Adam Fields is the Founder and CEO of ARTA, the technology platform powering the world of high-end shipping and logistics. Prior to founding ARTA, Adam was a Vice President at Artspace.com, where he became hyper-aware of the difficulties that came with shipping art for both online and offline sellers. He knew there had to be a way to make the process more efficient and cost-effective, and in 2014, ARTA was born. Today, ARTA is used by top galleries, advisors, collectors and institutions worldwide. Adam holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and though he grew up in Downtown Chicago, he has called New York City home for almost 10 years. We could not wait to get Adam’s advice on working in the art world. Please enjoy this week’s Frank Talk.
What is the best piece of advice you can give about working in the art world?
Have a plan. It’s great to be in an industry you love and enjoy, but it’s best to have an idea of how you want to grow and where you want to get to. There are some career paths in the art world that don’t have a clear trajectory, so defining your own will lead to greater success in the long run.
What is something you encounter often with employees that tests your patience?
My employees don’t test my patience, but push be to be a better founder and leader. What we are doing isn’t easy, and I strive to put everyone in the best position to succeed so we can continue to grow both personally and professionally.
What does a good employee do?
A good employee is aware of their goals, initiatives and objectives as discussed and reviewed with the CEO and/or superiors. It’s important for the ultimate lead of the company to be very clear in expectations for each employee and vision for the company, and it is important for the employee to align with those while also not being afraid to put forth new and interesting ideas. Ultimately, it’s my view that each employee should be the best at what they do.
What makes a person hirable?
It’s a combination of cultural fit, experience and potential. It’s imperative for a new hire to fit in with the existing company culture and current employees, At the same time, you want that new hire to be able to carry out what’s expected of them and have the drive and determination to grow and reach their potential.
What is the most frowned upon trait for an employee?
Lack of self-awareness for the company and fellow employees, as well as laziness and not leading by example.
What are things a person can do to make them stand out in the workplace?
Bring a positive attitude, focus on ways to move themselves and the business forward, learn from past mistakes, ask smart questions and apply that knowledge, continually strive to learn and improve.
What are things you can do proactively boost your CV?
Personally, I’m not a big resume person. Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but I prefer to have a general understanding of someone’s experience and dive into it in person. In that vein, however, it’s important to make it clear on your resume you have the skillset to do the job. I recommend tailoring your resume for each unique job you apply to based on the job description versus using the same exact resume for each application.
What does professional mean to you?
Professional means making your company and yourself proud of the way you conduct yourself on a daily basis, both in and out of the office.
Are there any tips you can give people entering the workforce?
Have a list of what you are looking for in a job and work towards finding a place that can deliver that for you. It’s important to enjoy coming into your job every day, and that isn’t something you can predetermine from a job posting alone.
Are there any tips you can give for increasing your online presence? Whether with your LinkedIn, Art Frankly or other accounts?
While there are a number of things you can do to enhance your online presence, like proactively following and engaging with relevant industry news across social platforms, emphasizing key words in your bio wherever it appears, and being consistent in your profiles, I’d also advise how it important it is to be conscious of your online presence and digital footprint. In today’s world, assume nothing goes unseen. Your online presence is a reflection of who you are as a person, so be cognizant that employers will consider that in addition to real life interactions.