“This is a gift,” Mr. Pulliam said. “I don’t think this story is told. It’s always doom and gloom. “
But for tech workers facing their first financial crisis, the cuts have been an eye-opener. Ms. Chang studied product design in college with an eye toward entering a technology sector that was seen as recession-proof. Getting fired from Lyft shook that belief.
Erin Sumner, a programmer at Facebook’s parent company, Meta, boasted that she could be paid that the company is faster than $1 trillion. He said he would bolster the company’s strength, even in the past year when its stock fell and its core business, digital marketing, struggled.
After rumors of layoffs began circulating last year, he assured his employees that their jobs were safe, pointing to the company’s more than $40 billion in cash in the bank. But in November, he was among 11,000 workers laid off.
“It was very painful,” said Ms. Sumner, 32. He’s landed a new job as CEO of DeleteMe, a startup that aims to remove customer information from search results. But he said he gets upset every time he reads about the technology being removed.
“I’m afraid it will get worse before it gets better,” said Ms. Sumner. “There is no guarantee. I got fired from the most secure company in the world.”
A similar shift in fortunes has challenged the software industry. Shares of Salesforce, the industry leader, fell nearly 50 percent last year as growth slowed. The company grew during the pandemic, spending $28 billion to buy Slack Technologies. It grew to 80,000 employees from 49,000 in two years.
At a hands-on meeting last week to discuss the company’s decision to lay off 10 percent of its workforce, CEO Marc Benioff tried to empathize with his disgruntled employees by laying off the cuts.