The past 18 months working in tech have been sad and unsettling. My LinkedIn feed has been a steady stream of green Open for Work banners and posts by connections and connections of connections sharing that they’d been unceremoniously let go due to yet another round of layoffs at yet another tech company. A lot of industries go through ups and downs (I suppose this is the nature of business) but I don’t think the human toll gets any easier.
And so far these first few weeks of 2024 are proving that this year will be more of the same. You could spend this time operating from a place of fear, anxiety, and/or anger. Or you could use the uncertainty to do some reflecting and planning.
I’ve been cycling through moments of anxiety, acceptance, optimism, and productivity. So in the spirit of needing an outlet for my productivity, creativity, and processing my feelings + reflections, here’s a collection of coping methods I’ve been leaning on, along with my thoughts for people managers right now.
Coping methods for you.
It’s OK to not be OK. For a lot of us, our jobs aren’t just jobs. They might be part of our identities. They might be a path to financial security. They might be a source of validation. They might be a way to funnel our ambitions and energies. For me, my work is all of those things and more. So if you feel this way about your work, it’s natural to feel unsettled, anxious, or scared. Allow yourself the time to feel what you’re feeling. And if you find yourself more tired than usual or less productive than usual, give yourself the grace to recognize that this is your body’s response to the stress you’re facing.
Talk to someone. Whether it’s a therapist, a coach, a trusted mentor, or all three, talking to someone about how you’re feeling right now is a really good idea. I’ve personally had some really good conversations over the past couple of weeks. I bet there are people in your life who care about you and want to help you process how you’re feeling right now. It’s OK to seek these conversations and ideally grow from them. In one conversation with my coach, we talked about my primary fear right now and how that fear stemmed from my personal history. It was something that was always there under the surface but I hadn’t really given myself the…