In the tundra of crypto winter, several companies have laid off substantial portions of their staff. Groups of all sizes have been affected, from SpankChain (which downsized from 12 to 8 people) to ConsenSys (which said it would lay off 13 percent of its approximately 1,200 employees). It's debatable whether these cutbacks are influenced by plummeting cryptocurrency prices, internal factors (such as ineffective business strategies), or a mix of the above. Regardless, people are unemployed.
In response to the unemployment situation, María Paula Fernández (MP) has used her Twitter platform to help those affected. MP works on communications at Golem, but she also plays a significant role in several Ethereum- and blockchain-related initiatives (she is the organizer for ETHBerlin, for example). One might say she is Ethereum's own Cher.
Because she travels to various events and works with many people in the space, MP has developed a robust network of contacts. Even though she did not have a concrete plan, she knew she could use her connections to help the community.
"Really, I didn't know what I was doing [at first]," she told ETHNews. "I just started tweeting because I got a bunch of requests, and I have a good contact network because of the events and because, again, we travel all together. It was … super organic."
Her Twitter feed currently offers a (growing) list of crypto companies looking for talent, from Aragon and Parity to Neufund and the Web3 Foundation. She has also created a GitHub repository so companies and organizations that are hiring can share their job openings.
In general, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive; she said many groups in the space have direct-messaged or tweeted at her with opportunities. She added that she is "really glad that all these companies started reaching out," elaborating that this collaboration "shows that we are really united and that the talent in this industry is the most precious thing that we have besides the community."
Other folks, inspired by MP's gumption, have created their own resources to help the community, such as The Studio's Dave Craige, who made a Telegram group to share openings. Ziggy Zeidan, a "developer evangelist" at POA Network (one of the companies MP has signal-boosted), also believes community support during tough times is important. He told ETHNews:
"With the recent wave of crypto layoffs, a lot of great talent is now on the market and we need to provide these individuals support as a community."
Bryce Bladon, a founding team member at CryptoKitties (another company that responded to MP) chimed in, too. He spoke to the camaraderie of the blockchain space, telling ETHNews:
"The blockchain industry has seen a lot of ups and downs. Throughout it all, the same folks who criticise one another when times are good are the ones offering support to would-be competitors when times are tough. That's something special, and it comes from all of us wanting to realize the best possible future for this technology. We may not always agree on what, exactly, that future should look like, but the people who believe in it will always be a part of it."
Many of the companies that have reached out to MP are looking to hire developers, of course, but she noted that positions within the realms of developer relations, community management, and UX design are important as well. "We're starting mostly to see the professionalization of this space," she continued.
Although losing one's job is an unfortunate situation, it's also important to note that many people have respect for – and overall positive relationships with – these downsizing crypto companies. For instance, the layoffs at ConsenSys, although upsetting, did not necessarily elicit animosity from those let go.
On the contrary, an anonymous redditor who was recently laid off from the company commented, "I have a lot of respect for the people at ConsenSys who are working every day to build the decentralized future." He added that "a little downsizing and pruning at ConsenSys from time to time is probably a good thing overall."
Further, the redditor mentioned that the layoffs were not a surprise – employees were reportedly "told in a straightforward and respectful manner that downsizing would occur."
In fact, some of the organizations that have reached out to MP are ConsenSys spokes, such as Gnosis and Truffle, which suggests that the layoffs may represent more of a shift in business strategy (the so-called ConsenSys 2.0) rather than an economic downturn for the company. Downsizing is often at the core of corporate restructuring, after all.
Considering all this, MP said she understands ConsenSys' efforts to downsize:
"It's really difficult for me to see so many people put into that situation [being laid off], but at the same time, I understand the situation because it's about the growth of a company that has to downsize because, unfortunately, they expanded when ETH was going great. It's an understandable thing, and businesses work like that. Businesses have to behave responsibly."
For those currently jobless due to the recent string of layoffs, yes, it sucks. But don't worry – MP, crypto Twitter, and the rest of the community have your back.