Scholl was kind enough to answer some questions I posed recently about his experience and his book. I also have a copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader! Keep reading for details.
The New Professional: Please briefly tell us what your book is about.
Adam Scholl: No Sneakers at the Office is a step-by-step guide for college seniors, fresh-outs, and Gen Y professionals seeking to enter, survive and thrive in corporate America. The book covers corporate communication, time management, professional appearance, business travel, workplace etiquette, office politics, and career growth.
Tell us about your own career and how it influenced your book.
My professional life began when I enlisted in the Florida Army National Guard in 1993. The military provided an excellent foundation for a successful profession later on because I was exposed to an outstanding group of leaders during my service. I continued to progress in my career by obtaining a BS in Management Information Systems from Florida State University in August of 2000 at which time I took a position at Publix Super Markets, Inc. as a programmer. Starting my business career at Publix provided me the opportunity to mature as a professional--it was an organization filled with innovative leaders. During my six year tenure at Publix, I obtained an MBA and then produced and directed the successful documentary, Agent Orange: The Last Battle.
After advancing within Publix and accomplishing many of my personal goals, I enrolled at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Over the next three years at law school, I worked at an established financial institution as a business system analyst. This experience convinced me to enter the business community upon graduating law school in 2009 at which time I accepted an engaging opportunity at Winn-Dixie Super Markets.
While writing No Sneakers at the Office I was able to draw upon the many tools I had collected and placed into my professional tool kit. All of these tools influenced the development of and concepts in my book. Equally important, I incorporated what I’d learned from the many mentors in my life to create this book.
What inspired you to write this book?
After observing so many young professionals struggle to adapt to corporate environments I wanted to share my experience and knowledge.
What was your first office job and what did you learn from that initial experience?
I was a customer service representative for a small company while attending Florida State University. This job made me realize the importance of taking care of customers. In customer service, you feel the pulse of your company, which is its customers. Note that there is a difference between a career and a job, a point that I discuss in detail in No Sneakers at the Office.
What is your most memorable professional faux pas? What did you learn from it?
In No Sneakers at the Office I tell personal business stories for the purpose of providing humor along with real life. I describe how I worried during my vacation that I would be fired upon returning to work. And upon returning from my vacation I learned that while a problem did occur while I was gone because of something I did, I worried for nothing. My coworkers decided to make the incident a teaching experience, which showed their professionalism.
I understand that you give fresh-outs and young professionals some principles of professionalism. What are they?
The principles of professionalism that I provide in the book range from the importance of dressing for the business world to not being late. The principles create the foundation of who you are as a business professional. This foundation affects your reputation which determines your career path.
What do you think is the biggest mistake young professionals make these days, and how can it be avoided?
I believe that young professionals do not realize the importance of having a positive reputation because, among other reasons, the business community is smaller than one realizes. 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.
Want to win a copy of No Sneakers at the Office?
Just leave a comment below by March 2 answering the question "What is one thing you wish you'd known before you got a job?" and your email address and you're in the drawing! One lucky winner will receive a paperback galley or PDF e-book (winner's choice).
About the author: 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.
In case you're wondering--I was not compensated in any way to feature or give away this book on my blog. I am, however, dedicated to providing useful professional resources that I feel my readers will be interested and will benefit from.