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Following tech layoffs, Austin tech workers make career pivot

Tech giants in Austin are cutting jobs, but former employees are taking the "good" with the "bad."

AUSTIN, Texas — Earlier this week, Austin-based Indeed announced it's cutting jobs and letting 15% of its workforce go. Other tech giants like Google, Meta and Amazon have also laid off workers in recent months.

Briana Troisi was one of the workers laid off by Amazon. Troisi was working her "dream job" on the learning and development team at Amazon when she got a fateful email in January informing her she was one of the thousands getting cut from the organization. 

"It was just a very daunting and devastating, devastating day for me, for sure, and definitely have been in denial," Troisi said. 

Benjamin Howard faced a similar situation that same month. Howard was working at Google, in User Experience, when he got the email that he'd been laid off. 

"So to just have something like that happen is such a life-changing experience. That's the first thing that came to mind," Howard said. 

Luckily for those who are beginning to make a career pivot, Texas is still seeing a strong labor market. While the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced the unemployment rate has inched up to 4%, the economy has added 611,400 job positions over the past year. 

Over the past month, Texas added 58,200 jobs and the civilian labor force has grown by 64,800 people. However, this data doesn't reflect the most recent layoffs – those numbers won't show up for a couple of a months. 

"Whenever we see a notice that somebody might be getting laid off, we also want to put this in perspective that we still see strong job growth in Texas and we are still cautiously optimistic that will continue and just trying to put that in perspective," William Lutz, an economist at TWC, said. 

Troisi and Howard are aiming to gain a new perspective during this career pivot. Troisi has taken up dog walking for Rover to stay busy and have fun, while Howard has used this time to develop a dating app that's designed to help eliminate dating burnout. 

"Create your plan, understand what your interests are and what kind of vision you have going forward for your career," Howard said. 

"Definitely just be comfortable in being uncomfortable," Troisi said. 

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