Sunday 6 November 2022

Sit tight as we prepare for a period of hiring freezes and layoffs

With Elon Musk buying over twitter and announcing sweeping changes including layoffs affecting about 50% of it’s employees to reduce cost and turn profitable, the nightmare has just began for the tech industry as Stripe and many other tech companies are either preparing for hiring freezes going into 2023 or planning layoffs including Big Tech.

It’s crazy how the interest rate hikes and earnings results have brought such a huge blow to the tech industry, from the huge waves of record earnings in 2020 and 2021 to the incredible hiring packages offered to tech hires, it’s crazy how things are changing for the worse just within the span of less than 1 year.

Although I recently wrote an article on my pay raise, my manager just also brought up that there will be some reviews going on and is also unsure if anyone will be affected by it. I guess we can only wait and see how it goes. Companies are trying to cut costs and be able to survive through this period, letting go of employees is really painful especially so for employees as they face the uncertainty ahead of having a smaller available job pool and companies that have implemented hiring freezes or certain budgets for job positions due to the economy situation. Couple that with bills and mortgage including inflation, it is so much stress for an individual if they were to be laid off.

Read more: Getting a pay raise | Sharing my pay raise experience

Don’t overload yourself with a crazy mortgage

There are definitely some things to prepare which is having an emergency fund, reducing your expenses and even updating your resume to be prepared for job search if needed. I saw this tweet from Turtle Investor on that you should not over commit in terms of your property. This is definitely in terms of long term cash flow purposes to also help with retirement. Of course, some might say property that is bought at a good location or have various benefits means you will be able to sell it higher than your buying price but it really depends. We have seen many million dollars HDB sales and crazy renovation being done, I understand that working from home has raised everyone’s expectations of how their home should be as we spend much more time at home however over committing yourself doesn’t just affect you if you are laid off due to the larger mortgage but it drains your retirement amount especially so if you are using your CPF to pay your mortgage. The tweet and article link really explains why keeping your housing loan low helps your retirement planning.

Keeping/having a job is crucial and having cash flow in tough times helps

Of course, being able to keep or hold a job during the current tough times is not entirely up to us as we definitely would want to be employed but try to make sure that your role is crucial to the company or take on some projects that would need you so that you are considered "worthy" and you have a higher chance of staying on. Otherwise looking out for opportunities is also good.

It’s sound awful, having to scramble, talk and show your worth during tough times as the individuals who are thought to be doing or holding lesser job responsibilities will be let go or even at times, random. But that is life and I think being a business owner in current times is also very tough.

I was still studying during the 2008/2009 financial crisis so I wasn’t yet in the workforce but the many stories of people getting laid off as well as having trouble applying for their next job were painful to read. Many families went through financial difficulties and tough times when the sole breadwinner lost their job which means having to survive on leaner expenses and they had to downsize.

My family was lucky as my mum was still employed during that period so things were not as grim as what was shown and I only realised how lucky we were when I grew up and saw how bad some families were at that time as parents lost their jobs and some were unable to get back a similar paying job to pay bills and mortgage so they lost their homes. Being employed during this period would be a huge blessing and benefit as you would have cash flow to pay the bills and not stress about how you need to quickly find a job to sustain the commitments. Many would have an emergency fund in Singapore but we would of course tend to worry once we are laid off.

This will pass but we just don’t know when

A lot of things are definitely not within our control, I wrote that you should try to keep your job by showing that what you are doing is essential to the company/that you are an asset. Even so, you might still get the boot and most likely it is of no fault of yours especially when the company is cutting costs and it just so happens that your position was one of it.

If it ever happens to me, I would feel affected but I would try not to be too affected for an extended period of time as more opportunities are definitely out there. To end it off, I believe that this tough period will pass although we do not know when the end is, what we can do is to live life and do our best so that when it all ends, we can look back and think about how amazing we were to have survive through this. All the best to everyone!

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  1. Trust me, the Retrenching is being done on OVERPAID people,if u know u deserve your pay, you work hard, then DONT WORRY

  2. If you truly worked hard, why didn't you attend Harvard? If you didn't attend Harvard, what is the point of working hard later on at work?