As the economy rises and falls, it’s important that high school and college graduates learn how to put their best foot forward not only in the job market, but in any social environment. Real world, successful role models are often hard to come by. You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way – Making it in the Real World , A Guide For Graduates, by JR. Parrish provides the insights, lessons and practical advice needed for the challenges that today’s graduates will face.
You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way is divided up into six distinct chapters dealing with a wide variety of situations. The author begins each chapter by sharing a personal situation to illustrate the chapter’s lesson. For example, in the chapter titled “Making Your Dreams Come True,” Parrish tells the story of talking to a customer one day while working. As it turns out, the customer was actually the wife of a Xerox executive. She was impressed by young Parrish and set up an interview for him with her husband. Unfortunately, during the interview, as soon as the husband found out that Parrish did not have a college degree, he abruptly ended the interview. The author goes on to talk about what he did with a rival company that resulted in not only Xerox hiring him, but waiving the fact that he did not possess a degree.
“Making Your Dreams Come True” leads the readers through a series of exercises and quizzes on finding out exactly what their dreams are. The chapter also discusses finding the right mentors and associates to help make your dreams come true. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone that you work with or for will necessarily make a good mentor. A mentor can lift you to new heights or drag you down to their level. Associate yourself with people that, while you admire their work, will allow you room to perform on your own.
Other chapters of the book deal with such topics as careers, interviewing, managing finances, how to choose a mentor, relationships, parenting, love and truth. Making the transition from student to adult is difficult enough. Parrish understands that work and family are deeply intertwined and that lessons must be learned on all levels for the graduate to be successful. The purpose of You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way is to provide graduates a guidebook in learning the full cycle of life’s lessons. It provides a “blue-print” for the graduate to lay the groundwork for not only a successful career, but a successful life.