Last night, the entire world was abuzz with the sad news of Steve Jobs’s passing, and with Apple, the company he helped create, currently holding the title of world’s most valuable stock—an achievement only recently realized—it should come as no surprise that many have and will continue to look to Jobs as an inspiration.
In honor of the Apple founder’s life and accomplishments, we’d like to offer some words of advice on careers (and life) from the man, himself.
Think Different: This wasn’t just a slogan for Apple computers; it was a way of a life, a credo by which Jobs lived. Neuroscientists actually say that innovators and visionaries like Jobs do think differently, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use our own techniques to get our brains going. Seek out diverse experiences—even Jobs’s experience in a calligraphy course influenced the design of the first Macintosh computer, which made use of beautiful typography like no other computer had before. Consider the ways in which every experience can influence your present and future; everything you do and see has the potential to contribute to your work and life, even if it’s in ways you hadn’t considered before.
Don’t Settle: Jobs was notably adamant about his belief in doing what you love and not settling for anything less. In his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, he explained that your work is going to take up a major portion of your life, and “the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” You may not even know what that is, yet, but keep looking and never settle for something else. Once you have it figured out, stick to your guns, and don’t be afraid to say no to anything that can deter you from your path; Jobs once said that the secret to innovation comes from “saying no to 1,000 things.”
Stay True to Yourself: Lastly, even Steve Jobs had to overcome adversity to achieve his goals. His vision was to “put a computer in the hands of everyday people”, but in the beginning, there were plenty of skeptics. Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment once told Jobs, “There’s no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home.” Lucky for Apple users worldwide, though, Jobs didn’t let his critics derail his ambitions. Even after he was fired from the company he’d helped create in 1985, Jobs was not discouraged. While the experience was devastating at the time, he later realized that “getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” With the weight of success lifted from his shoulders, Jobs felt free to enter into what he described as one of the most creative periods of his life, and in 1997, he returned to Apple and helped make the company bigger and better than ever. The lesson here is never allow naysayers to get you down and accept every turn as a potential opportunity and learning experience.
While we may not all be Steve Jobs, we can all aspire to be the best we can be, and if Jobs is any indicationf of success-- I think we'd all argue that he is-- then it's clear that the key to achieving your goals is in yourself.
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.