the first one out: you’re not alone. Layoff cycles happen in this industry, so the good news is many people – including hiring managers – have been laid off before. So how do you represent your experience positively on your resume? Focus on your growth and your accomplishments, and be upfront about what happened – ‘my position was eliminated because of the current state of tech layoffs’
It’s not a secret that people are getting laid off. It’s not a secret that startups are slowing down and that venture money is hard to come by these days. Be honest about it, and turn it around to the positive of what you took from the position. Talk about what you learned and what you’re excited to bring to your next role.
I’ve been in this situation before, I got into a role and was there for about four months and maybe like a week. And I would say, no matter what – in your next interview, never say any negative things about your previous employer. I always have that positivity in me when I’m going into the next role.
And most times, if it’s in tech, many companies don’t even really care about how long you spend in your role because there are so many short-term contracts that go around anyway.
The biggest mistake I see people make, the number one question I’m getting lately is, how do I explain this?
But it was a business decision for your former company, you don’t need to explain that. Now you need to focus on what value are you bringing to a new organization and how your experience, no matter how brief, support their goals.
What I’m seeing a lot of lately is people are being put on performance improvement plans at a time of layoffs and they’re being put on plans they know they’re not going to succeed because there are just to many struggles within the business that are out of the employee’s control. So what happens is a lot of employees start to internalize that and it becomes imposter syndrome. So I think my biggest advice for people who are going through that right now, take some space, whatever it needs to be, work with a coach, work with a therapist, to take some space for healing. Oftentimes the way you have been laid off has been done in a way that might impact the energy you’re bringing to new conversations and a new environment. So don’t focus on the why or explaining it. before all these layoffs were happening with career gaps, the biggest mistake I see is people just go into a confessional space, especially women will do this, we think we need to be overly honest and explain.
The truth is, no one cares. Hiring managers want to make sure when they’re hiring you that they’re making a good investment and they want to understand your strengths. They want to understand the fit for the role and how your experience transfers. That’s it.