The New York Times ran a fascinating article on Sunday about Apple’s store employees. I pasted the link below.
The article focused on a rather interesting situation: Apple manages to hire highly skilled and motivated people despite paying them about $11 per hour and providing no real career path. These people could likely make far more working for Verizon or AT&T but they stick with Apple.
This is really a story about branding, of course. Apple is such a cool brand that people want to work there despite the high pressure and low pay. So Apple is able to pick exceptional people who deliver terrific service. This reinforces the brand while generating huge profits.
So is it silly to work for Apple?
On the surface it certainly seems so. Why work at a company that generates huge profits from your efforts and in return pays you very little? Apple is just taking advantage of the situation, right?
But working for Apple isn’t a mistake because anyone who works there gets to own a bit of the Apple brand. And this branding never goes away; they will always be part of Apple. Years from now they can confidently say, “Well, when I worked at Apple…” and “I was at Apple while Steve Jobs was CEO, and let me tell you what it was like….”
Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to stick around very long. Once you’ve been there for two years or so, long enough that it proves you did a respectable job and weren’t fired, it is probably time to move on to a company that rewards you for your efforts and for your Apple branding.