The last few months have not been good for tech workers. Groupon laid off 500 employees, Spotify axed 600, Yahoo nixed 1,600, Paypal cut 2,000, Salesforce let go of 7,000, Microsoft fired 10,000, and Alphabet — Google’s parent company — parted ways with 12,000. Meta, the company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, just pink-slipped 10,000 workers — after it had Zuckerberged 11,000 in November. And that’s just the household names. Swiggy, Fandom, Sophos and GoMechanic announced double- and triple-digit workforce cuts.

At the same time, vacancies in federal, state and local governments totaled 1,080,000 positions at the end of 2022. I’m no mathematical genius, but is it possible there might be some way to move at least some of those laid-off tech workers into jobs in public service?

Sure, most government workers don’t enjoy pingpong tables, catered meals, beer bashes, concerts, massage specialists and 10 grand to customize their work spaces. But the fact is, such perks were already beginning to disappear at some tech workplaces, a decent number of tech workers never had them, and now none of the newly unemployed have them either.

Yet even those who are accustomed to fancy Santa Clara or palatial Palo Alto workplaces in California might find themselves at home in public-service jobs. After all, the mission statements for many tech startups at least pay lip service to lofty goals like improving the quality of life on the planet. “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion,” says one. “Be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” says another. And then there’s “Our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.”