How Software Professionals Can Navigate a Competitive Talent Market During Uncertain Times

How Software Professionals Can Navigate a Competitive Talent Market During Uncertain Times

Juan Santana

July 29, 2022

From hiring freezes, to layoffs and rescinded offers, we’re seeing the symptoms of economic and political instability bubble their way into the tech industry. This time around, just about everyone is affected. In the last week:

  • Shopify announced cuts to 10% of its staff
  • Google implemented a two-week hiring freeze on all roles

These recent announcements join a growing list of companies such as Microsoft, Meta, Netflix, and Twitter, all implementing measures to cut costs or reduce hiring in some capacity.

Deciding to enter the talent market during times of uncertainty can be daunting. However, here are a few reasons why we’re optimistic, and why you should be too:

  • The tech labor market is still strong. Despite recent headlines featuring slowdowns in hiring and layoffs, economists suggest many of these instances are isolated towards businesses with more volatile financial conditions, and those taking a pause out of caution rather than necessity.
  • Historic unemployment lows. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the June 2022 unemployment rate in the US was 3.6%. In the United Kingdom, unemployment hovers around 3.8%.
  • We continue to grow at 8th Light! We remain focused on expanding opportunities for our people, our clients, and the communities we support. This focus has afforded us the privilege to leverage the expertise of our talented software crafters to engage in new and exciting engagements. We welcome anyone interested in joining us in that journey to Apply for a Career at 8th Light today.

To make sure your next transition is the right one, equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence to take that next leap. We’ve got you covered with the tools to get started.

Start With YOU

What do you want your work to say about you? What do you require to feel inspired, supported, and proud of the work you produce? Taking a moment to reflect on these questions will help guide you as you determine what's next.

1. Know Your Filters


Start your search by filtering opportunities based on what you require in order to thrive. Remember to differentiate nice-to-haves (like free lunch) over essentials that will help propel your career to the next level.

During our last Researching Your Next Employer and Why it Matters event, principal software crafter Nicole Carpenter spoke about having the option to be an individual contributor (IC) and a manager, and how its helped her tap into different strengths and grow while doing what she loves. (Read more about how Nicole helps the software developer community.)

Discovering your filters will allow you to have important conversations with recruiters and hiring managers early to find the right fit.

2. Actively Manage Your Digital Presence

Your digital footprint provides an open book to potential employers and clients. Controlling what you leave online and how it is shared can play an important role in any job search process.

At 8th Light, our software crafters are developers, designers, leaders, teachers, and lifelong learners. We want our team to take pride in their craft, while celebrating and showcasing work filled with complexity, innovation, and creativity.

Regardless of where you are in your career, you should be proud of your journey. Showcasing the right elements of your journey can help guide you towards an organization with the right fit. Start implementing these best practices today:

  • Begin with a personal inventory check. A personal inventory check not only makes you more self aware, but it can help identify the type of organization and working environment you are best suited for you. There are a wide range of free and paid assessments available.
  • Keep professional profiles up to date and relevant. If you’re looking to boost your visibility and have the right audiences reach out to you, be sure to fill out key profile elements such as: Skills and About Me. This information not only gives prospective employers a better understanding of what skills you have, but the types of roles you are seeking.
  • Remember: Perfection is an illusion. Take a chance in the opportunities you pursue. YouWe will never meet every-single qualification on a job description. Continue to remember your worth and take ambitious leaps. Set imposter syndrome aside — you’ve got this.

3. Ensure Your Privacy


Building social networks and profiles can be integral toward expanding your visibility and finding that next opportunity. However, each platform and network can open you up to vulnerabilities. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Avoid sharing personal email addresses and phone numbers with prospective employers. Did you know certain job boards and applicant tracking systems (ATS) have the ability to uncover social accounts associated with an email or a phone number? Avoid this by setting up a separate email address for job applications and by using a reliable virtual phone number provider.
  • Employers may know when you upload that resume! When uploading a resume to a popular job board, you can inadvertently notify your current employer. Sometimes through setup alerts, but oftentimes they will discover you while searching for prospective candidates fitting a profile similar to you.
  • Review platform security and privacy preferences. Make sure you have control over the information that is being shared with the public. Most platforms offer users the option to set preferences on who is able to view your information or contact you. Be sure to review these settings periodically.

Tips From a Recruiter

It may seem intimidating talking to recruiters, but they are here to help you through the interviewing process. Don’t be afraid to tap their wealth of information to ensure you’re successful and making the right decision for you.


1. Ask For Feedback

Did you not move forward in the process? Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Not only could it be beneficial for your growth but it could prove useful if you’ve had a positive experience with a company and intend to reapply.


2. Don't Reapply Too Soon or Too Frequently

Although you may be eager to be reconsidered for a role, applying too soon could hurt your chances. Most recruiters would agree that six months to one year is an appropriate time to reapply. Each organization may have a different perspective. Confirm with the Talent Acquisition Team if you’re unsure.


3. Track Submitted Applications

If you’re applying and interviewing with more than a handful of organizations, it may be helpful to capture your progress and the information you are collecting. Avoid forgetting favorite employers or being caught off guard by calls or emails from interested employers.


4. Don't Lose Hope

Although the talent market continues to be strong, finding the perfect fit is tough work. Remain confident, stay persistent, and never settle for less than you deserve.

Stay Connected

We hope the information and resources provided inspire confidence and excitement for software developers and designers entering the talent market.

There are many ways to keep in touch with our teams to learn and grow together as a community. We welcome software professionals of all levels to join us by:

  • Signing up for our Talent Community. Receive monthly updates on exciting things happening around 8th Light and the software development community.
  • Attending 8th Light University (8LU). A semi-regular event, open to crafters of all skill levels. Topics are focused on perfecting the craft of software design and development.
  • Connecting on Social Media. Continue the conversation online. Let us know how you’re doing on your journey and what tools and resources work for you.

If you or someone you know is interested in a career at 8th Light, be sure to visit these resources to learn more about our hiring process:

Feel free to send questions to

Juan Santana

Talent & Community Specialist

As 8th Light’s Talent & Community Specialist, Juan leverages his extensive background to drive hiring excellence and cultivate a supportive, dynamic company culture. With a career that began in the legal industry, Juan gained invaluable insights into the criminal, civil, and nonprofit sectors, honing his advocacy skills through dedication to supporting and uplifting others.