January 10, 2011

Good Careers Are Like Apple

You're probably wondering what the heck that title means? How are careers like Apple (the company, not the food)? Well, in fairness they're also like Starbucks, Google, Verizon, and any other company that has a significant group of extremely loyal customers. If you were a pre-teen in the 90s you probably remember that no girl could like both the Backstreet Boys and Nsync equally, you had to have a favorite, and girls would spend an awful lot of time arguing over who was better and why (myself included). That kind of passion and devotion to a certain brand is exactly the kind of loyalty I'm talking about, and it's the kind of brand image you want to create for yourself too.

No, I'm not saying you should get teenage girls to stalk you down the streets screaming.
You should, however, think about what makes the aforementioned brands (and bands) popular with their customers. Sure, you could make a list for each company, but at the end of the day the core thread is integrity: each company has built a reputation among it's customers as being reliably great at what they do. That is exactly what you should do too.

Success in the work world, just as in the marketplace, requires integrity, consistency, and a reputation for stellar performance. At the end of the day, the intern that gets the great new assignment is the one who consistently did a great job making coffee or organizing files. The intern that gets the job is the one who consistently stood out and did great work overall. The employee who gets promoted...I think you get the point.
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