Guest Author - Dianne Walker
It’s no secret that college graduates are facing challenges unseen in decades. Rising unemployment has placed millions out of work, essentially flooding the market with job seekers ranging from entry level to top notch professionals. As a result, it’s imperative that new college graduates arm themselves with the essential knowledge necessary to find a position in the workforce and to succeed in their career. If you are a college graduate just starting out, Grad to Great - Discover the Secrets to Success in Your First Career by Anne Brown and Beth Zefo will arm you with the knowledge needed to excel in your career.
Grad to Great embarks on a realistic journey. The book starts with an exercise on getting to know yourself after graduation to how to successfully interview. Once on the job, the book discusses working through your career and finally moving on. In other words, Grad to Great helps recent college graduates through the stress of being in the professional job market.
Four years of college does little to prepare graduates for the career choices that they will need to make upon graduation. The first two chapters of Grad to Great help the graduate to discover their interests and translate those interests into choosing possible career paths. It’s imperative that college grads also determine their strengths and weaknesses. Grad to Great guides you in identifying transferable skills that will assist in finding careers that are the best fit in the marketplace. The book does not stop there; however, they also provide insight as to what marketable skills recruiters are looking for. This information is not only discussed, but is also summarized in easy readable chart form.
Trouble interviewing? Grad to Great offers essential tips on how to successfully interview for your first job. Tips include making sure that you do your homework and research the company that you will be interviewing with. The book also offers suggestions on how to answer the top interview questions that hiring managers may ask including those managers who may have a hidden agenda.
Grad to Great continues to lead the graduate through the initial steps of their first job. The book provides sound advice on the “ten mistakes to avoid at work”. As a Human Resource Manager, I found the advice to be excellent and on point. Many times, new employees fall into the trap of engaging in behaviors that may cost their careers. The book discusses advice such as showing up to work on time, being able to handle feedback as well as not participating in the office rumor mill.
The authors of Grad to Great realize that sometimes work takes place outside of the workplace. Networking has become an essential business tool. The book provides excellent insight and tips on how to grow and maintain a professional network.
Finally, it’s important to understand that not every job will be a piece of cake. There will be times when you will need to deal with a variety of difficulties, including micro-managers and unpleasant co-workers. There also comes a time when you realize that the job is no longer a fit or when you may be involuntarily removed from your job. Grad to Great provides a discussion on ways to handle these various situations.
Grad to Great is an easy to read “first career” manual. While tailored to recent college graduates, seasoned workers would also benefit from the information contained in the book. Grad to Great is an excellent reference source to refer to while navigating through your first career and beyond.