No Sneakers At the Office

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You just landed a new job with a major corporation and you think you are ready to begin your climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It’s your first day and you want to make a good impression on your bosses and co-workers.

At your interview, you were presented with the guidelines for corporate dress, behavior and work ethics. But, you are a free spirit and have decided to create your own style and manner. Thinking that you could disregard what has been clearly set out, you dress in your best jeans, blue shirt, denim jacket, and no tie. Wearing your favorite Reeboks to top your attire you leave for your first day of work carrying your brand new attaché case and wearing your favorite sunglasses.

towersEntering the office building you greet the guard who gives you a cold stare and you go up in the elevator to the tenth floor. As the doors open you are greeted by your secretary and the new boss you seem displeased with you before you start. Walking down to your new office you can’t figure out why they gave you the cold shoulder and being completing your first project.

After finishing an initial draft you present it to your secretary to type and finalize before giving to your immediate supervisor who rejects it and demands rewrites after taking a cursory glance at the work you have produced. What could have caused this change or climate from warm to freezing?

Think about it as I remind you of why you as author Adam Scholl so brilliantly states in the title of his book, “No Sneakers at the Office,” which I am going to review in order to remind you of what the proper corporate dress and behavior are in order to eliminate those cold stares and poor performance ratings.

Let’s start with Corporate Dress and work our way from there. There are many guidelines that you will be presented along with your welcome package before you come aboard in your new company starting your new career. Adhering to these guidelines for Business Formal Attire, Business Casual Attire Casual, and Casual Day Attire and most important the General Don’ts in order promotes your image in a positive way. Along with attire, the author elaborates on the correct way to write a memo, memorandum, email, and any other written communication which I found not only vital to help me when communicating with authors, publicists, and publishers but book companies as well. Added to that he explains the proper tools needed when presenting either information in a discussion or educational format. I have done both and would have benefitted greatly from the information and guidelines outlined by the author.

I have to agree that when communicating on the phone and in person professional behavior and decorum should be the norm. However, from what I have observed and recently encountered not only college students need to read this book but more seasoned men and women who have lost touch with the true professional should look and sound like.

Communication is the key to success whether written, verbal, digital or electronic. Creating a professional work ethic is invaluable and understanding the correct way to create a memo, email, memorandum, are discussed in detail in Chapter 2. When speaking on the phone to co-workers, managers, customers or setting up a voicemail the ability to speak and write effectively is primary and germane. Poor impressions, snap judgments, and incorrect responses are unprofessional and detrimental to your career. When speaking on the phone give your full attention to the conversation.

Focus on the issue at hand and take notes while speaking recording pertinent information that will allow you to progress with the task, project or information needed to assist this person in his/her job. When writing a memo or answering the phone identifying who you are and your position and ask how you may help the person. If you are responding to an email it is vital that you once again identify yourself, the reason for your email and if a response is required. When phoning customer service in many different companies whether the phone company, larger corporations or associations that I have been inducted into, the person answering the phones tend to be abrupt, distracted and often forget to relay messages to the person you are contacting if they are not available when you are calling. They are even remiss in putting you through to the person’s voicemail to leave your own professional message stating the reason for your call and why you required a response.

no-sneakers-at-the-officeChapter Three provides what every executive, manager, department head and consultant needs to forge ahead and be successful. Meetings are commonly held on a weekly basis or as needed in order to communicate with one another. Some are held to convey information needed for employees and other to give employees a role in making decisions together. Understanding how to be a facilitator, creating your meeting, and preparing and much more are discussed in Chapter 3 in detail. Filled with information about how to run a meeting, ways to avoid the pitfalls of inappropriate behavior, when to ask questions.  Decision Making meetings and understanding the role you play in that meeting, preparation for the meetings, arrival time, the proper way to discuss information and when responses are required and how meetings are vital to your success are important in order to succeed.

Chapter Five explains the importance of monitoring your career growth. As an educator for many years and working for a major corporation in public relations I found this chapter invaluable and the areas focused on applicable in every profession. Developing your career goals, seeking out the right mentor to guide you, going to classes, workshops, reading journals and broadening your scope of the job at hand, will expand your comprehension and knowledge of your position. Assessing yourself, your performance reviews, knowing when to ask for a promotion and much more to rise up the corporate ladder are found in this chapter. The most difficult task for anyone new in a position asked to run a meeting, workshop or become a facilitator managing their time and prioritizing commitments effectively. As simple as identifying your tasks, knowing they are manageable, documenting them, estimating the time required to complete them and prioritizing your workload, planning your week, communicating your workload and reviewing if administered and completed correctly will foster success.

The remaining chapter will help the reader understand how to deal with office politics and avoid the pitfalls many faces when working with negative people, being blindsided, personally dealing with a difficult worker. By stating the problem, reviewing it, discussing it and recapping in writing what was discussed in order to remember what occurred during this meeting. The end result should be kept just between you and your co-worker.

Let us recap what I hope you have learned from my review of this great resource for anyone starting out in the business or corporate world. This book provides invaluable information for more experienced businessmen that can be implemented when starting your own company or beginning a new position as a CFO or CEO of a major corporation. Remember: Proper Attire, Proper Phone and Written Etiquette, Manage your Time Effectively, Use the Task Template as a guideline when starting a new project or as a running a meeting. Remember when traveling to a meeting for work you represent your company. So, do not slack. Follow the guidelines set by your company in order to present the right image.  Most important read the entire book, take notes, underline what you think will help you to move in the right direction and most of all BE PROFESSIONAL AT ALL TIMES. I hope the young executive you met at the start of this review learned what to do and will benefit from it.

Very informative, clearly and concisely written in a professional tone, clearly hearing the author’s voice as he teaches, instructs and provides examples every step of the way to teach college students and young executives how to climb the corporate ladder successfully. The book confirms what I have always believed: First impressions are invaluable and matter. There are many professions that need to go back to mandating dress codes and reinforce the P in Professional. I am definitely going to use the email model, memo model and the time management task sheet when creating the format for my two radio shows and the emails needed when communicating with my authors.

I am really honored that I was asked to read and review this book.

I just updated my resume using the great example in this book. The book should be used as a guideline or text in business schools, business management classes and colleges as a great resource and guide to foster success in the business world.

Author: Dr. Adam Scholl
Fran Lewis: reviewer

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