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Working for Apple: Innovation by burnout?

Posting in Food

What is it actually like to work for one of the world's most famous tech firms? Staff share their opinion.

According to a number of Glassdoor reviews, putting "Apple" on your resume is certainly an attractive prospect, but high levels of secrecy and a work-until-you-drop culture can result in less-than-happy employees.

Although many employees say that working for the tech giant is exciting and challenging, the glass ceiling is near enough unbreakable -- and the secretive nature of management does not help the situation. Many reviews also suggest that it is hard to advance and feel satisfied when you're not sure what you're working on.

Secrecy clauses aside and "great people" aside, a number of comments suggest Apple may not be getting the most out of their employees -- as there are few opportunities to advance up the corporate ladder.

As one employee says, "If you're looking at moving from a retail role into a corporate role then dream on."

An interesting trend in the reviews is that of staff members burning out. One former marketing manager based in London said that there is a "tendency to get folks to work to the breaking point before they get support," and a current Senior Manager backed this opinion up, commenting that there is a real "danger of burnout".

In addition, the "greed" of Apple sometimes gets in the way of other more noble values, including technological quality and incorporating human knowledge and pride into products.

Perhaps the additional, continual complaints about the lack of a work-life balance could be solved by taking a leaf out of Google's book. A consistent player on the Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, the tech giant established a scientific department focused on keeping employees happy -- going beyond offering gourmet food or a gym on-site.

A former manager suggests that entry-level staff "work at Apple for a short and sharp time, and use Apple on your CV as a door opener."

However, it's not all doom and gloom for the iPad and iPhone maker, as 94 percent of Apple employees on the website approve of Steve Jobs' replacement. Perhaps there's the hope that Tim Cook will be able to turn the firm around.

Image credit: Flickr

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— By on February 3, 2013, 9:00 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure