Former Apple Designer Explains Why He Quit His Dream Job

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It’s not every day that you hear a story of someone quitting their “dream job,” especially at Apple. While people leave the company all the time, hearing anything about it publicly is very rare. Apple’s thick veil of secrecy extends to everything it does, including the talent it gains and loses.

A former mobile designer at Apple named Jordan Price has published a pretty damning explanation of why he chose to quit his job at Apple.

Price chronicles his time at Apple, starting with how excited he was to get an interview:

I couldn’t believe it. I had just totally revamped my portfolio, and I was now actually good enough to be considered as a candidate at Apple. In my eyes, Apple is, hands down, the most highly-regarded company a designer could work for.

That’s high praise, and many would agree. So what changed?

Price started getting rubbed the wrong way:

I hardly (hardly meaning never) saw my daughter during the week because the hours were so inflexible. I had also taken a substantial pay cut, but I figured I was making a long-term career investment by working for such a prestigious company. On boarding was super bumpy, and they had so many passwords, accounts, and logins that it took nearly a month just for me to get on the server. There were meetings all the time which were disruptive to everyone’s productivity, but they seemed to be a necessary evil in a company that’s so large with such high-quality products.

While everything mentioned above could certainly lead to his decision to leave, it seems as though this was the straw that broke the camel’s back:

Then my immediate boss, who had a habit of making personal insults shrouded as jokes to anyone below him, started making direct and indirect insults to me. He started reminding me that my contract wouldn’t be renewed if I did or didn’t do certain things. He would hover over my back (literally) like a boss out of Dilbert and press me to finish some mundane design task that he felt urgently needed to be examined. He was democratic about his patronizing and rude comments, but it didn’t make me feel any better when he directed them towards my team members. I felt more like I was a teenager working at a crappy retail job than a professional working at one of the greatest tech companies in the world.

It’s sad to see that a bad boss could push someone out of the job they’ve always wanted.

Coincidentally, Apple just got a new head of HR.

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  • trieuth

    I would have traded

  • Gregory Wright

    I’m not a big fan of employees leaving a company and putting the company’s dirty laundry on the street. If you have to leave then leave and be done with it.

  • gfriesz

    Agree 100% with Mr. Wright.

    Also, if you take a look at his Twitter feed, he was essentially at Apple for three weeks. 3 weeks is nothing – definitely not long enough to fully evaluate a job.

    I am a hospital administrator, and quite frankly, this Millenial mentality toward jobs is infuriating. He did nothing noble – he is another wimpy kid who couldn’t stand the heat. I’m sure as a child he was told every day how special he was and I bet he got trophies for participation in a baseball league that didn’t keep score so that no one’s feelings got hurt.

    The best part of this story will be the person who replaces him and appreciates what a golden opportunity they have been given.

  • Timothy Williamson

    I *think* I would have stuck it out a bit longer. Bumpy on-boarding and tons of meetings are pretty much the norm at large companies.

  • artist25

    Judging from the grey apple logo on his badge, it looks like he wasn’t even a real Apple employee, but a contractor.

  • Photogoofer

    Sounds like almost everywhere I’ve worked… Welcome to the real world.

  • markymac

    So he quit because his boss was mean and from the details in his post it doesn’t seem like he did much to resolve it. He didn’t reach out to upper management, didn’t speak with HR and didn’t bother telling his contractor what was going on.

    He says he never met the contractor but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t call them. Obviously he had contact with them because he mentions that his quitting may hurt their credibility with Apple.

    I would never hire a person that quits a company like Apple because it’s clear that he doesn’t know how to overcome objections. That’s a critical skill that employers look for.

    What’s worse is that he’s asking for work at the end of the story as though someone is going to read this and feel sorry for him.

    For his sake I hope he can go back to the job he quit 3 weeks before going to Apple as he seems to lack the testicles to make it in the big, bad world of corporate America.

  • gfriesz

    …also, I would take the link bait out of the title of this article. This is no “Apple Designer” – it’s not even a long-term employee; it’s a contractor who was there 3 weeks and didn’t even finish a probationary period.

  • hprice

    That kind of behavior from his direct supervisor might well be ground for a hostile workplace claim. Apple should be careful. Sounds like that guy needs training in managing legally and ethically.

  • Moebius

    I agree with the other commenters that this person was obviously a newb that couldn’t handle a little adversity at work. He also lacks the skills necessary for conflict resolution.

    However, the part about never seeing his daughter really hit home with me. I have turned down several positions because of the work/life balance issue. When I am at work, I make sure that whomever I work for has me 100% for the time I am there. After my shift is over, it is family time and nothing is going to prevent me from seeing my son grow up and knowing who I am.

    From what I have heard, Apple is an intense company to work for. If this guy was blinded by the “prestige” of working for them so much so as to disregard common sense, it’s truly his own fault.

  • mailericla

    You left out the part where he just walked out without notice. That sort of unprofessionalism makes him unhireable in my book.
    “Then at lunch time I wiped the iPad data clean, put the files I had been working on neatly on the server, left all their belongings on my desk, and I got in my car and drove home. I left a message for my boss and told him he’s the worst boss I had ever encountered in my entire professional career and that I could no longer work under him no matter how good Apple might look on my resume. “

  • lwdesign1

    The tone of this article is that there’s something wrong with working at Apple. However, the problem seems to be one manager who was demeaning, insulting and had woeful people skills, and this can happen in any company. Hopefully Jordan Price wrote up what was going on with this guy to his manager’s superiors so that he could be corrected or even fired. If my direct boss was a jerk, instead of quitting my dream job, I’d ensure the guy was brought into HR to clean up his act, be retrained or removed. It sounds as if Jordan simply blamed his boss for his problems and quit, and did little or nothing to get the demeaner handled. This shows little persistence and an attitude of whiny blame, not competence.

  • technochick

    It’s worth noting that he knew about the commute before he interviewed.

    And he was only there for a month. it’s very typical for your first 90 days to be a monitored probation before a full contract. Something he’d actually know and understand if he had any clue about how big companies work. Something he might have even been told before he took the job. Just like he was likely told that working on his own apps etc was a no no.

    As for the jackass boss, don’t read where he reported it and was told to piss off.

  • technochick

    You left out the part where he just walked out without notice. That sort of unprofessionalism makes him unhireable in my book.

    Yeah that is going to look great. And is going to be rather well known since he posted that blog etc.

  • technochick

    interesting bit from his blog

    “To this day, I never once encountered anyone from HR while at Apple, as I wasn’t technically employed by them. ”

    so he’s dumping on Apple as an employee and yet not one. how does that math work. Was his ‘producer’ or even office part of Apple or a subcontract company that was doing work for Apple on something.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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