The headquarters of social media company Twitter is seen in San Francisco, Friday, November 11, 2022.

Tech workers face post-boom reality

When Ryan Stevens joined Meta Platforms Inc. as Head of Product Operations for WhatsApp in August 2021, he was seduced by the opportunity to help shape a messaging app used by 2 billion people daily.

He also thought that handling a service that affects so many people would result in a degree of job security. That belief was shattered when Stevens woke up around 3 a.m. earlier this month to an email from Meta management telling employees that layoffs were coming. After tossing and turning, Stevens, 39, received another missive around 6 a.m. He was among more than 11,000 workers who had lost their jobs.

“I’m not thrilled to be part of such a large and immediate pool of laid-off people who are all looking for tech roles at the same time,” said Stevens, who lives in San Jose, Calif., with his wife and youngster. child. “It gives me a lot of anxiety.” He believes the industry is in the midst of a cyclical reset and is ready to focus on something “a little smaller” until things pick up.

After years of exuberant growth and hiring, the layoffs have burst Silicon Valley’s bubble of inviolability. As of Nov. 15, tech companies had announced 31,200 job cuts so far this month, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The HR consultancy says it’s the highest monthly total since September 2015, when a Hewlett-Packard restructuring said it would cut thousands of jobs. Meta, Twitter Inc., and Inc. have all cut their ranks, or said cuts are coming.

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