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Is Apple a Great Place to Work?

It would be real­ly hard to find some­one, any­where in the world that does­n’t instant­ly rec­og­nize the Apple brand. Head­quar­tered in Cuper­ti­no, CA, It’s the largest tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny in the world as mea­sured by rev­enue, the first pub­lic U.S. com­pa­ny to ever hit $1 tril­lion in mar­ket val­ue, and as of 2018 had about $236 bil­lion in liq­uid assets (cash and mar­ketable secu­ri­ties). In 2018 it’s world­wide rev­enue was $265 bil­lion. Despite a few rocky moments over the decades, Apple has been a tech­nol­o­gy pow­er­house from its begin­nings in the late 1970s.

After ear­ly suc­cess with per­son­al com­put­ers (the Apple I, Apple II, and orig­i­nal Mac­in­tosh), founders Steve Woz­ni­ak and Steve Jobs both left the com­pa­ny. Apple strug­gled into the 1990s due to the suc­cess of Microsoft offer­ing low­er-priced com­put­ers, but recov­ered after Jobs became the CEO again in 2000. Since then they have con­tin­u­al­ly rein­vent­ed the tech­nol­o­gy world with the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, and of course iOS com­put­ers, in addi­tion to numer­ous oth­er relat­ed ven­tures. As any top com­pa­ny will, they’ve had their share of con­tro­ver­sies over the years, but they always sur­vive them and con­tin­ue to grow.

Work­ing at Apple

From the per­spec­tive of a job seek­er, Apple in many ways seems ide­al. In 2018 it had around 132,000 employ­ees and as of this writ­ing is adver­tis­ing for over 4,500 open Jobs at Apple in mul­ti­ple Unit­ed States loca­tions. It’s com­mon knowl­edge that Apple has become syn­ony­mous with inno­va­tion, so almost any­one look­ing to pave the future by push­ing new bound­aries in a tech­no­log­i­cal field would nat­u­ral­ly be drawn to the com­pa­ny. The one excep­tion might be those who are more inclined toward open-source solu­tions, as Apple’s “walled gar­den” ecosys­tem of pro­pri­etary sys­tems and soft­ware is as well-known as it’s busi­ness and tech­no­log­i­cal prowess.

All of that is the­o­ret­i­cal of course, from a per­son­al per­spec­tive. The real ques­tion is “what is it actu­al­ly like work­ing at Apple on a day to day basis”? Lead­er­ship is always impor­tant, and CEO Tim Cook, who took the reigns after the pass­ing of Steve Jobs in 2011, enjoys a 91% approval rat­ing among employ­ees and was con­sid­ered on of the top CEOs in the coun­try in 2018. 

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, with any com­pa­ny this large things can eas­i­ly become less great as they roll down the chain to the employ­ees scat­tered around the coun­try and the world. While Apple is cer­tain­ly nowhere near the bot­tom of the list and employ­ees respond­ing on Glass­door give the com­pa­ny an over­all rat­ing of 4 out of 5 stars, only 78% of those same respon­dents would rec­om­mend that a friend work there, a rel­a­tive­ly low num­ber in com­par­i­son to many com­pa­nies. One of the most cit­ed rea­sons for this is the work/life bal­ance ratio. While not nec­es­sar­i­ly typ­i­cal of all respons­es, one employ­ee of more than 20 years not­ed “ZERO ZERO ZERO work/life bal­ance. Execs have been say­ing for YEARS that they under­stand and will make it bet­ter. But in actu­al­i­ty, it gets worse every year!” Oth­ers note a cum­ber­some hier­ar­chy, dif­fi­cult sched­ul­ing sys­tems, and fair­ly reg­u­lar reor­ga­ni­za­tions.

On the pos­i­tive side, most employ­ees cite great pay and ben­e­fits, plen­ti­ful oppor­tu­ni­ties, and some­times describe the work envi­ron­ment as “relaxed” despite long hours. take is that Apple is def­i­nite­ly worth con­sid­er­a­tion. The wide diver­si­ty of job types, loca­tions, and busi­ness lines makes it very dif­fi­cult to pin down the employ­ee expe­ri­ence at any giv­en loca­tion or busi­ness branch. But the growth, prof­itabil­i­ty, and inno­va­tion of the com­pa­ny should pro­vide some­thing for almost any­one look­ing for a career in tech­nol­o­gy or media jobs.

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