Tuesday, May 29, 2007

First Week at adidas

So I made it through my first week at adidas. I mean—I WORK AT ADIDAS NORTH AMERICA and it is my FIRST WEEK! I know, I know...a little dramatic…but it is exciting none the less and I don’t hold back. Company culture is an interesting thing though and it’s probably a little pre-mature to say that it’s a great place to work. Of course—I’m a recruiter so isn’t that what I ought to say? Frankly, anybody joining any organization should wait to judge or assume or lie—to themselves. Sorry—I just watched an episode of House and I love when doctor House believes all humans lie. I kind of agree with him though. So here is the thing—organization culture is a tough thing to figure out for anybody on the outside. On the outside you are influenced by media, marketing, advertising…essentially the company or product brand. This may be good or bad. So you leverage your networks and learn more about the culture. You still need to be leery though. People in your network may want you to join the organization for a host of reasons, and while they are trying to be authentic, they may unintentionally positively spin the company.

So use your vision! There is the facility, the web pages, the people you see in the halls when you walk into interview—this to me is the visual side to culture. Yes, this is important so don’t take it lightly. Think about how you would feel walking into a building with 70’s carpeting and paneling on the wall versus flat screen TV’s playing sports and holographic light fixtures. Then there are the interviews, the people interaction—you start to understand the norms, the rules of engagement, and the intellectual capital. All of this builds in understanding the culture. Hopefully, during this process, you don’t lie to yourself about the challenges ahead. You won’t really know the true challenges until you disagree with an approach after you’re hired or you try to implement something that goes against the grain, the way things have been done. This is when you WYSIWYG. At this point you will either run or accept the challenge.

So—I AM WORKING AT ADIDAS. Okay—let me be a bit more tempered here. I work at adidas but I have not had my first big challenge yet. BUT—what I see today…an amazing product brand, high energy—creative talent, state of the art facilities, incredible perks like great benefits, product discounts, sample sales, employee events at their Pearl District retail store, workout facilities, basketball courts, soccer fields, gym, flexible work environment, super flexible dress code, café’s, line cooks, view of DT Portland and the Willamette and the list goes on. This isn’t the work though and nobody should join an organization because of this. What do you get to DO—I mean, what do YOU get to DO. This is the most important question. I have objectives that I feel SUPER passionate about. Everything else to me is secondary. SO I’M WORKING AT ADIDAS and I’m doing what I LOVE. But I don’t know what It’s truly like to work here yet because I have not challenged the norm, I have not made change, I have not disagreed with a colleague, I have not run the hardest leg of the race. The nice thing though is I can’t wait to do this!!!!!!!

If you read my blog and adidas is a place you want to work here is some advice….don’t assume the product brand is the employment brand. Don’t assume it isn’t—in fact don’t assume. Evaluate what you bring and what adidas offers and then align. Keep an eye on our careers page and apply for positions where your strengths can be leveraged and where your passion will show. Don’t apply randomly just to get in. If you don’t see a career that matches now then submit your resume without applying to a specific role—but keep an eye on the site for roles that you have experience in and apply to these. Network, network, network—I have a LinkedIn profile. Send me an invite—look up other adidas employees and learn about the organization. Leave a comment on my blog…join the dialogue. Remember that adidas was founded on a passion for sports. Think like an athlete—train at what you want to be good at and don’t give up.

IT”S MY FIRST WEEK and I get wear the coolest kicks now, everyday, to work!


editor said...


Congrats on the new job!

Have your friends starting hitting you up for free shoes yet? :)


Steve Fogarty said...

Great to hear from you Amy! I love your blog by the way...the Pearl is my favorite part of Portland. Nobody has hit me up for free shoes yet but there are a lot of people interested in my discount ;-) If you haven't been to the Pearl adidas Originals store yet you need to check it out. It's right near Henry's and down the road from Whole Foods. It is a very cool store--they have live DJ's on Saturday and the last Tuesday of every month they invite employees in from 6-8 for an even larger discount....I went last night and it was a lot of fun. Keep up the awesome work on the blog!!!

Patrick Dodson said...

Hi Steve,

Congrats on the job! I noticed your email on your linkedin page is still with Waggener Edstrom, i doubt that email still works. Would like to add you to my network, can you post your email address or update your linked in contact info? Thanks!

Steve Fogarty said...

Sorry Patrick--you are correct..I have not updated my profile yet. My new e-mail address is steve.fogarty@adidas.com. I will get my profile updated in the next few days so it is accurate.

Valarie said...

I've worked at adidas for almost six years now, and I still think it's a great place to work. It's a big enough company to provide adequate resources and great benefits, but small enough to feel like you can affect the culture.

Of course, as with so many jobs, a lot depends upon what your boss or head of dept is like, but my experiences have been very positive.

Steve Fogarty said...

Thanks for the comments Valarie! I look forward to getting to know you and your team better. I have heard great things about your team from folks in HR.

Perkin said...

Hi Steve,
I recently found out about Adidas management training program. Is there anything you could tell me about it besides whats on the website and do you have any advice for applying.


Mirna said...

Steve -

So glad to have found your blog. I just sent you an e-mail through Linkedin. I am hoping I can add you to my network. Your blog was helpful and got me more excited about my job search. I've always wanted to work for adidas and now is the time so I am taking your advice and checking the careers page daily. Hopefully, I'll find the right position for me!

will said...

Hey Steve, congratulations on your new job over at adidas, you may not know me but my name is Will and i'm located over here in Australia, the Adidas marketing and business sales side are areas that i'm very keen to get into, trouble is, i don't have any experience in these areas, i thought maybe starting off from the bottom like(retail sales) or calling Adidas over the phone could be a good idea, as well as reviewing the careers page



jessica said...


Well done! If you don't mind I would like to pick your brain on your new job and how you like it now that you are a few months into the thick of things. It has always been my dream to work for Adidas. Feel free to email me at j.hill.pow@gmail.com. I appreciate it.

Best Regards,


milesmckirdy@hotmail.com said...

Hello Steve,

I hope you've all had a great start to the New Year and wish you all the best with your career at adidas. You won't know me but my name is Miles McKirdy and it is my career aspiration to work for adidas. Whilst trying to find some contacts at adidas I was fortunate enough to come across a blog of yours after I had typed in the Google search bar 'I want to work for adidas'. After reading several of your blogs I thought I would it be an excellent chance to network directly with an employee at adidas.

adidas is a company I have so much enthusiasm and interest for, I don’t know what the future holds for adidas although I do know that I want to be a part of it.

It would be greatly appreciated if you'd be able to inform me of what makes an ideal candidate for internship and what specific requirements HR focuses on with such a candidate.


Miles McKirdy

Amanda Michel said...

Hi Steve,

I discovered your blog while browsing for "How to work for the adidas Group" on Google.

The part of your article that really did strike my attention was « don’t assume the product brand is the employment brand. Don’t assume it isn’t—in fact don’t assume». I’ve been spending some time thinking about this question and the solution I came up with was to simply contact someone from the inside, so your advice to « network, network, network » confirmed my gut feeling.

I am currently located in Switzerland and applied for an internship at your German headquarters. I am aware that you are not leading recruitment in Europe but I would still really appreciate the opportunity to ask you some questions about the corporate culture and maybe even some recruitment tips.

Let me know when is a good time to email you or set up a Skype call if you have time.

I wish you a nice holiday season,
Amanda Michel

John Daniels said...

Question for you:

I am waiting for a response after an interview with the area manager and was interesting in knowing about the start up benefits. I know about the shoes you get. Not sure if they do anything for clothing as well. Anything as information would be appreciated.