Tech layoffs strip the facade of TikTok's 'day in the life' videos

Tech layoffs strip the facade of TikTok’s ‘day in the life’ videos

Aspirational workday vlogs as soon as dominated TikTok — however following mass layoffs throughout the tech trade, videos flexing firm perks have been changed with content material about unemployment and labor rights. 

The previous few months have been notably brutal in the tech sector, as trade giants slash their workforces amid a stagnating international economic system. Google’s dad or mum firm, Alphabet, introduced 12,000 layoffs this week, days after Microsoft introduced plans to chop 10,000 staff. Meta, Salesforce, Twitter, Snap and different tech corporations have additionally introduced layoffs in latest months.

The grim actuality of the layoffs chips away at the facade of tech worker workplace vlogs, which regularly confirmed glamorous company perks like catered lunches, campus health club services and sponsored joyful hours. The style, which turned common final 12 months, portrayed a seemingly unattainable way of life. Now, many creators have pivoted to posting uncooked — however nonetheless curated — content material about unemployment. Others are utilizing their platforms to boost consciousness of labor rights in wake of latest layoffs. 

The TikTok customers that NBC News contacted didn’t reply to requests for remark, however their videos about their layoff experiences proceed to go viral.

In one “day in the life” video posted final 12 months, for instance, an account strategist at Google documented valeting her automobile without spending a dime and taking a break in the “nap room” earlier than attending a gathering in a Harry Potter-themed convention room. A program supervisor at Microsoft confirmed off her lunch of crimson wine braised brief ribs and her espresso break at the firm’s in-house cafe in one other “day in the life” video. She captioned it, “I spent $0 at this time.” 

The firm perks prolonged to working from dwelling, too.

Earlier this month, a TikTok creator who goes by the username nicolesdailyvlog posted an “unboxing” video — the worker appreciation package deal she obtained from Google. The field included a luxurious blanket, a chilly brew espresso machine and different branded items. 

“This is such a pleasant present, and I can’t wait till they ship us one other one!” she mentioned in the video.

Every week later, she posted a video titled “A Day in My Life Getting Laid Off at Google,” in which she mentioned she woke as much as an “ominous textual content” from her supervisor, and discovered that she had misplaced entry to her work accounts. After spending the day crying, she mentioned, she went to Disneyland to cheer herself up. 

Her video is one of the most viral post-layoff vlogs, however this shift in content material has been gaining traction for months as 1000’s of staff face unemployment. 

Layoff bulletins appear to comply with the identical format as breakup videos. Many creators are somber when saying that they’ve been laid off, and will turn out to be emotional in their videos.

One creator, who mentioned she was a former recruiter for Meta, shared that she was “feeling all of the emotions” after her layoff however expressed optimism for her future. 

“I do know that the universe has great issues in retailer for me, and I’ve survived 100% of issues up thus far,” she mentioned. 

Another creator announced his layoff in a jaunty TikTok captioned, “when your superb tech job lays you off after signing a 12 MONTH LEASE since we needed to return to workplace.”   

Some creators have taken a extra earnest method.

One former Meta worker, often called alejandra_n_h, has been posting daily vlogs about her psychological well being and making use of for different jobs. Another laid-off tech employee began a job search accountability group that hosts digital conferences for members to help and advise each other all through the job utility ordeal.

Others introduced they determined to depart the company world fully. Creator itsBaileyMaya, who recounted her layoff expertise in a “storytime” video, mentioned she was one of the highest performers at her job at an unnamed “huge tech” firm. She realized that she was laid off final week when she was locked out of her laptop computer. 

“I simply didn’t see this coming, however I’m variety of excited now as a result of I can do my very own factor,” she mentioned in a video posted this week. “And despite the fact that I’m 25, I don’t actually need to do a 9 to 5 anymore. So yeah, I’m unemployed, however I’ve a hell of so much of confidence in myself.” 

Educating viewers about their rights has additionally gained recognition after latest layoffs.

TikTok consumer, a Google software program engineer and self-described “tech cynic,” has made videos about the significance of unions in the tech trade. In a latest “day in the life” workplace video, confirmed viewers a replica of what seems to be the Alphabet Workers Union’s letter writing occasion to help laid-off coworkers.

When TikTok consumer hiitsmeming shared that she had been laid off by Meta a month earlier than her child was due, different creators stitched her video with recommendation for signing up for medical health insurance with decrease premiums. 

As layoffs peaked late final 12 months, TikTok creator millennialcorpmom urged viewers to familiarize themselves with their state’s employment legal guidelines, so they may be certain that they’re paid their full wages. Creator Celine Hui similarly encouraged viewers to barter their severance pay earlier than agreeing to signal any authorized paperwork, which shocked commenters.

Though approaches to layoff content material varies, many creators have embraced camaraderie with others whereas documenting their unemployment. In a video, creator alejandra_n_h expressed solidarity with former Amazon staff who had been affected by latest layoffs. 

“So a lot of our price and success has all the time been tied to our profession and the identify of our employer,” Hernandez mentioned. “And I believe that’s why I had such a tough time with these layoffs as a result of I’ve all the time been very profession pushed. But we have to remind ourselves that we’re greater than our profession, our employer, our job … I’m right here in solidarity with you and I do firmly imagine there’s a lightweight at the finish of the tunnel.”