5 min read

What To Do If You Are A Woman In Tech And You Have Been Laid Off?

Your time to pivot is now…

There has been global economic turbulence in the tech industry lately – that’s right, we’re talking about layoffs. It might seem like every other week a new round of layoffs is right around the corner. But with every setback comes great opportunity, so fear not. If you are a woman in tech and you are reading this blog because you’ve been laid off, then you’ve come to the right place.

Spoiler alert – your dream job is only 7 simple steps away…

illustration of women who is scareed

1. Don’t Panic
Whatever the reason might be, you may feel that you have reached one of the lowest points in your career and in life. Whilst your immediate reaction is to find another role as quickly as possible – slow down. Use this transition to stop, reflect and set goals on where you want your career to go next. It’s important to take this time to focus on you. Start by putting your emotional and mental well-being first so that you’re focused when you start looking for new opportunities.

Need some help to get you started? Check out Xena’s top tips on updating your LinkedIn profile and how to write a good cover letter.

2. Reach out to your network for support
Although you may be experiencing a confidence kick by being laid off, you need to remove any shame and let your network know you are looking. You may be surprised by the overwhelming support you will feel from others who have also been made redundant. By leveraging your connections, you may find yourself in front of a new potential employer.

If you don’t already have a big network, we suggest you start growing your connections on LinkedIn. Connect with people, companies, and teams you would like to see yourself working with in the future.

Why not start with checking out our top 3 tips to work that network?


3. Learn a new skill
If it’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that knowledge is truly the key to success. Even though you’ve found yourself in an unfortunate circumstance, remember that your job does not define you. Using this time to retrain and upskill will give you a new sense of purpose. Not to mention, it will make your CV stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of getting a job. Get creative with your skillset and start thinking about how your unique skills and expertise could make you more qualified for a role you’ve never considered.

4. Update your Github
With over 28 million users and 57 million repositories, Github is well and truly the holy grail of social networks in the open-source community. Not only can you opt-in to work on projects but you can also follow users and build relationships to showcase your talent. It’s a place where you’ll find developers from all over the world. But what you might not know is that your ideal employer is there. Tech giants such as Netflix, Zendesk, Amazon and Facebook use Git to manage projects, develop systems and most importantly – find talent. By showing up on the platform, you will increase your chances of being headhunted.

Need some inspiration? Here is 5 women in Berlin you should follow on Github. You are welcome.

Xena Meetups illustration

5. Go to Meetups
You’ve just been laid off, so you really don’t have any excuse for not attending a Meetup… Unlike conferences, they are one of the best ways to meet industry experts and learn from them – for free. Within the tech industry, there are tonnes of Meetup communities for you to choose from. You’ll find like-minded people in tech who also want to connect, learn new skills and learn from each other. They also happen to be a lot of fun. Well, Xena Meetups certainly do. Luckily for you, we host monthly Meetups to support women in tech progress in their careers. So why not sign up for our community and join our next event? You won’t regret it.

Illustration of girl on mission

6. Give back to girls and women in tech

If you’ve been let go from your job, you probably have more time on your hands than usual. Why not use this extra time to give back to girls or women who were once like you? Doing good is a wonderful thing. Join a hackathon, volunteer to speak at a Meetup or give your time to teach girls how to code. Volunteering or becoming a mentor is the perfect stepping stone towards your new career. It will give you a new sense of purpose and help you focus on something that is outside your current career situation. Channel your energy into something positive – you never know what career opportunity will lie ahead as a result.

If you’re feeling really inspired, then check out our blog on how to set up your own STEM initiative. 


7. Talk to a recruiter

Last but not least, the best thing you can do when you have been laid off is to speak to a recruiter. If your confidence has taken a hit, a recruiter will assess your situation, review your CV and give you valuable feedback that you can implement right away. Recruiters also tend to have a large network in the industry. So they’ll be the first to know who’s hiring, and who’s firing… Speaking to a recruiter will save you time on your job search, and they will even coach you through the recruitment process. And we happen to have a bunch of them at Xena.

Explore our live jobs at Xena and connect with one of our recruiters – your dream job awaits!

We help women in Engineering and Product find their dream job in companies that are committed to the progression of women in tech. Speak with one of our recruiters and allow us to match you with an employer that truly cares.

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