Navigating The Job Search in Tech: Tips for Resilience and Success

Posted on May 23, 2024 by Bailey Crumpton. Tagged: Resources for Candidates, For Candidates, Software Development + Engineering

While job transitions are common in tech, the foundations of an otherwise stable industry have been rocked by thousands of unexpected layoffs in recent months. Fears of a recession grew in early 2023, and a perfect storm of economic pressures, including rising inflation and widespread spending cuts resulted in a surge of layoffs.

Some of the biggest names in tech with companies let go of thousands of workers, diverting resources towards essential operations and scaling back on expansion plans. Beyond tech, over 262,000 workers in the US lost their jobs in 2023 due to various factors, including the impact of the pandemic, business missteps, and over hiring.

However, despite deep cuts and a number of startups closing their doors, a true recession never hit. While RIFs continued sporadically, the unemployment rate stayed low in 2023 and has remained low in 2024 so far. For tech professionals with the right mix of skills and experience, we’re seeing there is still robust demand throughout the economy in Q2 of 2024.

Whether you're facing a layoff or seeking new opportunities for growth, the journey can be challenging. As a team who lives and breathes finding the right jobs for our candidates, we know that a combination of the right mindset and approach will help you navigate the market with resilience and come out stronger on the other side.

What Job Seekers Face in Today’s Market

236- Navigating The Job Search in Tech Tips for Resilience and Success Internal 1If you’re on the hunt for a job, we don’t need to overly state the realities of the current market. Where many tech professionals are used to being able to leave a role and move to a higher-paying position in a matter of weeks, the pace of hiring has slowed.

One of the biggest questions we get from newly unemployed tech workers is “how long will it take to secure a new role?” and the answer is unfortunately not cut and dry. Workers should prepare themselves for potentially months of search; if you’re expectation is that finding the right role does and should take time, that’s a great place to start.

Today, companies are adopting a leaner approach and focusing on optimizing their existing teams. With more careful consideration when hiring new talent, job seekers have reported salary deflation or stabilization due to the abundance of available talent and a narrower pool of remote-based jobs.

All things aside, 2024 is showing strong signs of economic recovery and outlooks are also positive. Dice reported that 82% of tech professionals predict growth over the next five years. For an industry that’s endured plenty of change, this year will be defined by continued resilience and overcoming adversity for employers and job seekers alike.

To kick-start or re-ignite your search, we’ve made an overview of advice we give to candidates looking for work…

Embrace the Process

Acknowledge Your Feelings: Facing a layoff or prolonged job search is emotionally taxing. It's okay to feel a range of emotions, including frustration, disappointment, and uncertainty. Give yourself permission to acknowledge and process these feelings and know that the current situation is not your fault.

Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself during this time of transition. Remember that setbacks are temporary, and your worth is not defined by your current employment status.

Refine Your Approach

Update Your Resume and Portfolio: Tailor your resume and portfolio to highlight your most relevant skills and experiences. Consider incorporating metrics or tangible results to demonstrate your impact in previous roles. Write your LinkedIn bio and resume geared towards jobs you’re looking for with specific details of how you’ve contributed in roles you’ve had in the past.

Expand Your Skill Set: Use this time to upskill or reskill in areas that align with industry trends and demands. Online platforms like Coursera, Udacity, Pluralsight, and LinkedIn Learning offer a plethora of courses covering various tech domains.

Network Strategically: Leverage platforms like LinkedIn to connect with industry peers, recruiters, and potential employers. Join relevant groups and make comments on posts from people and companies that interest you to expand your network and what’s visible on your feed.

We’ve seen an uptick in positive LinkedIn posts, people helping others by reposting the profiles of people seeking new work. Tech professionals should be sure to advocate for others as they’d want to be advocated for, and we really have seen a certain multiplier effect where people have landed good jobs because of that positive activity,”

-Dave Bacon, BWBacon Group CEO

Stay Persistent

Follow Up With Intention: After submitting applications or interviews, don't hesitate to circle back with hiring managers or recruiters. A polite and concise follow-up email demonstrates your continued interest in the role and is a great time to ask further questions you may have or provide additional availability for follow up interviews.

Seek Feedback: If you receive rejection emails or no response at all, consider reaching out to ask for feedback. Constructive criticism can provide valuable insights to refine your approach in future applications. While it may be uncomfortable, it could provide the insights you need to rock your next opportunity.

Engage with the Community

Attend a Mix of Virtual and In Person Events: Sign up for virtual tech conferences, webinars, and workshops to stay updated on industry trends and connect with professionals in your field. Platforms like Meetup and Eventbrite host a variety of in person tech-related events, which is still the best way to meet people who are hiring.

Contribute to Open Source Projects: Contributing to open source projects not only enhances your skills but also allows you to collaborate with a diverse community of developers. Websites like GitHub offer a vast repository of projects seeking contributions.

Seek Support

Join Online Communities: Join online forums, subreddits, or Slack channels dedicated to tech professionals. These communities provide a space for sharing experiences, seeking advice, and offering support during the job search process. If you’re here in Denver, Denver UI/UX welcomes new community members to chat, engage, solve problems, and post jobs.

Consider Professional Coaching: If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure about your career direction, consider seeking guidance from a career coach or mentor with experience in your industry or field. They can offer personalized insights and strategies to help narrow down what would be the best fit based on your current skills and desires, and finding those unicorn opportunities.

Don’t Give Up

236- Navigating The Job Search in Tech Tips for Resilience and Success Internal 2Finding the right role in tech can be daunting, especially in the face of layoffs or prolonged periods of stagnation.

By embracing the process, refining your approach, staying persistent, and engaging with the community, you can overcome challenges and position yourself for success. Your journey is unique and every setback can be an opportunity for growth.

Stay resilient, stay focused, and consider sharing your experiences or tips either on social media, with friends and past co-workers or wherever you see fit. You never know how much seeing someone in the same situation can help someone else feel seen.

The weight relationships hold is structural, as if small strings were attached to all of us, invisibly lifting us on our toughest days. The power is found in the knowing that people are out there who care.

If you’re looking for work, our team is always looking to invest in relationships, and we'd love to hear about your ongoing search. Submit your info here to further connect with our team and become a part of the BWB network.

Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or anywhere across the US. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!