Summary of The Young Professional's Guide to the Working World

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The Young Professional's Guide to the Working World book summary
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In the first chapter of this career-skills book for Gen Yers – people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – AT&T corporate manager and Gen Yer Aaron McDaniel recalls what his first boss told him during his first performance review: “I’m just not sure that you really ‘get it’...I am not sure you really even understand how to do your job.” This may not inspire your confidence in McDaniel as a career expert, but his honesty is refreshing. This dubious episode illustrates why his take on career growth can help its targeted readers. As McDaniel explains, like him, many Gen Yers enter the workplace hugely misinformed. Yet he quickly figured things out. Today McDaniel is a high achiever. He describes best practices young people can use to build their careers and points out pitfalls to avoid. Though McDaniel occasionally demonstrates some lingering youthful callowness – like crowing about winning a corner office – getAbstract recommends his smart book to Gen Yers and anyone else working to build a career.

About the Author

AT&T corporate manager Aaron McDaniel was one of its youngest regional vice presidents. He founded The Spark Source, an online community for young professionals.



“Laying the Foundation: It’s What’s at the Core that Counts”

Here’s a hard lesson that university students learn after they graduate and enter the business world: College does not teach you how to handle yourself or build a career in the commercial sector. You will almost surely enter the corporate environment unprepared if you grew up in a family that didn’t share business acumen at the dinner table.

Moreover, most companies do not try hard enough to acclimate young hires to corporate life. As a result, most neophytes must figure out on their own how to get ahead. Some lessons come early and hard. For example, no one guarantees that you’ll get promoted. That often takes a while. Moving every few years to a new position is not smart. Firms view job-hoppers with suspicion. In business, a reputation for previous achievement often means less than the work you’ve done recently. And guess what: Your boss is more worried about his or her career than about yours.

Although external circumstances and other people often influence your career, charting your path is your responsibility, so take a few positive steps, such as developing more work skills and searching for opportunities...

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    J. P. 3 years ago
    I agree that Gen Y employees such as myself may have different motivations than people of previous generations. This advice will help us succeed in business today. However, as we evolve the company's culture, these differing motivations will actually likely work in the company's favor compared to previous strategies. For instance, although Gen Y people may feel entitled to recognition for simply doing their job, recognition is extremely low cost to the company vs. the pensions and health care packages required to recruit talent from the Baby Boomer generation. Gen Y employees have no long term expectations of support from a company. We don't even really have the expectation of ever being to retire. Because of this, our generation of employees will have an extremely low legacy cost for companies compared to Baby Boomers.
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    G. S. 7 years ago
    A valuable self help guide for anyone entering the corporate world. Important for L&D professionals to have an understanding of expectations (for learning resources), that people starting out in their careers have.
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    J. S. 7 years ago
    A great read for parents,managers, graduate recruiters and talent scouts for generation 'Y' - helping them to achieve STAR rather than DOPE status