How to Survive a Tech Layoff

Published: 2023-11-02

Written by: Jessica Wilkins

5 min read




mental health

2023: A Year of Layoffs

The year 2023 has been really difficult in tech and lots of talented individuals have been laid off from their jobs. On top of that, we have a lot of eager individuals looking to get into this industry and discouraged about their prospects.

In August 2023, I was laid off from my job as a software engineer. Even though I was able to land on my feet again, the whole process did teach me a few things and gave me empathy for those who are still looking for work.

In this blog post, I wanted to write about my experience and share some tips for anyone else who might be going through the same thing.

Reaching out to friends and family

The day before I was laid off, I noticed a sudden meeting placed on my work calendar. I found it odd, but figured it would be explained in the meeting.

When the meeting rolled around, my manager had logged on and then my boss logged on too. At this point, I could feel that something was off and knew that it probably wasn’t going to be good news. My boss then proceeded to tell me that I was being laid off and I immediately started thinking about my next steps.

After the meeting ended, I called my mom and told her what happened. We ended up talking for 45 minutes and she was sympathetic and supportive. I also ended up posting in a couple of Slack channels of tight-knit communities that I’m a part of and received a lot of support from them as well.

My first piece of advice for all going through this is to reach out to your friends and family. They will be able to provide you with the emotional support that you need during this time. Please do not try to go through this alone. 🙏🏾

Assessing your finances and budget

One of the tough parts of being laid off is dealing with an uncertain financial future. In my situation, I was fortunate to land on my feet but I know that this isn’t the case for everyone. I also know what it is like to be worried about what next month is going to bring.

When I was a musician there were plenty of times in my early career where I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay all of my bills. I remember having to borrow money from my mom and feeling ashamed about it. Those were some really tough times and it unfortunately brought about mental health issues.

If you have been laid off recently, I would encourage you to take a look at your finances and see what you can do to cut back on expenses. I know that this might be difficult, but it will help to give you some peace of mind. ❤️

Take some time to process

The weekend following my layoff, I took some time to process what had happened. I decided to take a break from the computer and get out of the house. I drove down to Burbank and went shopping and met up with friends. This helped me to take my mind off of things and to just relax.

I know that for some of you, this might not be possible, but I would encourage you to take some time to process what has happened. You might be feeling a lot of different emotions and it’s important to acknowledge them and to not try to push them away. Even just a few days can help you to get into a better headspace.

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile

A lot of us struggle to keep our resumes and LinkedIn profiles up to date. It is really easy to get caught up in the daily grind of your job and neglect these things. I know that I was guilty of this.

But if you are unexpectedly laid off, you will want to have these things ready to go. You don’t want to be scrambling to update your resume and LinkedIn profile while you are looking for a new job.

Before you leave the company, make sure to reach out to your manager and ask them for metrics on the things that you worked on. You will want to be able to quantify your accomplishments and show the impact that you had on the company.

Also, make sure to reach out to colleagues and ask for recommendations on Linkedin. This will help to boost your profile and show that you are a valuable employee.

Reach out to your network

A few days after the layoff, I posted to Twitter and tons of people responded and re-shared the post. I also received a lot of DMs from people who were offering to help me out. I was surprised by the amount of support that I received.

In the end, I was grateful to be able to start working full-time with freeCodeCamp. It has been a great experience and I’m excited about the work that I’m doing.

But I think without my network, it would have made this whole experience seem so much lonelier and harder. I would encourage you to reach out to your network and let them know that you are looking for work. You never know who might be able to help you out.


2023 has been a tough year for everyone in Tech. I know that a lot of people have been laid off and are struggling to find work. But I wanted to share my experience of being laid off and some tips that helped me to get through it. I hope that this post was helpful and I wish you all the best of luck in your job search. 🙏🏾