Summary of You're Too Smart for This

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Michael Ball’s book is a brutally candid manual for the new college graduate starting out in the corporate world. Written in a witty, often bawdy style, it parses out specific advice and general wisdom, distinguishing between the expectations the new employee may hold and the realities of entry-level work. Ball’s straight talk is dressed up with pertinent quotes from a broad range of sources, including philosophers and novelists, management books, business case studies and popular culture. Some of his advice is common sense, like admonitions against romancing your co-workers or being too vocal in meetings. Some of it exposes nuances of the corporate environment, including office politics and how organizations form and operate. recommends this book to the novice job holder, who will benefit from being forewarned. We also recommend it to human resources executives, managers who deal with recent college graduates and senior managers who want insights about what is going on at the ground level. The book’s structural gimmick - its refutation of so-called "lies" about the corporate world - can seem like shtick. Although the lies are entertaining, the book actually communicates a number of useful truths. Those who learned life’s lessons the hard way will find confirmation in Ball’s maxims; they may be the first to suggest that those who are starting their careers should start reading this first.

About the Author

Michael Ball is the founder and CEO of a Los Angeles entry-level training consultancy catering to new employees of Fortune 1000 companies. Ball holds a degree in psychology and business from the University of California at Los Angeles.



Forget about Glamour and Get to Work

The move from the freewheeling environment of a college campus to the corporate world is tough, to say the least. The college experience is special and has its own pressures, but the ivory tower is nothing like the corporate world. As a new graduate, you will find yourself in an entirely new environment, where the rules are hard and set, the deadlines are real, and the work is often far less intellectual and far more exacting than you might find comfortable, especially compared to the typical requirements of a college course.

The toughest thing for new graduates may be lowering their expectations about what the typical work day will include. The transition from college to work can be difficult drudgery, but it is manageable if you are flexible and diligent about what may seem like mind-numbing tasks. Indeed, don’t let anyone delude you about the vastly important work you’ll be doing. In truth, "three quarters of what you’ll do during your stint as a grunt is (gasp!) grunt work."

Ignore the lie that "you can at least bitch about your gruntwork," even if you find it pretty tough to stomach, particularly compared to the pleasure...

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