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A Career Inflection Point: Navigating the Pending Intel Job Cuts

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photo-1428263197823-ce6a8620d1e1.jpegAccording to Mike Rogoway at the Oregonian, Intel is gearing up for a round of job cuts that could be announced as early as this week. And, if his sources are correct, this reduction could be more substantial than those done last year. [Update: Intel has announced a reduction of 12,000 jobs worldwide, 11% of the global workforce.] The cuts may signal a shift of focus for Intel and will undoubtedly impact many on an individual level.

And if that’s you, Cordant has some resources, listed below, that may help you if you’re impacted by this round of cuts—a personal strategic inflection point so to speak.

More than an average round of cuts, the current shake up in executive ranks may signal that Intel views itself as being at what the late Andy Grove termed a “strategic inflection point.” According to Jim McGregor, the founder of tech-industry strategist TIRIAS Research, “after seeing the upheaval in senior staff, it would not surprise me if structural changes are finally afoot.” He sees Intel heading for a “profound shift” as evidenced by its slowing of the pace for Moore’s Law and a consolidation of certain operations. As quoted by the Oregonian, McGregor says, “the company is finally realizing things have changed for the long term and they've shifted the focus of the company."

But “strategic inflection points” don’t just take place in companies, they take place in careers and life as well. In the paperback version of his excellent book Only the Paranoid Survive,” Grove includes a chapter on the impact of strategic inflection points on one’s career. He describes an inflection point as a valley and prescribes two things for traversing the valley in your career (or life): clarity and conviction. He writes:

Clarity refers to a tangible and precise view of where you’re heading…knowing what you’d like your career [or life] to be as well as knowing what you’d like [it] not to be. Conviction refers to your determination to get across this career valley and in a position that meets the criteria you determined.”

So, if you're an Intel employee affected by the latest round of layoffs, we urge you to get clarity about what the next phase of life looks like for you. For some it means a move to another employer. For some, it may mean a transition to contributing in another way. And for others, it may be retiring. Whatever it means for you, it’s important to get clarity about what you want life to be and then determine the appropriate strategy so you can get the conviction needed to get you there.

Given our focus on wealth management for current and former Intel employees, we'd like to help you through this inflection point. Here are some tools and resources that may help during this period.

  • We’ve done a few interviews with people who retired from Intel titled, “Life after Intel." These may help you get a sense of what life on the outside can look like. Here’s an except from a recent webinar with Ben Manny (link coming shortly), and to attend an upcoming webinar click here.
  • We have a couple of white papers that may help during this period:
  • Some may be wondering what to do with their Intel retirement assets and taking a serious look at how the accounts are positioned. Our eBook “Navigating the Intel Retirement Plan” may help here. And for those in Oregon, we have an educational workshop coming up in June on this topic. You can sign up here.
  • For those wondering about the Intel Minimum Pension plan and how it applies to your situation, you can read our article “Understanding the Intel Pension Plan” here.
  • If you want to talk to someone who has gone through a transition from Intel, get in touch our Cordant ambassador, Dave Unzicker, by sending an email to deunzicker [at] cordantwealth.com.
  • Finally, for those who would like help navigating this transition we invite you to get in touch with us. Our process helps people get answers to their big financial questions like, "can I retire?" or "am I taking too much risk with my investments?". We do this through a three-part process that: sets a plan, develops a strategy, and tracks the results. You can find out more and get in touch by clicking here.

And for those not affected by the current round of cuts, there is still no time like the present to take control. Grove gives the example of someone affected by a strategic career change, one outside of his control the other dictated by him. He writes:

“The transition this time was not as traumatic, mainly because he initiated it in his own time, unlike the previous time, when the change was initiated for him by outside circumstance.”

Get in touch and let us help in any way we can. Going through the valley isn’t fun when at its depths, but it’s worth it in the end. Once more from Grove:

“Pour your energy, every bit of it, into adapting to your new world, into learning the skills you need to prosper in it and into shaping it around you. Whereas the old land presented limited opportunity or none at all, the new land enables you to have a future whose rewards are worth all the risks.”


Click here for disclosures regarding information contained in blog postings.
Cordant, Inc. is not affiliated or associated with, or endorsed by, Intel.

Published on April 19, 2016

Isaac Presley, CFA

Isaac Presley, CFA

Isaac Presley is the President and Director of Investments for Cordant, a wealth management firm serving current and former Intel employees. To learn more, you can read Isaac's full bio.

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