Many of the corporations announcing layoffs are headquartered in the Seattle area. But many start-ups there are benefitting from a surge in available tech talent.

A New Generation Of Workers Taking Career Risks While Facing Layoffs

The old adage “one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor” could be applied now in the tech world. In fact, the headline for a story states just that: “Tech layoffs at big companies could be a boon for startups and entrepreneurship.” has carried articles recently about how this news hits the Seattle area in particular. And how it is hitting the larger companies with tens of thousands of workers being laid off, and a few being offered early retirement. While some startups are feeling the effects of the tech downturn, trimming staff themselves, others are already taking advantage of the larger hiring pool.

“I’m definitely getting access to a lot of talent that we wouldn’t have had just a year ago,” said Rich Wurden, co-founder of Seattle-based agricultural technology startup Aigen.

And these sweeping layoffs in some monster companies are actually empowering other businesses by connecting these job seekers with each other.

Day One Syndicate, a networking channel for former Amazon workers, has seen a “spike in interest,” said co-founder Sean Sternbach.

Seattle startup Spiral, for example, interviewed and hired former Amazon workers through the network, he said.

What Might Be Next

It’s not like this mini-recession wasn’t expected. Economists have been predicting it for a few months. And a downturn isn’t always bad news for many reasons. After the dot-com bust, Facebook and YouTube came along. Airbnb, Slack, and Uber all launched from the ashes of the 2008 economic crisis.

There is also a tightening of venture capital now.

“On one hand, you have people that may have more time,” said Greg Gottesman, managing director at Pioneer Square Labs. “On the other hand, you have a more challenging financing climate.”

Startups aren’t the only landing pad for job candidates. Some larger companies are still hiring. Recent surveys show that most laid-off tech workers are finding jobs within three months.

Non-tech companies are also hungry to hire to boost their own engineering operations, in retail, finance, manufacturing, and other industries.

This article by Nate Bek goes on to say that many people are just walking away from tech. Some burned out. Some want to try a new profession.

There is a direct line between the shift in business and the change in job seekers due to the pandemic. But also the incredible growth of AI in the last few years could also be considered a cause of some of these economic changes.

The one thing tech workers can always count on is change.