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Life Lessons from Steve Jobs (and How to Learn from Them)
October 12, 2020 1:40:13 PM

Pioneer. Tyrant. Visionary. Icon. These are a few words to describe Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, the second most profitable company in the world. His success made him famous, but Steve Jobs did not have a handbook about how to create one of the most renowned brands in the world. Steve Jobs’s career was filled with doubts, failures, lessons, and eventually, successes. It is based on those trials that we can offer you some insight into applying those experiences to your career.

Find the Right Level of Education for You

Steve Jobs was famous for saying, “college teaches you how other people think, during your most productive years.” He argued that “it kills creativity.” There are two key elements we can learn from this thought. The first one is that while college is the right choice for some, not everyone can or wants to go to college. That does not mean it will condemn you to a life of misery. There are plenty of {{cta(‘0414afd4-7019-4e86-9ca6-4c38ae489c17’)}}. Steve Jobs dropped out of college after only a semester to start a job at Atari, and that leads us to our second key point. Steve Jobs did not wait to find his career path; he started to work immediately. In the world of recruitment, a gap in employment can be perceived negatively. Use every opportunity to gain experience; it might be useful in the long run.  

Understand the Importance of Networking

Whether it is to cultivate the right connection, learn more, or start a project, you need to be surrounded by the right people. Apple is known for its collaboration with Steve Wozniak, but did you know that Jobs also worked with John Lasseter, one of the first executives of Pixar and the creator of Toy Story? When Lasseter pitched him a story that would later become the classic of animation we all know and love, Jobs provided guidance knowing that he would not be able to animate it himself but to lead Lasseter to success.

In the movie “Steve Jobs”, the fictionalized version of Jobs is asked by Wozniak, “what is it you actually do?” to which Jobs answers “Musicians play their instruments; I play the orchestra.” Steve Jobs was not a designer; he did not know how to write code or program, but he could see people’s value and connect with them. Lasseter said that Jobs had only one suggestion for him, “make it great.”, and that piece of advice has influenced every frame of every movie he’s made since that meeting. This principle is crucial to your career; whether it is letters of recommendation, mentorship, or referrals, building relationships in the workplace will be your ultimate business card.  

Learn from failures

Before the iPhone and the iPod, Steve Jobs had his share of mistakes. The Apple Lisa. Macintosh TV. The Apple III. The Power Mac G4 cube. All of these products failed to launch, but his biggest failure was to bring in former Pepsi President, John Sculley. After selling him on joining Apple with his famous pitch: “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or, do you want to come with me and change the world?”, it only took Sculley two years to convince the Apple board to fire Jobs and to restrict him to an ambassador role. Steve Jobs took this time to create a company called NeXT, which ironically would be bought 11 years later by Apple for $400 million and would be the opportunity for Jobs to come back to the company he created with more freedom than ever.

Losing your job can be difficult, but it can also give you new possibilities. One of them is to reevaluate your career path. In 1985 while giving a speech at the University of Stanford, Jobs said that being fired was the best thing that ever happened to him. “It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life; I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple.” Being let go can sometimes bring you a new perspective and allow yourself to breathe. Use this time to learn a new skill, to start a new project, or to allow yourself to take the road least traveled. 

Be Ahead of the Curve

Steve Jobs was known as a precursor. He predicted the future of touchscreen technology and revolutionized the way we use telecommunication. When he returned to Apple, he famously said, “The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting; the cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.” To innovate, you have first to take a look at yourself. Evaluate your strong points and where you could improve. Then look at others; in other words, benchmark. By doing such, you will be able to situate yourself in the market and analyze trends. Early on, Steve Jobs saw the burgeoning prowess of the high-end 3D graphics business, and brought the idea to buy Pixar from Lucasfilm to his board. If you are a job seeker and you notice a need for a specific skill or if you are a business owner and you see an opportunity happening, adapt and seek the change that will make you a leader in your market.   

Love What You Do

Finally, one of the most important life lessons we can take from Steve Jobs is to love what you do: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And, the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Always try to find passion or pride in your job or one aspect of it; it will always make you more driven and will allow you to stand out. When Jobs was fired, he considered leaving everything behind and never returning to Silicon Valley. After all, by the age of 25, his net worth was $100 million, according to him. But according to his biography “Becoming Steve Jobs”, he loved what he was doing so much that he was already “hungry for the Next Big Thing”. Search for that thing that you will love doing, and you will excel at it.

Steve Jobs was a trailblazer, and he helped define the new world in which we now live in. Once upon a time, your options to find a job were limited. Nowadays, you can start your new career by just clicking a button on Facebook. To find out how to use Social Media to find a job, check the link below!



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