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

TikTok was once dominated by vlogs of ambitious jobs, but after mass layoffs across the tech industry, company perks-bending videos were replaced with content about unemployment and workers’ rights. .

The last few months have been particularly brutal in the tech sector as industry giants cut their workforces amid a slowing global economy. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced 12,000 layoffs this week, days after Microsoft announced plans to cut 10,000 of his employees. Meta, Salesforce, Twitter, Snap and other tech companies have also announced layoffs in recent months.

The harsh realities of layoffs have slowly faded from the façade of tech employees’ office vlogs, which frequently showcased compelling corporate perks like catered lunches, campus gym facilities, and sponsored happy hours. The genre, which gained popularity last year, portrayed a seemingly unattainable lifestyle. Others are also using the platform to raise awareness of workers’ rights following recent layoffs.

TikTok users contacted by NBC News did not respond to requests for comment, but their videos of their layoff experiences continued to go viral.

For example, in one “A Day in the Life” video posted last year, a Google account strategist rented a car for free before attending a meeting in a Harry Potter-themed conference room, and used the “nap room.” I recorded that I took a break at In another “His Day in the Life” video, the program manager at Microsoft shows off his break for a short lunch of ribs in red wine and coffee at the company’s in-house cafe, saying, “Today he won $0. ,” she captioned.

The company’s perks have extended to working from home.

Earlier this month, the creator of TikTok, who goes by the username nicolesdailyvlog, posted an “unpacking” video of the employee appreciation package he received from Google. The box contained plush blankets, his cold brew coffee machine, and other branded gifts.

“This is such a lovely gift and I can’t wait until they send us another one!” she said in the video.

A week later, she posted a video titled “One Day in My Life Getting Fired at Google.” In it, she said, she was awakened by an “ominous text” from her manager that made her realize she could no longer access her work. account. After spending the day crying, she said she went to Disneyland to cheer herself up.

Her video is one of the most viral post-layoff vlogs, but this content shift has been gaining momentum over the months as thousands of workers face job losses.

Layoff announcements seem to follow the same format as breakup videos.

One creator, a former recruiter for Meta, said she’s “feeling all the emotions” after the layoff, but expressed optimism about her future.

“I know the universe has great things in store for me. I’ve survived 100% so far.

Another creator announced the layoffs with a witty TikTok caption.

Some creators take a more serious approach.

One former Meta employee, known as alejandra_n_h, posts daily vlogs about her mental health and applies for other jobs. Another laid off tech has launched a job search accountability group that hosts virtual meetings for members to support and advise each other during the job search ordeal.

Others have announced that they have decided to leave the corporate world entirely. Its creator Bailey Maya, who recounted her layoff experience in the “Storytime” video, said she was one of the best performers at her job at an unnamed “Big Tech” company. I found myself fired last week when I was locked out of my laptop.

“I didn’t expect this to come, but now I’m kind of excited because I can do my thing,” she said in a video posted this week. I don’t want to do 9 to 5. Yeah, I’m unemployed, but I’m very confident in myself.”

Educating viewers about their rights is also gaining popularity after recent layoffs.

TikTok user is a software engineer at Google and a self-professed “tech psychic” who makes videos about the importance of unions in the tech industry. A copy of what appears to be an Alphabet Union letter-writing event to help a laid-off colleague.

When TikTok user hiitsmeming shared that she was fired from Meta a month before her due date, other creators pasted her videos with advice on getting health insurance at a cheaper rate. attached.

As layoffs peaked late last year, TikTok creator millennialcorpmom urged viewers to familiarize themselves with state employment laws to ensure they are paid well. Creator Celine Hui similarly surprised commenters by encouraging viewers to negotiate retirement benefits before agreeing to sign any legal documents.

While their approach to layoff content varies, many creators have made friendships with other users while documenting their unemployment. In the video, creator alejandra_n_h expressed solidarity with her former Amazon employees affected by recent layoffs.

“A lot of our worth and success has always been tied to our careers and the name of our employer,” Hernandez said. “And I have always been very career-oriented, which is why I think I struggled so much with these layoffs. …I am here in solidarity with you, and I firmly believe there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

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