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The first day on the job at Apple is a mix of excitement, awe, and intimidation, according to Adam Lashinsky’s brilliant new book Inside Apple.Apple’s indoctrination of a new hire into its cult of secrecy starts before the employee is even hired.
A prospective employee is run through a daunting gamut of interviews before being hired to work at Apple. During the interview process, the employee has an idea about which job he or she will get, but in reality, it’s just a “dummy position.” Apple doesn’t think this person can be trusted to know what the job will actually entail.
On day one, new employees “learn they’ve joined a different kind of company than anywhere they’ve worked before,” writes Lashinsky. The company is “cultish,” and new employees aren’t trusted with much information when they start.
Monday is always the first day of work for new employees, unless there’s a holiday on Mondays. There’s a half-day orientation program. The new employees get standard big company packets with stickers saying welcome to Apple, HR forms, and a t-shirt that says, “Class of” with the year you joined on it.
New employees get a shiny new iMac. The only catch? They have to set it up themselves. There’s no tech support. Apple assumes that if you’re smart enough to work at Apple, you’re smart enough to figure out how to connect your new computer to servers.
The sneaky effect of not having other people set up the computer is that it gets you talking to your new co-workers. You have to ask them for some help or advice on what to do.
During orientation, Apple also has a presentation on secrecy Lashinsky calls, “Scared Silent.” The head of security comes in and tells employees that leaks are forbidden. This person tells new employees that the press coverage and buzz that results when a previously secret product is finally revealed is worth millions.
Apple makes it clear on day one: You will be fired immediately if you talk about the company’s secrets intentionally or unintentionally, says Lashinsky.
But, it’s not all scare tactics and fending for yourself!
Apple pays for new employees’ lunches. According to a former employee, “There is only one free lunch, and it’s on your first day.”
Want to hear more cool insider tidbits like this? Then go buy Lashinsky’s book →
And don’t miss: Facts About Apple’s Business That Will Blow Your Mind