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The best gift for your college grads or new hires

Johnny bunkoDo you want the perfect gift for your son or daughter graduating from college?

Or the perfect gift for your new hires coming into your organization from college?

Buy this book: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko -- The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need, by Daniel Pink. It really is the best career guide there is for careers in the "new normal."


Because the world has changed forever since 2007 and the Great Recession of 2008 (and 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, according to MACPA members).

The generation graduating this year entered college when companies were hiring like crazy. They are leaving college when getting jobs is extremely difficult (except accounting, which is running at an amazing 3 percent unemployment rate). That "perfect job" is nowhere to be seen. 

The students are coming out with ideas about that "perfect job" and a straight career path based on their college education and what they were told in school. Unfortunately, they may be forced to take a detour, which is why I recommend this book and the very cool SlideShare summary by another great author, Garr Reynolds, below.

There is no plan. Build on your strengths and always be adding value.

That was my message to graduating accounting students at Salisbury University and Loyola University recently as I presented the future of the CPA profession and the role of MACPA (and the AICPA and state CPA societies).

The book serves to refocus the student or new hire to the brutal facts of the workplace reality. It really is about adding value, serving your organization, and helping to make a difference. In other words, win-win-win -- help us win for our customers, win for the organization, and win for you (and your career). Do that and your career will open up lots of new pathways to success.

So here are the six career lessons from the book:

  1. There is no plan, no set path.
  2. Think strengths not weaknesses.
  3. It's not about you (it's about adding value).
  4. Persistence trumps talent.
  5. Make excellent mistakes (or as I like to say, fail forward).
  6. Leave an imprint (make a difference, and contribute the best you can).

 Garr includes a reference to Steve Jobs and his career advice (slides 98-100):

"You can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever ... it has made all the difference in my life." -- Steve Jobs

And this quote from the book: "You're here to serve, not self-actualize!" (see No. 3 above). 

Career Advice '08 View more presentations from garr So give your graduate or new hire the best career guide ever. Here is Garr's full post titled Business manga: presenting Daniel H. Pink's latest book. And I highly recommend Garr's book Presentation Zen. It has fundamentally changed the way I present.