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From work devices to résumés: Resources to help you navigate a layoff

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Nearly four months into 2024, companies are still cutting costs. Tesla, Amazon and Apple are among the latest big companies to cut jobs. The near future could bring more.

Many employers are still downsizing because of overly optimistic projections, consumers’ changing habits, technological advances such as generative artificial intelligence, and macroeconomic pressures. Whether your job has been cut or you worry you could see a layoff soon, there are several things you can do to get a head start on your next steps. Job experts suggest that it’s never a bad idea to be prepared.

“These layoffs are being driven by a return of pre-pandemic employment levels,” said Brett House, a professor in the economics division at Columbia Business School.

When it comes to layoffs, most are hitting the tech and financial sectors, House said, with major employers such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and Meta slashing thousands of jobs within the past year. Tesla joined the group this week, announcing plans to cut more than 10 percent of its global workforce. Earlier this month, Amazon said it’s laying off hundreds of employees who work on its physical stores technology and sales and marketing teams in its cloud computing division. And for the first time since the pandemic, Apple is making its first big cut, laying off more than 600 workers in California.

The announcement comes after a slew of layoffs at the beginning of the year. Companies including Google, Amazon, Walmart, Morgan Stanley, Disney, Wall Street giant BlackRock and San Francisco-based gaming company Unity reduced head count within the first several weeks of the year.

Overall, the labor market is strong, and hiring has continued despite the cuts, House said. Layoffs will probably continue as companies adjust, but barring a major event, such as a recession, House expects the big cuts to die down later this year.

For workers facing a potential layoff or for those who already have been cut, the stress of job hunting can be overwhelming. Help Desk can assist you in navigating the process, such as by informing you of what to do before returning your work devices, helping you prepare for an AI interview, and offering best practices for getting noticed by your next employer.

We’ve put together a collection of resources you can click through below. And let us know what questions you still have. Drop me a line at danielle.abril@washpost.com.

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