A cooling economy has led to mass layoffs at large companies like Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft, and Boston area workers haven’t been spared. Thousands of people in Greater Boston have been impacted as local companies trim their workforces. HubSpot, Wayfair, and the Boston offices for Meta and Twitter all announced worker layoffs in the last six months.
A January report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that layoffs in the U.S. increased from 1.48 million to 1.72 million. Despite a surge in resignations in 2022, fewer people are quitting their jobs now than last year, which suggests that workers are less inclined to brave the current job market.
Earlier this week, Amazon announced that it will lay off an additional 9,000 employees in the coming weeks. The tech giant has already eliminated 18,000 jobs since the start of 2023. Layoffs are also coming to Disney, which said it would cut 4,000 people company-wide by April.
We asked Boston.com readers who were recently laid off to share what it’s been like to lose their job and search for new employment. Below you’ll find responses from readers who have landed on their feet and those who are still hunting for new work months later.
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
‘I applied to over 100 jobs’
“My advice for anyone who has gotten laid off is to start applying right away. I was laid off at the beginning of October and just signed an offer letter last week. I applied to over 100 jobs and had five to six interviews that went to the final round, and it still took me six months. I have a master’s degree and nine years of experience in my field. Start applying the day you get laid off, it takes a lot longer than you think.” — Ryan, Natick, former tech worker
“Laid off at eight months pregnant, spent maternity leave stressing and job hunting instead of fully focusing on bonding with my son. The total time laid off was five months and I started a job in a new industry (healthcare) two months ago.” — Anonymous, Worcester, former mortgage lending worker
“I was part-time and had the ability to work remotely a few times a week. In October, the executive director told me the position needs to be full-time. (There was not enough work for part-time at times, so this didn’t make sense to me.) I said I would stay until a replacement was hired and he was fine with that, offering to write a recommendation. Near the end of December, he said my last day was the day he told me! I couldn’t collect because non-profits don’t pay unemployment tax. That executive director never produced the letter of recommendation, even after several attempts while I was still there and after termination. I feel so strongly that I lost out on two part-time jobs (which are hard to find) because of the lack of the letter. I have been actively looking for a job since October and soon will consider starting a business.” — S.D., Waltham, former nonprofit worker
‘I’m making the most of my time off’
“The government takes over 30% of all my income and then taxes me on every purchase I make, so I’m gladly abusing their unemployment program. But in all actuality, I’m making the most of my time off and enjoying every second, i.e. focusing on all things I ignore while working full time like my mental health (started going to therapy), exercising two hours a day, long nature walks with my dog, improving personal relationships, day trips, cooking, etc.” — Neil, Boston, former tech worker
‘Back to work in short order’
“I luckily found a role. It’s not an ideal role and I took a large cut in pay, but it’ll hopefully get me through the next year.” — Anonymous, former tech worker
“I got a new job. I was back to work in short order.” — Anonymous, former engineer
‘This is my third layoff in 15 years’
“As a prior executive at a locally based IT company, I’ve struggled with being laid off in several ways. My company was sold to Microsoft, and so much of the leadership was let go. This is my third layoff in 15 years, but the first where the market didn’t pick me up within days. This is the first time I’ve been unemployed for a substantial period of time.
On a positive note, filing for unemployment was simple and quick. Very happy with the process, although having to attend some of these sessions for high school-level training seems odd. A weekly simple form outlining my attempts to apply for work takes only 10-15 minutes and does keep me focused on continuing to apply for jobs.
My plans were to look for a non-travel-related management position in healthcare. My background is all healthcare IT. I know that my experience as an executive can translate to operations, finance, and/or IT within a healthcare setting. What’s been frustrating is I am willing to take a huge pay cut to use my leadership skills in a non-IT setting…but no one — and I mean no one — locally in Boston will even talk to me. Hospitals here in Boston are hiring people from other states to do work remotely to keep costs down and no one is hiring management, or so it seems. I hate to say it, but being over 50 and in IT, you might as well retire if you are laid off…because no one will hire you.
Another area of frustration is everything is online and automated. Even if you know someone who walks in your resume, it’s kicked back out to go through the online process for screening. If I say my salary was $X but will to take $Y now, an algorithm auto kicks out my resume and I receive the standard, ‘thank you for your interest’ response. So now I’m back to looking at consulting jobs, even if travel is required.
I’m willing to change industries as well, but that is even harder. Every conversation I’ve had leads to sales, that seems to be the only way to break in. No thanks…I would rather stay unemployed.” — Anonymous, Boston, former IT worker
Some responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
Boston.com occasionally interacts with readers by conducting informal polls and surveys. These results should be read as an unscientific gauge of readers’ opinion.
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