Business Intelligence

You’re a Data Leader About to Get Laid Off. Here’s What You Can Do

You’re a Data Leader About to Get Laid Off. Here’s What You Can Do

As of this article’s publication, over 15,000 data and analytics professionals have been laid off since January 2022.*

The job market - especially the tech industry - is experiencing one of its most turbulent eras since the turn of the millennium. Nevertheless, if you’re a data leader who has good reason to anticipate being laid off, here are some practical steps that you can take to prepare yourself:


First and foremost, if you have been terminated, make sure that you receive a signed letter with your full name. Depending on your legal jurisdiction, your termination may not be valid until you’re served a physical document.

Once you’ve received your notice of termination, it’s essential to clarify several key points with Human Resources (HR). These include:

Things to Download

As you approach termination, the following are some items you may consider downloading, but always ensure your actions comply with your company's policies and any applicable laws:

Things NOT to Download

Likewise, it’s crucial to understand what you should NOT take from your company computer or network, for both ethical and legal reasons. Here are some key items to avoid:


As a data leader, ensuring a thorough and effective handover is crucial for the continuity and stability of the data analytics function within the company. A well-planned and executed handover process will also help cement your positive reputation in the industry.

Some key considerations for your handover process include:


As you prepare for a career transition, leverage your social and professional networks:

Employment Resources for Data Leaders

As a data leader, you may want to look into recruiting agencies that focus on data talent, such as Harnham, Burtch Works, Datapeople, IQ Workforce, Smith Hanley Associates, etc.

Traditional recruitment agencies such as Michael Page, Hays, the Adecco Group, Randstad, Korn Ferry, and Kelly Services sometimes have dedicated recruitment sections for data and analytics professionals as well.


While all of the above tips are pragmatic, arguably the single most important aspect in this transitional process, is a psychological one. While everyone prioritizes work and career differently, getting laid off will always sting to some certain. But remember that your value as a human is separate from your value as an employee.

Fortunately, the data and analytics sector is vast and continually evolving, offering ample opportunities if you wish to remain in this field. The recovery of the job market is a question of when, rather than if.

Last but not least, there’s a Chinese saying that “休息是为了走更长远的路”: the purpose of rest is to prepare for a longer journey. If you’re a data leader facing a layoff, take this opportunity to rejuvenate and recalibrate. Regardless of where you are in your career, your path ahead is full of potential and promise.

** The above is calculated by assuming that 1 out of every 30 persons of the 460,000 people laid off since Jan 2022 (courtesy of works in a data / analytics role.*

Gabriel Zhang

Gabriel Zhang

10 years' experience in data analytics. I've worked in startups and big tech spanning e-commerce, med tech, music, travel, and real estate in Berlin, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.

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