Despite job layoffs sweeping the IT, financial, and other industries, why wait to be fired when you may be employed right away?
The strategy, known as “career cushioning,” is putting together a backup plan while still working full-time, especially if job losses are anticipated. This is normally done quietly, such as a networking call at lunch or connecting with former colleagues.
Some Amazon.com Inc. employees are taking it a step further, openly declaring on LinkedIn that they are #OpenToWork while still employed by the corporation. It’s all there for everyone to see, even their bosses and bosses’ bosses.
Kayla Look, a recruitment coordinator, is one such Amazonian. Look stated during an interview that she was anxious when layoffs were announced in November since the holidays were approaching, she had just graduated from college the year before, and she was in the process of organizing a wedding. The costs and uncertainties were mounting up.
The uneasiness began when the Seattle-based firm halted hiring a few weeks earlier. She felt she could breathe easier after surviving the first wave of layoffs, but when the firm announced that it would be cutting 18,000 employees rather than the anticipated 10,000, her sense of relaxation evaporated.
Amazon says it was a “difficult decision” to eliminate jobs.
“We don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate the impact they may have on the lives of individuals who are touched,” Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said in a recent message on the forthcoming changes, which will be centered in its People, Experience, and Technology department. “We are working to assist those affected and are offering packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement assistance.” Amazon declined to comment.
The banner, which LinkedIn debuted in 2020 following the release of Covid-19, has been a more familiar sight on the network as layoffs spread throughout the tech industry.
Despite her desire to remain at Amazon, Look has been sending out resumes.
“The churn there is astounding,” says one recruiter at Amazon, which employs 1.5 million people. “The majority of them are quitting because it’s a really difficult place to work,” Ryan explained. Recruiters must fill a wide range of positions, many of which are highly technical and need extensive sourcing and tough interviews.
Bloomberg News examined more than a half-dozen #OpenToWork postings from existing Amazon workers. Last month, other employees, some of whom accepted voluntary buyouts, sent identical statements.