Studentbranding.com Editor-in-Chief Melissa Kong recently interviewed author Adam Scholl about his new book, No Sneakers at the Office. The book is a great reference guide for new young professionals, covering everything from how you should dress at work to how your emails and memos should be structured. The book details small professional nuances that many young people overlook in their careers- but being polished in even the small aspects can make the biggest difference in the world and really set you apart from your peers. Adam answered our questions and has some great advice for all of our readers out there. Enjoy!
MK: What makes No Sneakers at the Office different from the other career books out on the market right now?
AS: One big difference is the purpose of this book, which is to help Gen Y in their first years of corporate life. Other career books focus on one subject matter or help seasoned professionals, while No Sneakers provides recent college graduates with an understanding of the elements that comprise a business professional. The book helps young people to both appear and become more professional.
MK: What compelled you to write No Sneakers at the Office?
AS: After observing so many young professionals struggle to adapt to the corporate environment, I wanted to share my experience and knowledge.
MK: What do you think is the biggest mistake that young professionals make early on in their careers?
AS: Young professionals do not realize the importance of having a positive reputation.
The business community and your industry are smaller than you realize. Your reputation affects your ability to obtain employment both within your own organization and at others. By taking control of your career at the onset, your reputation will help instead of hinder you.
MK: What advice do you think readers will find the most thought-provoking in No Sneakers at the Office?
AS: My discussion of office politics within the book has already provided a rich dialogue among readers at the book’s blog and Facebook page. In the book, I define office politics and explain why it is important to stay away from it. I also discuss how you need to be aware of it because it is part of every business environment, and that it sometimes can be used for the betterment of the corporation. It’s important to have a frank conversation about office politics, to be aware of it and have some knowledge around it.
MK: What is the biggest challenge that current college students face as they prepare to head into the workplace?
AS: The biggest challenge is to portray oneself as unique during the current economic climate. In previous years, when the economy was strong, corporations hired fresh-outs in droves to meet their projected growth. However, with the global economy still struggling, firms are uncertain of their future and are therefore hesitant to hire anyone, let alone a college graduate. Young grads must rise above the rest to win those cherished interviews for the few positions that are available.
MK: If you were 21 again, what career advice would you give yourself?
AS: To relax. Entering the corporate world is a stressful time in one’s life because it feels new and daunting. But this does not mean you need to stress yourself out over unknowns that you don’t have control over. Businesses that hire recent college graduates with no professional experience realize that you will make mistakes and that they will have to train you, so relax. This does not mean that you don’t take your career seriously. In fact, it is the opposite – take charge of your career but do not stress over the many unknowns that you will encounter early on.
Adam T. Scholl is a business leader, manager, software analyst, and filmmaker. He drew upon both his corporate experience and artistic creativity to produce & direct the documentary, “Agent Orange: The Last Battle”. Adam is currently collaborating with attorney Evan Peterson on a business law book. Visit the author at www.ceremarkcreations.com and join the book’s following on Facebook.