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Thursday, October 2, 2008

So You Want To Work For Apple? Part One of Many

As many of you know, this website and video network was founded by former Apple employees. Often, people ask us what it's like working at Apple. Well, that's a topic for several blog entries. Another frequent question: "What did you learn while working at Apple to use in the future?" This question usually comes from people considering a job at an Apple Store. Often, their first job out of college. Jamie and I tackled this question in a recent Root Access episode (below).

In general though, here are a few things about working in Apple Retail:
1. You don't have to work for a company because you like it. I remember before working at Apple the countless hours spent checking out the latest Apple news and rumors. A task that was much harder and far fringier in those days. Working for Apple though, certainly took away some of the magic and mystique.

2. If you have technical skills, consider your options. While Mac Geniuses are decently paid by retail standards, if you truly have a grasp of the technical side of things, you could make far more outside of Apple, or even inside Apple in another capacity.

3. Apple Retail isn't the farm league for Apple corporate. While I know many people who've made the leap from Apple retail to "real" Apple, it is a tough road, especially for those who aren't on the programming side. Initially, working for Apple will get your foot in the door, in terms of things like visiting Cupertino (if you're a genius) and yes, there are stories of potential geniuses who were snatched up, and brought on to engineering teams while attending genius training. This is NOT the norm. My rule of thumb would be, if you work at an Apple Store for 18 months and don't see a path to another part of Apple, get out. I personally know three people who ended up in Cupertino by working in retail, then taking my advice and leaving, before getting the call to corporate.

4. If you're retired, think twice. For older Apple fans, the store can look like a fun, and energetic way to spend a few days a week if you're looking to get out of the house. I would strongly advise visiting the store multiple times to get a feel for the actual demands of the store. Some stores are laid back, while others are, in nicest terms, a zoo. Just know what you're getting into.

The bottom line is, if you're looking to start a lasting career, it's nice to have Apple on your resume, but don't expect it to work wonders. And unless you want to develop a career in retail, get out at about the 18 month mark.

Personally, I worked for Apple for about three years. In that time, I was able to change jobs three times, and even helped with some special internal projects. By that time, it was clear there wasn't any sense in staying unless I wanted to continue in retail, which if that's your thing, then fine.

Also know that depending on the crew in your store, it could be one of the most entertaining jobs you'll ever have. It can be hell at the mall too, sometimes with the same people... Look for more in a future blog post.

1 comment:

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From: Ousizch

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