Life Cubed: I quit the Intel Cubicle Life

November 10, 2005 - Get free updates of new posts here
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As some of my readers may have known I am no longer working for Intel Corporation and am heading to a startup next Monday. I do not want this post to be about bashing my former employer nor do I want to talk of all the greatness they instilled in me. I just want to reflect what it is like to work in a cubicle and how corporate life treats employee #105953235.

intel logo

That is what you felt like a good part of the time, just a #. Where your role could easily be replaced by some other person or better yet a computer program. Most of the time people around you are just satisfied with their positions. You start wodering if these are the people you would expect working at a world-class company. And then I started asking if people enjoy their jobs and they seem quite comfortable working 9-5 and collecting pay checks. The longer I was there and the more great books I read (celestine prophecy, what should i do with my life & others) I realized I was getting very little meaning out of this job, was not learning anything new and wanted to accomplish more in my life.

The feeling you get being in Thailand and people knowing the name Intel is quite insane and refreshing. However, to the technology people aka silicon valley you are a young person with energy working at an old man’s company. Intel had some great people which made it easier to stick around. As well, there was a lot of structure and discipline which are things I need and learned within the company. I have also learned to master Excel after many hours of creating spreadsheet after sheet.

Other thoughts of working for a large corporation:

    Communication with management should not ONLY be through emails sent quarterly with management. I prefer to speak directly and frequently with them.
    Secret tip, motivational posters on the wall that have buzz words DO NOT matter nor motivate anyone besides people walking past them as fast as possible when the clock strikes 5.
    A tip from my mentor was to always keep your cubicle empty so you can leave at anytime and have less attachment to the office.
    Company loyalty is changing in my generation where I met someone today who has had 6 jobs in 6 years. Instead of doing quarterly surveys on retention and not just focusing on money incentives, please take the time to make employees happy.

Some suggestions for improving their organization. Make it mandatory to watch Office Space and then look around the office for ALL the inefficiencies that go on, through manual data entry to copier inefficiency. Spending 5-6 million on Sodas may seem like an exorbitant amount to most people but the amount of caffeine it provides and the morale boost it offers is definitely worth it. COLOR, one thing that google and other “cool” companies do is have color on their walls, the cost is minimal and the impact and happiness it brings is astounding.

I am very appreciate for the job opportunity I was given and the belief some people saw in me. However, I feel that you should look forward to work in the morning and when it is over at night; not dread or sleep through the morning commute. One time as a freshman in college I worked at cyber camps, a computer nerd camp and dreamt about going back to work in the morning. I look forward to those times again. ..

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7 responses to “Life Cubed: I quit the Intel Cubicle Life

  1. David Xue Reply

    I’m super excited that you’re joining one of the best and most phenomenal consumer startups of the last year. I’m sure you’ll kick ass there and have a great time.

    Cheers!

  2. Noah Kagan Reply

    Thanks for the support. I am going to be working at a well known startup for college students. I will ask my boss if I can blog about working there and the things we are doing within reason. I quit by submitting a pre-generated resignation letter from soyouwanna.com and I told my manager in our 1-1 that I am putting in my 2 weeks. I have not been that nervous as when I told her in a long time.

  3. Rishi Khaitan Reply

    Noah, I know what you mean about the nervous thing. At my prior company, when I told my manager (who I didn’t really even like) that I was leaving the company, I also was really nervous. I don’t know what it was about the situation that made me nervous. After all, I was in control and I certainly didn’t need his approval to quit. Only reason I can think of is being nervous about receiving disapproval/semi-anger about abandoning the team. Strange phenomenon….

    Rishi
    itsrishi.com

  4. Noah Kagan Reply

    Rishi,

    I totally know what you mean. I liked my boss but felt bad for deserting the new team I just joined. I think a lot of the time we consider other people before our best interest which makes things harder. I was surprised mostly that she was surprised I was quitting. Just the week before she was telling me I was doing a crappy job, which I was, and how I can improve it. That stems from putting the right person in a wrong position. Anyways, it is very cool to know other people feel the same. Best of luck with DBJ.

    nk

  5. Matt Hartrich - Buffalo, NY Reply

    Good luck at your new position!
    As long as you learned more about your field and yourself, the job was at least somewhat worthwhile. Hopefully, you’ll truly be interested in your new position.