marzipan in  
Software Engineer  

How I'd navigate a job search in today's environment amidst all the layoffs

Having been through a few layoffs, I'm just highlighting how I dealt with it and my route to finding a new job. Of course my circumstances may be different from yours, but this is just my perspective and experience which I'm reposting to help folks out.

Here goes:

1) Take a deep breath, you're alive. Heart's beating. You'll live and you'll figure this thing out, just like you've figured every single other thing out up until now. Not your fault, poor leadership decisions.

2) Figure out finances. Find out how much severance you'll receive and if there's any other benefits coming with your package. How many months are you looking at to be able to find your next job? Message HR if there's anything missing from your next steps. Even if you get minimal severance: you just got laid off. Ask HR if you could get reimbursed for any career preparation tools and services. Don't be afraid to do this. There's a reason they won't do it in bulk, but one off they can accommodate.

3) Watch a movie, relax! For a few days. Don't let the news eat up your mind. Keep your spirits up and enjoy funemployment.

4) Grind time. Brush up your resume, and start warming up your LinkedIn and other profiles. As an engineer, I started LeetCoding and got my company to reimburse the subscription especially given my severance was only for 2 weeks.

5) I created a list of companies I wanted to apply to ordered by preference. Compensation was a big deal for me given my family, so I used levels a lot. I started applying to these companies while I was still preparing, but in reverse order with my least preference first, so I can use them as practice interviews. Even if you don't know anyone at these companies, reach out to people on LinkedIn and mention that you got laid off to try and get a referral. People will be willing to help.

6) Once you're more ready for actual interviews and depending on your comfort level, post publicly about how you got laid off. Avoid mentioning anything negative about your previous employer, it can come back to bite you. Stay positive, but mention that you're excited for your next opportunity and open to intros. You can attract a lot of attention and get a lot of inbound reach outs which can help a lot. I was really surprised how effective a simple LinkedIn post was.

7) Go into your interviews confidently and practice communicating clearly. Put energy into your conversations with everyone you meet on the team. A lot of people are getting laid off, and not as many companies are hiring right now. You really have to differentiate yourself by being more excited, demonstrating your skills as best as possible, and ensuring that you are a fit at the company. (Companies will almost never nick you for being laid off, but they can nick you for not being a culture fit)

8) All this said, don't forego your preferences for where to work just because you're out of a job. Keep applying and select the flavors you want to work with, don't just apply to everything and be desperate. You know your value and skills, intelligently apply to where your interests, skills, and other factors align the best. Once again, start from the bottom of the list and go up.

9) You'll land some offers 🎉 Trust yourself, you WILL get them! I thought I wouldn't and I did, so just trust the process. Once you do, don't get too excited and just sign the first thing you get. Think about things, be patient and use the allotted time they give you. Negotiate your offer too, just because you don't have a job right now doesn't mean you can't command your worth. Worst case, they don't budge on numbers.

10) Sign the best offer. Congrats, you've made it all the way through once you're here. And trust me, it's not that far away. You just need to put in the effort, and you WILL get to the next opportunity.

Remember everything happens for a reason. What's meant for you will never miss you and what missed you was never meant for you.

Hope this helps, and good luck out there folks ❤️

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explorationDistributed Systems (Back-End)  
Thank you for sharing your journey with very helpful tips. I've also got laid off so I'm still preparing but not sure how to go about it so I have some follow up questions: 1. In creating your list of target companies, what was your criteria and which source sites did you use? 2. Are most of your job applications done through referrals or through recruiters/agencies? 3. If you applied directly to companies, did you have to create custom CVs for each instead of using a generic/common CV for your target role (e.g. Sr. Backend Software Dev)? If so, did you use some tools to generate custom CVs to closely align with company-specific job requirements? I read some forums that company websites use ATS with some matching algorithms and filters out based on some keywords, etc. 3. Aside from practice coding with Leetcode, did you also prepare for system design interviews? May I know how you prepared for it or any tools you can recommend? 4. How long was you prep time before you finally received some job offers?