This Book Helps You Get From College to Career

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Did you know 85% of entry-level job candidates are poorly prepared for the job hunt? Figures: amazingly, many universities in this country still lack constructive focus on career prep. (But if you want to take a class on the social impact of porn, sign right up.)

So it’s no surprise that many addled grads turn to the bookstore for a little guidance in what to do with their lives, or that authors are meeting that demand with a groaning supply of what-to-do-with-your-life lit. Type “career” into Amazon’s book search engine, and it’ll bury you with 322,308 hits.

Lindsey Pollak’s new book, Getting From College to Career, belongs on that shelf–but it also deserves to stand out. It’s a well-written, lively and easy to follow guide of “90 things to do before you join the real world.” Pollak is a Yale grad who’s apparently made a career of her early career travails; she begins the book by telling of her own bafflement and malaise as she approached graduation. A chance encounter at the local Rotary Club gathering tips her off to a fellowship in Australia, which she jumps at. But when that ends, she’s left once again moping around her parents’ house, conducting aimless web searches and eating too much frozen yogurt. She writes:

In a nutshell, my scientific diagnosis of my post-Australia situation is that it totally sucked.

You gotta love a career expert who’ll admit to that. Also, she apparently bakes cupcakes.

Pollak’s book-jacket bio calls her a “writer, editor and speaker specializing in career advice for young professionals.” I’m leery of career experts who haven’t lived long enough to have had much of a career, but maybe that gives Pollak an advantage in this market: she is, after all, talking to her peers. (At least that’s how she’s billed: you have to wonder what person born after the Nixon administration wouldn’t know what “LOL” meant and would use a Debbie Does Dallas reference.)

Anyway, I liked Pollak’s friendly, big-sisterly tone, and if you’re a newly minted cap-and-gowner, I think you’ll find this book easy to digest and ultimately useful. The 90 very short tips address modern job-hunting issues like cleaning up your Internet image (“Don’t think having a private profile makes you safe…some [employers] even borrow ‘.edu’ e-mail addresses to have access to student-only sites”) and e-mailing “like a professional” (don’t leave subject lines blank, she advises, which sounds retarded until you realize that might not occur to a young job seeker).

In my continuing spirit of magnanimity when it comes to my ever accumulating mountain of business books, I’ll part with one of my copies to whomever asks first. Comment below and include your e-mail.

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