Seems that most groups at Intel finished their layoffs over the last week (recall that the company is laying off 10,500 people). This time it seemed to take a heavy toll on managers. Many had 10 to 15 years or more experience (one had 23). Those who made the cut are finding their departments sometimes cut in half. That means more work for everyone, but who's complaining?
It reminded me of a good article that ran in Fortune magazine in 05 about the millions of managers getting the ax at middle age. Front cover had a grey haired, 50ish guy with a briefcase, all suited up, and heading out the door. Title: 50 and Fired stuck in my brain.
In the article, a consultant estimates that 3.5 million people between the ages of 40 and 58 vanished from the American workforce from 2001 to 2004. That's about 5% of all baby-boomers. Of course, they're not unemployed, they're "in transition."
The transition can last a painfully long time--some eat up years
worth of savings trying to find anything close to their old jobs. And
the "displaced" middle aged worker get screwed in many ways.
They're less likely to find new jobs than 25- to 54-year-olds (57% vs. 69%), and more likely to drop out of the workforce altogether (20% vs. 11%). Those lucky enough to get hired again take sizable pay cuts, more than the younger workers. A 2003 survey by DBM, an outplacement firm, found that only 32% of workers over 57 earned the same or higher pay at their new employer, versus 42% of 38-to-56-year-olds (and 60% of 21-to-37-year-olds).
It's not a pretty picture, but a few do survive and go on. Some even thrive later on, creating better lives outside the corporate universe. In any case, many Intel folks will soon get their chance at bat, like it or not. My earlier job hunting tips for corporate outcasts posted earlier here