Apple can be a tough place to work.Employees have to put up with excessive levels of secrecy, crazy hours and non-stop pressure to perform at the top of your game.
However, working at Apple isn’t all bad. We went through hundreds of reviews from current and former Apple employees on the job site Glassdoor.com. While there definitely seem to be more complaints than compliments about the company, we did find plenty of things that employees love about working for Apple.
The biggest perk of working at Apple, at least based on the number of reviews that mentioned it, is a feeling that your work really matters and has an impact on the world. We saw this point made in dozens of reviews from current and former Apple employees from departments throughout the company.
'Engineers at Apple get to make real contributions that will benefit tens or hundreds of millions of people everyday. That's awesome,' one software engineer wrote. Likewise, a store manager said, 'I joined Apple because I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself.'
Others described the thrill of being part of the cutting edge and the pride that comes with doing meaningful work. Apple, for its part, clearly tries to hammer this point home for employees starting on day one by handing out this inspirational quote about doing meaningful work.
Steve Jobs was fond of saying he only wanted A-level people on his staff, and plenty of current and employees seemed to appreciate having the opportunity to be surrounded by really, really smart people.
As one employee based in Cupertino put it, there are 'bright and talented people everywhere' at Apple. Others noted that this can make things competitive, but ultimately it brings out your best work.
Apple may be the most valuable company in the world, but that doesn't mean it functions like a big company. Several employees wrote that one of the best things about Apple is that it operates more like a cluster of startups under the umbrella of a larger company. As a result, you get the job security of a big company with the career flexibility that comes from working at a smaller operation.
'Apple is run like a bunch of small companies (work groups),' one senior software engineer wrote. 'When your job gets old and boring - and they all eventually do - it is easy to move within the company to get a fresh outlook without having to change employers completely. Likewise, if you need to stretch or improve your skill set, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement.'
Many employees ranging from engineers to managers praised the compensation and benefits that Apple provides. (The notable exception being employees who work in Apple's retail stores, though the company is reportedly planning to give these workers a raise this month so maybe they'll stop complaining.) In fact, an analysis of Apple salaries on the salary comparison website Payscale.com shows that many positions at the company earn well above the industry average.
While some retail workers complained about their salaries, many praised Apple for providing them with benefits - even if they only worked part-time. At the moment, Apple offers all employees who work 20 hours or more a week with health and 401k benefits
Working at Apple is a bit like living in New York. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
As one software engineer explained, Apple employees 'Receive broad and career changing visibility if you are able to do something great.' Another engineer noted that the 'experience makes you hirable anywhere else.'
Apple may not offer as many insane perks as Google and Facebook, but there are still some. Several employees raved about the great food at Caffe Mac at Apple's main headquarters in Cupertino. The dining options should only continue to improve in the coming years as Apple is now working on building a new campus cafeteria.
A few employees also noted Apple's commuting options as a positive of working at the company, including the company's shuttle service that transports employees from parts of the Bay Area to campus in Cupertino. Apple also provides a stipend to help cover the cost of employees commuting by bus, train and other means.
Apple can be a stressful place to work with lots to do on a tight deadline, but several employees said that was part of the thrill of working for the company.
As one engineer wrote, 'I didn't really have time to take a breath between projects. I liked the feeling of achieving some pretty hefty goals in a heroic time frame. Great sense of accomplishment.'
While other tech companies like Nokia are laying off employees by the thousand, Apple continues to hire for many of its departments and expand into new markets. That fact isn't lost on employees.
As one business specialist at the company put it, 'Apple is growing like crazy and it is exciting to be part of that growth.'
Multiple employees praised the company's excellent leadership. In fact, Tim Cook has an astoundingly high 94% approval rating on Glassdoor, showing just how well-respected he is by employees.
Apple may be a controlling company, but for the most part, employees say they have a good amount of freedom to do their work.
One employee in Cupertino wrote that 'a lot of trust and independence is given.' Likewise, a software QA engineer praised the fact that there is 'not a lot of micromanagement.'
This may be changing for some employees now though, as upper management is reportedly starting to encroach a bit more into departments it previously left untouched.
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