Apple’s New Employee Note: Inspiring Or Scary?

Apple’s New Employee Note: Inspiring Or Scary?

A picture doing the rounds claims to be the note presented to Apple employees on their first day at work. Would being told that you’re about to do the kind of work that you’ll want to “sacrifice a weekend for” make you feel like you’d arrived at your dream workplace, or would you run screaming for the hills?

We don’t know if the image is actually genuine, and it would obviously be a lot less relevant if you worked in the HR department than if you’re a software engineer. Having to work weekends is hardly an uncommon event these days anyway, and it is definitely easier to do if you enjoy the task at hand. But the extent to which that can be balanced with what is, in Apple’s case, indisputably a very controlling work environment is an open question.

Would you find this kind of message inspiring on your first day, or would panic start to creep in? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Instagram [via Ycombinator via Gizmodo]


  • i think its great as long as they compensate you accordingly. if you want winners who would dedicate their life to your cause then make sure they get compensated accordingly. no ceiling salaries!

  • I can imagine the Apple HQ would be like Portal 2 and have pre recorded messages from Steve Jobs, slowly as time passes they become more and more insane.

  • this is a horrible article, you just took a little part of the letter (sacrifice weekends) and blew it way out of proportion. The letter says you would want to not have to.

  • If I’d just started at a place I was excited to be at I think I’d find that pretty exciting.

    Having said that there’s no way I’d get a job at Apple…

  • Sounds like every advertising/design agency I’ve ever worked at. Work life balance is a myth in that industry, working incredibly late hours and weekends is expected of you as standard. I’ve even been told in interviews that the standard working hours are 8:30 to 5:30 “but the people who stick to those hours don’t last long here” – thanks but no thanks.

  • That’s Apple – controlling, everything and everyone. Steve Job’s spirit lives on. Problem is that it doesn’t mean what it says, it means “conform to Apple’s way of doing things, if you want to keep your job”, it means “don’t try to be an individual, there is no room at Apple for your ideas, just do and believe as you’re told and we’ll decide what’s good for you”. Its very manipulative and threatening. Nasty.

  • Apple job interview:

    Apple: Tell us what you love most about your life?
    You: Working in this industry and spending time with my kids
    Apple: We don’t think you would fit in here.

  • There’s your own work and then there’s ours.

    The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over it. The kind of work that you didn’t compromise on, that you sacrificed your weekends for. Thanks. We’ll be taking that from you at Apple, paying you an hourly wage for it, and then claiming it as our own and reaping profits from it in perpetuity for ever after.

    Your work will add up to something here. Something big. But remember that it’s ours now.

    Welcome to (Insert name of preferred large company here)

      • ..and nothing. I mean that’s the point of working for someone. They pay you for your work, and then they own it.

        I just think it reeks of insincerity for the big company to be implying that you’re doing it just for the sake of doing it. Let’s face it. I’m doing it for the money. You’re getting it from me for the money. Apple aren’t gunna go to the wall for the integrity of your work. When things get tight financially they’re going to sack you to save some money. They’re not going to cut into their profit margin because the integrity of your work matters to them more than profits. I’m not saying it should, just that they shouldn’t pretend anything otherwise. If I read a welcome note like this I’d think “what a bunch of pretentious lying wankers. Wonder if there’s a sincere company somewhere”

        • I hate people that work for free aiming to some imaginary ‘higher goal’. If your company valued your input that much they would pay you for it. Personally if I don’t get paid I don’t work.

    • At the bank I used to work for we got pretty much the same spiel. Their pitch is ‘Living the Values’. Live for what this bank values (money). Also, ‘Part of One Team’ gets thrown about a lot there. You’re part of One Team, until its more cost-effective to replace you with teammates in India.

      Just like the letter above, they try to make you feel like your job will make a difference, or help save the world, when really, you’re just there to help generate profit.

  • This is why they succeeded. No room for mediocrity at Apple. Go hard or go home.

    If you spend more than an hour of your day thinking down to someone else’s level who expects to be spoon-fed or carried, you’re in the wrong workplace.

  • This image is real. I used to work for apple and we got a card like this in our welcome bags. Just like any other big company to work for. Miscommunication. Short staffed. Managers on power trips. Etc etc.

  • After reading Steve Job’s biography by Walter Isaacson – it left me with an impression that working in Apple was like working in an emotional minefield. Jobs defended his leadership and emotional conduct as cultivating “A+ players” who got results; but it seemed that nobody cared about the players – only the results. Consider the team who developed the first Macintosh; it’s nice they got to sign their work – but most of them didn’t stay at Apple.
    It would be interesting to contrast the leadership and culture of Apple with that of Gabe Newell of Valve, or John Lassetter of Pixar .

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