First-Job Survival Guide: How To Thrive And Advance in Your New Career

by Diane C. Decker, Victoria A. Hoevemeyer, Marianne Rowe-dimas

JIST Works, 214 pages, $11.01

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Entering the workforce can be compared to your first day at a new school. Some schools have mentoring, big brother type programs to help newbies navigate, but many workplaces do not. Whether you are a recent graduate or a new employee, the First-Job Survival Guide helps you prepare for your first day and beyond. The authors assert that your first day is critical and deserves a thorough approach, encompassing everything from remembering names to asking plenty of questions.

The book begins with how you present and cultivate your professional image. It covers attire, grooming, body language and speaking. It's worth noting that the authors cover all the bases. This up-to-date book discusses what is considered appropriate without batting an eye. Each chapter includes exercises that reinforce its concepts.

The section on Business Etiquette offers practical advice on workplace subjects including e-mail, cubicles, and drinking at offsite social functions. Strategies for dealing with challenging co-workers provides instructions for neutralizing gossip and maintaining a professional distance with best buddy types.

Especially relevant for new workers is the chapter on "Developing a Positive Relationship with Your Boss." According to the authors, "Whether you like it or not, your boss has a significant impact on your success." They urge employees to see things from the boss's perspective and to tap into co-worker's opinions about the boss's pressures and role in the organization. Examples of real world professionals coping with their bosses prove educational and enlightening.

Other sections include how to function as an effective team member and sharpening skills for getting ahead. The final chapter on "Maximizing Your Results" is valuable because no matter how much you achieve, you still must be viewed as a valuable contributor. First-Job Survival Guide presents ways to set goals and complete urgent tasks that will be noticed by your superiors. This book is loaded with insights for both seasoned employees and newcomers to scale their career ladders with speed and ease.

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