Edge

So you graduated… Now what?

You’ve made it through the tests, exams and homework and now you’re finally free; free to do what you want and not worry about attending classes or study groups. Then reality sets in: it’s not time to gallivant around town, it’s time to enter the real world!

Maybe you’re all set-you’ve spent your time in the Toppel Career Center, sent out your resume, applied for graduate school or already secured a job-graduation will seem all the less stressful. But, if you’re one of the ones still asking yourself what you want to do with your life, or the thought of your first day of work is making you more than a little nauseous, maybe it’s time to read another book.

Dorm Rooms to Boardrooms

Victoria Pilate’s book calls itself the “guide for all majors in making the transition from college to the real world,” and offers a brief peak into the reality of the work force.

Leaving no stoned unturned, in the first chapter, “Hitting the Pavement,” Pilate talks about every step in the job hunt. Ranging from how to prepare early, to making the cover letter and resume, Pilate also gives tips for the interview (all kinds from pressure, group, panel, telephone) and what to do if interruptions occur or the interviewer is disinterested. Pilate prepares job hunters for all situations.

After landing that first job, successive chapters get into the nitty gritty. “Find a place to hang your hat” discusses relocation, apartment hunting and roommate issues, while “The Great Leap Forward” is about the first few days at work and stereotypes of new employees at a company. Although frightening, Pilate reports that according to the Corporate Leadership Council, 40 percent of new hires will be dismissed within the first 18 months, so maybe taking her advice is a good idea.

Pilate also discusses winning at office politics, getting ahead and being promoted, dealing with different office personalities, proper etiquette in the office (“It’s More than Please and Thank you”) and other often-ignored topics in transition books such as how to plan an office party and whether you should mix your social life with your work life; is it beneficial or harmful to invite officemates to personal events?

“Dorm Rooms to Boardrooms” isn’t your average transition book. It discusses topics new employees may not have even thought of and offers insight into the reality of the work force.

We give it 4 out of 4 stars.

Bonjour Laziness, Why hard work doesn’t pay

Maybe your parents ingrained in you that hard work was the key to everything and with practice makes perfect. Well maybe they were wrong. Corinne Maier takes a different view of entering the workforce, claiming in her book to “show you how to become impervious to manipulation and escape the implacable law of usefulness.”

Maier discusses becoming a master of circular reasoning and business jargon, to succeeding in the company by watching your back and branding and selling yourself are key, rather than hard work and climbing the corporate ladder.

Instead of the office personalities Pilate discusses, Maier breaks everyone down into three simple categories: the sheet, the pests and the loafers, or mention psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s divisions of the bastards, the cynics and the weaklings.

Topics like “ethics, schmethics,” “The strategy: the art of appearing smarter than you are” and “Corporate culture: culture, my ass!” offer a disheartened outlook on reality, but reality nonetheless.

While offering a more humorous outlook on supposed business world reality, one should not dismiss the notion of hard work. Nonetheless, this book seems designed perfectly for its audience considering it is about three times shorter than Pilate’s. And as Maier says, “in short, this book explains why it is in your best interest to work as little as possible.”

We give it 2.5 out of 4 stars.

After high school graduation how many preparing for college and life away from home books did you receive, and how many of them have been stored in the back of your closet since?

But this time around it’s different, it’s not the cushioned world of college, it’s life! There are policies and norms to follow, there are hierarchies to respect and there are everyone’s competing drives for success and promotion.

Instead of telling you how to do your laundry, how to survive eating on campus, tips on cramming for final exams, these books are offering tips on how to successfully climb the corporate ladder and make it in the real world, with hard work or not.

Bari Lieberman is the EDGE Editor and can be contacted at b.lieberman@umiami.edu.

October 27, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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