“You really put your heart and soul into this place,” founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees in a call Wednesday with Meta employees before laying off about 11,000 people. Meta has joined many other tech companies in making massive layoffs this year, and the trend makes it clear that no matter how much your company gives, they won’t always love you. It reminds me of
The layoffs in Silicon Valley follow a decades-long trend for tech companies to “live and breathe” work and make it part of their identity. A decade ago, Uber boasted that its employees were “always busy,” and WeWork championed “Rise and Grind.” These companies touted rock walls, laundry services and private chefs, demonstrating the generosity of their management. In practice, however, many of these perks can also be interpreted as just a way to keep people in the building outside of normal working hours.
Tech companies have somehow filled other voids in some workers’ lives that might once have been filled by communities and churches, says Simone Struzov, author of the next book. Enough work: reclaiming life from work.
“There’s this rhetoric about jobs where companies are telling their employees that they can come here and do the best job of their lives and they can change the world,” Struzov said. There is this kind of religion created around a company and its mission.”
Mass resignations and the widespread acceptance of concepts like work-life balance have made such corporate management obsolete, but that doesn’t mean the emotion is gone. People can get a lot of satisfaction from work, but it can also be like a bad one-sided relationship.
Brooks E. Scott, executive coach and CEO of Merging Path, told Recode: He encourages employees to keep their resumes up-to-date and continue to build professional relationships inside and outside of work. Losing your job can be quite a shock, but not a surprise.
“At the end of the day, it’s like they say a company is a business and people come first,” said Scott.
According to the company’s downsizing tracker Layoffs.fyi, about 118,000 tech workers have been laid off this year as economic headwinds such as high interest rates and low advertising costs plague the industry. While that wouldn’t be enough to seriously hurt millions of U.S. tech jobs, it’s an unwelcome event for tech workers accustomed to more than a decade of relative stability.
Meta’s layoffs, which affect about 13% of the company’s 87,000 employees, will be focused on hiring and business (the company was less specific), Zuckerberg said in a memo accompanying the layoffs. Massive job cuts in Silicon Valley actually started earlier this year with layoffs at companies like Snap, Netflix and Microsoft. Business software giant Salesforce laid off hundreds of employees this week, while payment processor Stripe laid off more than 1,000 last week.
Then, of course, there were massive layoffs on Twitter last week, with the platform’s new owner Elon Musk giving a masterclass on how not to lay people off. In the middle of the night, Musk finds himself laying off about half of the company, many of them for losing access to their email. The layoffs were very haphazard, with some people apparently being laid off in error, but then receiving offers to return to their recent jobs. As of the beginning of this week, those still remaining do not know who remains with the company or who they will report to.
From a human resources perspective, executing layoffs at Meta is very different from layoffs at Twitter. Zuckerberg said all the right things.like many others Executive Recently, he took responsibility for downsizing, saying he had built up headcount too quickly, erroneously believing that the movement of people and commerce online would become more permanent. Zuckerberg cited other cost-cutting measures the company has attempted (the company scrapped free laundry services and other perks this spring), as well as the larger economic situation where layoffs are occurring. , clearly explained what the departing employee will receive. This includes a generous retirement package that includes at least 16 weeks of salary for him and six months of health insurance for him.
However, it’s important to remember that Meta didn’t have to hire that many people, and Zuckerberg didn’t have to spend billions on bets like the Metaverse. very similar to the present. In other words, Meta didn’t have to lay off personnel. As Recode’s Shirin Ghaffary wrote in his September, the company is still very profitable and can afford the labor costs even in a recession. Instead, Meta is choosing not to.
Meta and other Silicon Valley companies are using the economic climate to cut fat and force the rest of their staff to work harder. Meta wants to return to a leaner startup mindset to appease shareholders and boost its stock price. It’s working too. The stock is up 20% since last week, according to data from financial platform Sentio.
For those who have just lost their livelihood, it is a small consolation and can be a particularly hard blow. Struzov says it can help you capture it and help you find meaning outside of work.
“Try this as an opportunity to invest in other sources of identity and self-esteem that employers and the job market have no power to take away from you while you look for other jobs,” he said. .