My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

Summary: A short tale for why my sister wants to work for Apple, and why I told her not to. At least, not just yet.

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TOPICS: Apple, CXO, IT Employment
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My sister, three years younger than I, wants to work for Apple. My heart sank. It was like being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher.

She's a relatively typical Generation Y kid. She's smart, she studies at university part-time while she works, and has a reasonable interest in technology and social media, and is career focused.

But as with many people of our age, the prospect of working for a multinational corporation, like Apple or Google, Microsoft or Facebook, is highly appealing. There is a constant brand awareness with the products we use, from hardware to software, search and social networking. It is almost ingrained into us.

Yet there are factors to take into account where she could not have even begun to consider.

Her reasons, at my request, are as follows:

  1. They're a global organisation that looks after their employees;
  2. They bring out the most amazing technology that are so easy and simple to use;
  3. They set most of the technology trends that are out there;
  4. I am interested in how apple work and would love to learn more about their products;
  5. It would be a job that I adored and took pride in due to my personal interest in the company.

"Sent from my iPad" was the last thing I saw on the email. I did laugh.

I took an objective step back and emotionally detached myself from this one. She wants to work there because "they're awesome", as she told me when I called her back. But in reading over the reasons she gave, I nailed down her career path to public and press relations.

It might be seen as ironic that two people bound together by status could be working in respective careers at polar ends of the spectrum.

But I made it clear I was hesitant towards Apple.

Why Apple? She's an Apple user, admirer and consumer. But why not a smaller PR company with clearer and defined goals and objectives? Will she be lost in the corporate machine, or am I stifling her dreams because I want to protect her from the harsh realities of the working world?

Weighing up status versus job satisfaction »

It is absolutely without a shadow of a doubt not because "It's Apple, and I hate Apple", because I don't. All of the aforementioned companies would be a great place to work for in mind of future aspirations.

But starting off in a smaller company where she might learn more and gain better experience might be more beneficial for her, as well as the vast majority of the Generation Y.

The press and technology industry has this perspective of Apple as being 'hard to get', with many struggling to engage with its press relations department in a meaningful, professional relationship.

But while large companies, in particular Apple and Facebook, focus their products to younger consumers, major organisations still struggle to engage with the Generation Y on a corporate level. The "old boys network" still exists thus making the workplace for younger women especially more difficult to attain to the higher ranks.

And the "Us versus them" attitude towards younger prospective employees from the older generation makes it less appealing overall. There is still a naive element for younger graduates, unaware of the stigma faced towards them by existing and comfortably placed employees, seeing the young as a threat to their job security.

The temptation to work in places where we feel a strong resonance towards through brand association needs to be quelled and objective perspectives should to be considered.

We can't all work for these high-octane corporations, no matter how appealing they may be, nor should we necessarily want to. Apple keeps their press relations department in-house, whereas many others outsource to more diversified, smaller organisations who also work on projects outside of the realms of technology.

The lesson here is to aim big. Though the Generation Y tend to focus less on life-long careers and more on the job for now and for the years to come, having aspirations combined with real-world experience and qualifications can make for a higher entry point to a company like Apple after a few years.

Should my sister go and work for Apple?

Topics: Apple, CXO, IT Employment

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55 comments
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  • Of the tech companies for women to work for...

    Of the tech companies for women to work for, I think Apple wouldn't be so bad considering it's run by a hippie.
    olePigeon
    • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

      @olePigeon I just think given time it'd be something to -aspire- to, unlike a smaller company she can work for and really learn the ropes.
      zwhittaker
      • She should learn the ropes...

        @zwhittaker
        At Apple. Hone some marketable skills that she can then offer to a smaller company if she wishes.
        oncall
      • Apple credentials ...

        @zwhittaker

        ... would instantly turn into employability anywhere else. Learning great skills at a place nobody ever heard of will not necessarily do that.
        RationalGuy
    • There's a lot of talk

      ....that Steve Jobs is a big male chauvinist.

      When have you heard of any women having any upper position in Apple? I don't know of any. But on the contrary, I know of many in Microsoft.
      Joe_Raby
      • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

        @Joe_Raby To be fair, that could just be a matter of coincidence. It's all in who applies for these positions and who is most qualified...at least, it should be.
        guardianmega
      • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

        Regardless of how you look at it, Apple does not appear to be a female-friendly company to work for. In Apple's entire history, I don't know of any female employee that has held any seat of interest within Apple. They certainly haven't spotlighted any female players in their ranks publicly.

        Microsoft does though, including their multi-ethnicity, and on a regular basis.

        If you decapitated Jobs, Ive, and Wartface from Apple, it would appear to be a headless company.
        Joe_Raby
      • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

        @Joe_Raby I still think it's a pretty big leap to say that because none of the executives are women that Steve Jobs is a male chauvinist. Show me some "culture of harrassment" stories about Apple first, then you'll have me hooked into the arguement
        guardianmega
  • Why Not?

    I have worked at big companies and little companies. Big companies with tiny divisions. They can all be meet grinders.

    The question is:
    1) Can she take pride in the work she is doing?

    2) Will it pay the bills?

    3) Will she learn new and interesting things?

    4) Will she be happy?

    After that, who cares? Apple, Google, FB, Wangs Fresh Meats Corner Sandwiches.
    Bruizer
    • How many people though, come out of college and can go straight to Apple?

      @Bruizer<br>or many top tech companies like MS, Google, ect?<br><br>Many times someone with hands on knowledge get hired over those with no experience, just knowledge, especially in hardware related companies, like Apple. <br><br>She would likely be bottom rung for quite some time, unlike smaller companies where (In my experience) she would be more hands on and involved<br><br>On the flip side, Apple has it's "Worldwide Loyalty Team", and are probally managed to a degree beyond what a small company does.
      John Zern
  • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

    She does what she wants. Don't decide for her please, she will thank you for not having to say rude words to you if you feed her this kind of bullshit. Sorry for the word, but you have no right to choose for her, especially for reasons that are so specific to yourself.
    atari_z
    • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

      @atari_z Arguably as someone older and more knowledgable about the tech world (tick), who's been in it (tick) and who's written about it extensively (tick), and as someone she trusts and knows who will look out for her (double tick).

      Yeah, I think I'm qualified to advise her. I'd never tell her what to do. I tried that once and it failed miserably :)
      zwhittaker
      • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

        @zwhittaker I think you missed Atari_z's point. It has nothing to do with your knowledge of the industry.
        wright_is
      • Your knowledege of what Apple is like as a employer? Tick or no tick?

        @zwhittaker <br><br><img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
        DevJonny
  • Although you're right, she has to learn for herself.

    She probably won't get into Apple, but she should try. Following one's own instincts and curiosity is good, and it certainly gets a thing "out of your system" when it's not right for you. If she does get in, she may find that Apple's employees are not looked after as well as she thought.
    peter_erskine@...
    • I agree, though I can see where Zak's comming from

      @peter_erskine@

      She's basing her choice based on the products she uses. She has no idea what working for Apple is really like. Like the many of Googlers who have left in disgust a few years later as the employment doesn't come close to the hype for the majority, yes, I can see Zak wanting her not to expect more then it really is, and look somewhere else.

      On the other hand, Zak has to learn that the only way his sister will ever be able to go through life without doubts about "what could have been" would be to let her try and find out on her own.
      This is Apple we're talking about, and like MS, Adobe, Google, ect, getting and leaving a job there is nothing that gets your resume filed in the trash can.

      It's not like she's telling Zak she's gonna' marry some drug addict off the street. ;)
      John Zern
  • She should

    IF she really wants to.
    Go to work at the big company and LEARN EVERYTHING you can.
    It will look good on her resume (or cv as you Brits say).
    davebarnes
    • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

      @davebarnes Again, my argument is that it would work far better -the other way around-.
      zwhittaker
      • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

        @zwhittaker Zack I worked for the big company first and then moved on to the small company. I think that worked very well for me. Be open minded on this. Both paths have advantages, don't let your limited experience dictate your sister's fate.
        At the large company I had many more resources than I have here at the smaller company. Most importantly I had access to many seasoned professionals, who were able to mentor me. I also had more options to pursue my interests as I could move from one department to another. Both of these would not have been available to me at a small company. I am now in a position where I can take that knowledge and experience and help grow this company.
        As a case in point, at one point in my 13 years at my prior job I wanted to try my hand at development. I was able transfer departments, and do that. I discovered while I was good at it, I didn't enjoy it. I was then able to transfer to another department.
        Don't advise her on my experience, or yours help her understand the pluses, and minuses of each opportunity. Most importantly support her in achieving her goals.
        jhuddle
      • RE: My sister wants to work for Apple; Why she shouldn't

        @jhuddle -

        Your own case in point from my perspective. In the larger company, you had to "transfer" to another department, with another boss, and another payroll (potentially) in order to "try your hand" at development.

        When I wanted to try development work, I just jumped in and did it (with the blessing, of course, of my boss). No transfer required, other than proving a basic understanding of our internal practices, development methodologies and so forth. I, like you, prefer some of the other parts of the job, so I decided to leave the coding to the gurus, and use my development knowledge to empower them to help me.

        And I've not been at a shortage for mentors or seasoned professionals to work with. Being in a small consulting firm means that I've been working along side CEOs, CIOs, and other very well seasoned executives starting very early on in my career. And in my case, I get to tap into this experience from the perspective of many different industries (from professional sports teams to energy companies, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, manufacturing... the list goes on).
        daftkey