We've literally all been there: Filling out a job application for a job we didn't want or care about because we had to, or because we were discouraged and desperate after so many applications gone unanswered. Or heck, maybe you're in that place in your life right now. Either way, a Reed College job application filled out by an 18-year-old Steve Jobs recently sold at auction for $174,757, and the visible lack of giving a sh*t displayed by Jobs is relatable AF.
A scan of the one-page application, which Jobs appears to have filled out in 1973, was obtained by Gizmodo, and it shows he filled out the application to the absolute barest-bones extent, listing his name as 'steven jobs' and his address simply as 'reed college,' no caps required in either case. He didn't list a phone number, didn't list any previous employment, and did not in fact put down what position he was actually gunning for. Or, well, apparently not gunning for, given the details. The application also indicated Jobs was majoring in English lit, wasn't able to type, according to the skills section, and that his transportation access was 'possible, but not probable.'
According to RR Auctions, which sold the application, the projected sale price was 'more than $50,000,' Gizmodo reported. Even $50,000 would have been a good return, considering the application had sold in December 2017 for just $18,750, according to CNET.
And according to Reed Magazine from Reed College, Jobs did eventually get an on-campus job 'with the psychology department, repairing equipment for experiments with rats and pigeons.'
The fact that the application sold for so much is likely due to the fact that Jobs rarely signed autographs, Gizmodo reported, and that it's 'a window into the day-to-day struggles of a young college dropout reluctantly doing the man’s bidding.' In the same auction were two other signed pieces, both of which brought more money than expected: A newspaper clipping from the iPhone 3G launch (which was also signed by former senior vice president of Apple's iPod division, Tony Fadell), $26,950; and a Mac OS X Manual, $41,806.
Memorabilia tied to Jobs would be expected to trigger interest and sell well, considering his innovation literally changed the world, but the thing about this job application is that it shows the path to success isn't always glorious. Once upon a time, even Steve Jobs was stuck in a major he apparently didn't care about, submitting applications for jobs he likely hoped he wouldn't get, waiting for the opportunity to do the things he wanted to do.
On the application, under both the special abilities and interests sections, Jobs listed 'electronics tech or design engineer. digital. — from Bay near Hewitt-Packard,' which, of course, is supposed to be Hewlett-Packard (HP). Jobs worked at HP as a teenager, the result of a phone call to HP's president, William Hewlett, asking for parts for a school project, according to CNN. It was at HP that Jobs became friends with Steve Wozniak, who would later become one of the cofounders of Apple.
Judging by available timeline information, Jobs seems to have filled out this Reed College application in between working at HP and dropping out of Reed, and it seems like he may have known then what he wanted to do with the rest of his life — and it certainly wasn't English lit.
Reed College alum Chris Lydgate writing for Reed Magazine says in his piece that Jobs' application is a 'piece of rubbish [...] surely destined for the dustbin' and that it 'is more than underwhelming — it is a monument to half-assery, an epic, cosmic, fail.'
And that, Lydgate says, is why he loves it. '[W]hen it comes to reading — and writing — job applications, I wish everyone could remember that we, too, are unfinished projects, first drafts, rough cuts, works in progress,' he says. So if you ever feel bad about turning in less than your 100 percent, just remember even Steve Jobs did it once.
Other items that sold at the auction include: an Apple Mac OS X technical manual signed by Steve Jobs in 2001 went for $41,806;
A Steve Jobs-signed newspaper clipping from 2008, featuring an image of Jobs speaking at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, sold for $26,950;
A Bob Marley and the Wailers signed 1976 poster sold for $30,979;
An Andy Warhol signed original 'Cow' screen-print on Kellogg's cereal box sold $28,553;
Phil Collins' handwritten lyrics for 'Another Day in Paradise' sold for $16,541;
And The Doors fully band-signed vintage glossy panoramic photograph sold for $14,804.