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Everyone hears about the IT, ITES, E-commerce, and banking giants going on a layoff spree. 

While this is not breaking news anymore, considering the world has a lot more exciting things to fill its palette like Chinese Spy Balloons, the Hindenburg Report, the Australian Cricket Team’s Tour of India, the success of the movie ‘Pathan’ and the Earthquake in Turkey; the list goes on. If nothing, we are still bombarded with our staple topic from 2022, the Ukraine War. 

While I don’t mean to belittle any of the above topics, the trend of layoffs shown by the big organisations should be catching the eyes of at least the non-UPSC aspirants and non-government employees.

Let me now give you the telescope to see the kitchen sink on its way to you in 2023. 

SL# Company Industry Proposed Job Cut% or Count
1 3M Co Home and Automobiles Accessory Manufacturer 2,500
2 Rivian Automotive Inc Automobiles 6%
3 Dow Inc Chemicals 2000
4 Boeing Inc Aircraft Manufacturer 2000
5 Genesis Global Trading Inc Crypto Lender 30%
6 Crypto.com Cryptocurrency Exchange 20%
7 Coinbase Global Inc Cryptocurrency Exchange 20%
8 Stitch Fix Inc Apparel, Shoes and Accessories 20%
9 McDonald’s Corp Fast Food TBD
10 Hasbro Inc Toys and Entertainment 15%
11 Carvana Co. Used Car Dealer 4000
12 Bed Bath & Beyond Inc Home Goods Retailer TBD
13 FedEx Corp. Delivery 10%
14 PayPal Holdings Inc. Fintech 2000
15 Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Financial Institutions 3200
16 Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Financial Institutions 1500
17 BlackRock Inc. Asset Management 500
18 Zoom Video Communications Inc. Online Video Conferencing 1300
19 Vimeo Inc Video Sharing Platform 11%
20 Verily Life Sciences Healthcare 15%
21 Spotify Technology Podcast 6%
22 Salesforce Inc. Software 10%
23 Royal Philips NV Health Technology 6000
24 Dell Technologies Inc. Computer Manufacturer 6600
25 IBM Computer Industry 3900
26 Microsoft  Software 10000
27 Amazon.com Inc Online Retailer 18000
28 Google Software 12000

Source – Wall Street Journal Article – The Companies Conducting Layoffs in 2023:  by Joseph De Avila

 The companies listed above are laying off ~75,000 jobs which is ~15% of their existing workforce.

We have two options now i.e.

  1. Assume that this is happening in an alternate universe (we are living in the times of Avengers and Justice League) and continue with our lives counting the daisies as we dance along.
  2. Wake up, be aware and take action to become more relevant to the reality that is uncomfortable to discuss.

Here are a few facts to be aware of – 

  1. Layoffs are not limited to any particular industry.
  2. Layoffs are for multiple reasons, not just correcting the over-hiring during the pandemic.
  3. Several jobs have become redundant with the advent of AI like ChatGPT

Way Forward – 

There is no definite path forward because the entire business world has been through a tumultuous journey in the last three years, starting with the pandemic, remote working, changes in customer behaviour and previously unheard-of competition. However, I would like to list a few pointers for you –

Profit Sustainability – Businesses worldwide are now mature to ensure sustainable revenue and profits for their shareholders and are not hopping on the next new fad. However, if the emerging technology reduces people-dependency, they may lean towards it.

Value Addition V/s. Speed – Since the software can any day give humans a run for our salary (oops, money) when it comes to Speed and Accuracy, Knowledge and Leadership skills will now be the differentiators. A leader with passion, knowledge, adaptability and problem-solving skills will be more invaluable to an organisation now than ever.

Blue Collar Jobs 2.0 – The Semi-skilled and Blue-Collar jobs, which are not preferred due to the manual nature of the work, will soon make their comeback. Hands-on may no longer be an expression but the way forward. AI cannot fix your tap; you need a plumber. 

Non-Mainstream Domains – The most neglected or unpreferred career choice for the typical middle class was the creative arena and sports domain.  Acting, story writing, direction, camera, dance, theatre and sports will see a renaissance with the vastly talented but mostly stability-focused middle class returning to these domains. While peripheral activities like editing, sound engineering, and motion capture will be impacted by emerging technology, the core activities will remain human. 

In conclusion, I’m not encouraging you to send in your resignation and enrol for a pottery class today, but rather keep a close eye on what is happening in your specific industry, organisation and domain. Hence, the analogy of a telescope to see the meteor, calculate its trajectory and take action when needed. 

These pieces are being published as they have been received – they have not been edited/fact-checked by ThePrint.