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2023 job market outlook

Will the job market get better? What should you be your strategy to deal with recession and position yourself for better opportunity?

Overall, I think things will get worse before getting better.

My gut feeling is that we’re at the 6th inning of layoffs. Amazon will lay off more people in Q1. Even during a normal year, Amazon has a corporate tradition to use the OP2 process to adjust its hiring targets, and put some people on PIP. In Q1 2023, Amazon will use the OP2 process to lay off more people. For current amazon employees, tighten your seat belts and keep your options open. If you’re interested in joining Amazon, I think the first window of opportunity will be in Q2 the earliest, and you’ll be competing against a very large pool of candidates who are eager to join Amazon.

Google had over hired a lot. Its parent company, Alphabet, has several  portfolio companies (e.g. Verily Health, Niantic, etc.) that have a lot of fat and are burning a lot of cash. These science experiments need to be stopped and will be stopped. If you work for one of the under-performing Alphabet companies, you should keep your eyes wide open for opportunities outside these companies. After all, the unprofitable party can only last so long until harsh reality catches up with these companies.

Goldman Sachs will have a layoff soon. They’re the standard bearer of the banking industry. More banks will follow suit. Management consulting firms and big-4 will conduct layoffs as well. Venture Capital firms will cut staff. PE firms will cut staff. Agencies will cut staff. More starts will be running out of funding and started cutting. The entire ecosystem will feel the pain in 2023.

On the other hand, I do have some optimism about the second half of 2023. China is going through a very difficult time with Covid re-open right now. The current Chinese leadership is under a lot of pressure. They have also hammered the tech sector very hard in the past 2 years. So, they have a very urgent need to jump-start their economy. I believe China will make some aggressive moves to loosen up their regulations, which will give the economy a boost. Additionally, if the Russia-Ukraine war gets to a resolution by the summer time, it’ll give us another boost to the market.

If you are a contrarian like myself, you should think strategically. When everyone is greedy, you should be fearful. When everyone is fearful, you should be greedy. Your goal is to join a company that is vastly undervalued with huge upsides. You want to get in now at a low valuation and benefit when things start to rebound.

If you’re interviewing, it’s really important for you to understand the company’s valuation, the current valuation multiples, and how that has changed. Warren Buffet famously said his fortune has been made when he buys stock. Your fortune is made when you join a company at the right time with the right price.

Employers will be very cautious when they start hiring again, and there will be a large number of candidates. The job market will have a large imbalance of supply and demand. You need to put in some hard work in Q1 to get yourself ready for interviews in Q2 and Q3. Be ready as the competition will be fierce. For Q1, I’m offering a special career coaching program to help you definite a job search target list, polish your resume and LinkedIn Profile, practice behavioral and technical questions to get ready to interview in Q2. Fill the form on my coaching page for a free consultation and get more details.

If you feel burned out in your career or feel stuck, be kind to yourself. Many people are feeling that way. Covid, war, recession, social tension — we live in an interesting and challenging time. You’re not alone.

But, remember there is an opportunity behind every crisis. You’re much better off by staying optimistic. Instead of feeling depressed and hopeless, focus on taking massive actions. Sitting there and feeling depressed will not help. Taking actions will help.

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