Since Q3 2023, the tech industry in Indonesia has been pretty bleak due to some tech company layoffs or we all call it “tech winter”. Even though I wasn’t impacted, some good friends of mine, unfortunately, have to experience a sudden job loss.
Two years ago, I decided to get a full-time job again after my parental break (which was not necessarily a break as I did freelance gigs). Based on the layoff wave back in the early pandemic, I was fully aware and mentally ready to face an industry downturn. But still, my heart sank a bit when someone told me that one big tech company chopped all their UX Researchers and Writers.
I’ve been feeling uneasy ever since. I’ve been checking UX Research vacancies on LinkedIn now and then just to see if those vacancies could accommodate people who were laid off. I know it’s not my fault and obviously beyond my control, but the anxiety is inevitable.
As a fully-functioning adult (I hope so), I tried to regulate my emotion by breaking down some possible root causes of this feeling. I also had some conversations with fellow practitioners and came up with some conclusions. Here are some possible factors:
The fact that my job security is at risk
I thought I’m prepared enough to face this crisis considering I have a safety net (husband) and survival skills (able to switch to freelance mode ASAP). But I just started my new era of full-time employment after having a kid with a hopeful heart, hence this situation feels like a slap in the face; why now?
The realization that we’ve been living in a tech bubble
The past sharing sessions, seminars, conferences, people with accelerated careers, fancy job titles, and high salaries. Were they even real? Or was the phenomenon only a byproduct of VC’s money-burning strategy? I can’t stop thinking about it.
The fact that we can’t see the end of the tunnel (yet)
Every time these tech companies release their financial report, I got nervous reading those numbers (I KNOW I SHOULDN’T). But I try to remind myself again that those things are way beyond my control. But still, I feel bad that I couldn’t contribute anything, at least to the UX community. (Mind you, I barely survive my daily life with my work & family responsibilities)
There is no conclusion to this topic yet, but I do have some recommendations for UX practitioners & the community based on my reflection on what’s been going on during the tech bubble era. Maybe in the next post.