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The recent news of Steve Jobs’ death sparked many media members to not only memorialize the Apple CEO but to post the inspiring life lessons and quotes authored from the genius himself. These “Steve-isms” were so profound that they provoked me to reflect on my own academic and career development, and how I hope to create my own legacy as he did for many! Here is my journey according to “Steve-isms”:

 “School was pretty hard for me at the beginning.”

Did Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc. and chief executive of Pixar Animations Studios, really admit that school was difficult? Yes, he did! As a first-generation student, I found it difficult to acclimate myself to the campus environment, the quarter-system, and don’t even get me started on financial aid… However, through student involvement, volunteer work and a strong support system of classmates, faculty, and advisors  I overcame my initial obstacles and was able to make my college experience drama-free!

Even in the early stages of my career development, writing a resume that would summarize how “awesome” I was as a retail sales associate was a bit challenging. Having to articulate my numerous responsibilities on paper and add my other experiences in one page seemed impossible! Which leads to…

Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.

For all you movie buffs, have you noticed how Pixar only releases one movie a year? Remember Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and the Incredibles? Yup, all produced by Pixar in 1993, 2003, and 2004, respectively.  Steve Jobs held the fundamental belief that quality is more imperative to success than quantity. So are you thinking that you need to jot down every experience just to impress potential employers? No, you don’t!

Employers receive numerous resumes for one position and may have a limited amount of time to review them all. Keep your resume concise, consistent and most importantly, highlight the quality of your work that is tailored and related to the position you want!  

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It [work] is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing.”

I won’t lie. Preparing the material for my job search such as the resume, cover letter and recommendation letters was time-consuming, dreadful, and at times frustrating. I scheduled myself “resume time”, set deadlines, and frequently visited the Career Center for feedback; all undergone in the hopes that all this hard work would eventually pay off.  And you know what, it did! With determination and passion, this “thing” (i.e. career materials) that you put so much of your life into, will reveal how “awesome” you are to employers and will prepare you to conquer the world…or at least your dream job!

And finally….

You’ve got to find what you love… 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 and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.

When I was an undergraduate student, I assumed that my major would determine what career I would have once I graduated. With a degree in Marketing, I thought I was ready for the exciting lifestyle in the corporate world. Fast-forward five years, and I found myself in a graduate counseling program serving students in higher education as a career mentor and advisor. Did it take me five years after graduating to find my passion? Yes. Do I regret not finding it earlier? Not one bit. I know that my coursework and experience in Marketing contributed to the skills and values I need to succeed as a counselor. Steve Jobs needed the passion to not only build a company like Apple but to expand it from its inception in the late 1970s. And well, we all know how that passion evolved…

Blogger’s Question to Readers: Do any of these quotes resonate with your development too? Can you identify with another “Steve-ism” or a quote from another author? I’d love to hear your thoughts!