Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Practical Gift for the Recent Grad

Unfortunately today, graduating from high school or college does not provide adequate insight, knowledge, or tools for a young adult to fit into and thrive in the workplace. Students learn reading. Students learn writing. Students learn arithmetic. Students may even take subjects specifically to help them in the workplace such as accounting or computer programming. However, students do not learn how and why workplaces operate as they do. This leads to employers all over the U.S. complaining about the lack of work readiness skills in their workers, especially workers new to the workforce.

I know what some of you are thinking. My school has a work readiness program. Well, to parrot a very smart man I knew who worked for the National Skills Standard Board and was knowledgeable of work readiness programs all over the U.S.; “many of the programs do more harm than good.” How am I aware of this quote? Because he said it right after stating that the work readiness program I developed was the best in the Country. The quote came during a presentation of my Program in Jacksonville, Florida on January, 14, 2003.

This leads to the practical gift for the recent grad. In April of 2008, my book, “How to Get, Keep and Be Well Paid in a Job”, was published by Outskirts Press. This book is a guide to succeeding in the workplace. Unlike the other work readiness books, this book is not written like a text book that simply “preaches” what workers should do at work. This book is written to both inform and entertain, and takes the time to explain why specific behaviors and skills are valued by employers, and uses real life examples to help illustrate key points. For example, the first chapter is titled, “The First Date” and compares dating to the interview process. There is also a chapter called, “What Are the Special Codes for This Game Called Work” that correlates advanced workplace skills to video games. In addition, the chapter on ethics analyzes music downloading before moving onto workplace issues. To find out more about the book, including the book’s table of contents, go to

I know writing a blog recommending a book I wrote is self-serving, however, I have spent a long time in the work readiness arena and strongly believe that my book will help both the reader/worker and the business community. And I’m not the only one. In July of 2008, the book received an excellent review from John Taylor of the Midwest Book Review, an entity that reviews books for libraries. The review concluded that my book is “is highly recommended to community library jobs and career collections.” To read the complete review, go to

My last note: the book is currently being used in Programs that are teaching work readiness (ESOL, trade schools, youth at risk, etc.). If you would like to use the book in a Program, go to this web site for more information:

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