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Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job into Your Dream Career Paperback – 22 May 2014

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From the Back Cover

It's a challenging time to be young and new in the workplace. Your parents can't help—the rules have all changed. In Welcome to the Real World, career expert and entrepreneur Lauren Berger arms you with the tools you need to succeed. She's been in your shoes—just a few years ago she was you. This handbook tells you everything you need to know to make the most of your first on-the-job experience, including how to

  • think about the big picture
  • deal with rejection
  • effectively manage your time
  • navigate sticky situations in the office and communicate with different personality types
  • embrace entrepreneurship regardless of position, rank, or title
  • organize your financial situation and personal life
  • get promoted and (one day) take your boss's job!

In a world defined by uncertainty, Lauren shows you how to be bold, take risks, and understand your value.

About the Author

Lauren Berger is arguably the nation's most in-demand career and internship expert. She is the CEO and founder of the top-internship website www.internqueen.com as well as www.laurenbergerinc.com. Her first book, All Work, No Pay, is a national campus bestseller. Berger has been featured on Today, Fox & Friends, Marie, the Hallmark Channel, and other media outlets. She has also appeared in the New York Times and Seventeen.

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Amazon.com: 73 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I wouldn't bother having my daughters read this (much, much less my sons) 1 Jun. 2014
By famousdavis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
QUICK SUMMARY: While I applaud the author's ambition and success, this book really isn't that good on a number of fronts. There are so many other, better books on the market to help a young adult transition from college into the business world, I wouldn't waste time or money choosing this particular book to help with that transition.

BACKGROUND: I'm not a reader who fits the author's target audience. She's writing strictly and solely to young girls, young women (the book's title or subtitle, however, don't make that clear). But I have young women in my household, so I read this book thinking about them. Would I want my daughters to read this book as preparation for adulthood? No.


- The book's title or subtitle ought to indicate that the author is writing strictly to women. I don't object that the target audience is young women; I object that the book's title, subtitle and even the back cover don't make that clear.
- The author uses vulgarities throughout the book. I get that in some professions that's not a problem or issue, but it IS an issue in many other professions and workplace environments. Lead by example, Ms. Berger. You may be comfortable saying (even writing) mild vulgarities and obscenities, but I've never admired a woman (or a man, for that matter) who swears so easily.
- The author offers too many clichés that don't need to be offered, and once she offers them, the ideas aren't well-developed enough to keep them from remaining clichés. Example: "Think about the consequences" and "Never settle". Or how about, "Don't accidentally send a message to someone you didn't mean to send it to." Really!?!
- The author presumes too much about the kind of job her readers have, then offers advice which is too specific to be helpful to her full audience. Example: How to help your boss fill-out his/her expense report. That's suitable advice for an administrative assistant, maybe, but I can think of a thousand jobs a young woman might hold where she'd never need to fill-out her boss's expense report.


- The author had a definition of "success" which to me was incomplete, but I liked what she had to share: "Success means being happy in the way you're spending your time every day. Success is being able to constantly grow and learn, to make mistakes and then pick yourself up the next day."


There are so many other, better books for young adults to read as they prepare to enter the business world. Try this book instead, for example:

- The Rules of Work, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Personal Success (Richard Templar's Rules)

CONCLUSION: Skip this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good premise but actual content is off-putting and puzzling at times 3 July 2014
By Chicago Book Addict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The premise behind Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job into Your Dream Career is that when you are making the transition from college to the working world so much emphasis is put on getting that job, but no one really tells you how to navigate that first post-college job once you've got it. I could 100% relate to feeling like this when I was taking on internships and later graduating from college and agree with the author that there really don't seem to be any business books serving this market. Most seem geared toward mid or senior level employees so there is definitely a need for this kind of book. That said, for me, I'm not sure this book adequately fills this hole in the market because there were just too many things I found off-putting or puzzling about this book.

First, there's the advice itself. Given how much it is touted in the marketing copy that all the rules have changed and your parents can't help you, I was shocked how much of the information is common sense, tried and true information. Yes, there is some content involving social media, but the bulk of the more helpful tips in the book were things I've also had passed down to me by professors and my parents. I think perhaps the biggest difference between the advice you'll get here and the advice you might get from a parent is that Berger doesn't assume any prior knowledge about the working world and shares some very basic things that more seasoned professionals might overlook. If you haven't had much experience in an office environment I can 100% see where that would be a benefit, but it also means that if you have had a significant amount of internships or have already settled into your career, a lot that is here will seem painfully basic. This really is, at its heart, a book for novices. I also found it odd that some of her advice is weirdly specific, think step by step instructions to do your boss's expense reports, send e-mail, and schedule meetings. Basically, it seemed really skewed towards tasks that would be done if your first job is an admin role. Also, in her chapter on common problems all of her examples, except for one, feature people working in a communication field. Nothing about the marketing led me to believe this was only a book for people in those industries so I'm not sure why she didn't make a better effort to be more inclusive and to include stories and examples from a broader range of fields. I do work in advertising, but if I didn't I definitely would be reading this book questioning whether the advice she was given was even applicable to me or whether she had consulted anyone in the industry I worked in. To me this seems like a huge miss. That said, this book isn't completely devoid of good advice. I thought what she had to say about rejection was sound and something you are often not taught at college and also thought the advice about related to Millennial-specific stereotypes was sound as well.

I also found the author's personal stories distracted from the function of the book and undermined her credibility. There was just too much name dropping, bragging, and promotion of her company for my taste, not to mention stories that didn't really have anything to do with the topic at hand (i.e. her roommate who taught her about the cool clubs and cool places to shop.). And some of her stories, frankly, made her sound incredibly clueless. I'm sure her intent was to make herself sound the like an every girl and to let the reader know that if she could find success, anyone could. But personally it left me wondering why I should trust her. At one point she says, "I thought that as long as I showed up and did as I was told, I was going to impress my boss. I didn't understand that just because I was friendly and came to work on time didn't mean I was good at my job." Personally I found it shocking that someone who had 15 internships during school and refers to herself as an "Intern Queen" would think this way. Maybe I'm the exception, but I felt like this was something that was drilled into me in college long before I ever had an internship.

Basically, I do think she makes some good points here and there, you just have to wade through the book in order to get there. If you are a college student about to embark on your first internship or job it might be worth skimming through this book, but I'd recommend getting it from the library rather than buying it out right.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I wish I had this when I graduated from college!! 22 April 2014
By Lindsey Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love this book. I remember how nervous and uncertain I felt when I first graduated and landed my first job in the entertainment biz. Lauren is the big sister you wish you had to help you navigate the murky waters of the first "real job." Her relatable tone and funny anecdotes will set any recent grad at ease. I will definitely be passing this onto my "mentees," and the advice (adding value, staying organized, work-life balance) is a great reminder even if you're further along in your career. Definitely recommend!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
How to do well in a day job at an existing firm, but much advice here is (unnecessarily) remedial 19 May 2014
By Book Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thought this book was going to be about how to put yourself out in the world and develop what you do into a paying business (e.g. writer, artist, import seller, etc.). Instead, it is about how to handle and do a super great job working for someone else. Much of the advice here is excellent, such as how to handle someone else getting promoted over you, but much of seems to me to be remedial information about how to behave professionally (about handling email and phone calls, don't wear jeans to work, etc.), paying attention to your image "brand". It starts off with motivational advice about having confidence, not settling, dealing with rejection, never settling, and so forth, but rest of the book is more at the nuts and bolts level.

Some parts of the book are tedious or detract from the main points of the book., such as learning which are the right and wrong shops in W. Hollywood to buy dresses from or clubs to go to, her passion for Starbucks coffee (there are better choices in W. Hollywood), or flakey episodes getting so drunk that she was asleep when movers arrived with her stuff, etc. I found them off-putting, but revealing such human foibles might help other readers identify with her.

The target audience seems to be people who are freshly entering the job market, or who what to improve at a job they already havet; but the book is less useful to hopeful entrepreneurs with a business idea and vision. In today's world however, many people need "day jobs" while they are working on monitizing their passion, and this book is about doing well at day jobs. There is probably something here for everyone, but it will be more useful to people who haven't yet worked out everything about how they should be handling themselves professionally, but are trying to get hired, or are newly hired.

This book would be a great gift to a recent graduate entering the job market.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not unhelpful, but kind of annoying and prone to datedness 12 July 2014
By Emily J. Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not exactly a new grad, but I have recently found myself back into my first career as well as have a recent grad husband and thought this book might be of some use. Granted, it has more than a few useful tips, but in the end I found nothing I didn't find common sense or inaccessible from a decent internet search.

There just wasn't any new advice presented in this book.

Sure, Ms. Berger is a charming presenter, but her friendly chatter eventually becomes annoying along with the stories of her drunken debacles and references that will in a matter of a few years make this book dated.

Don't get me wrong, the information is good and Berger covers a wide scope of material. But despite her excitement, there is nothing new here and the cuteness factor makes this worth only a mild recommendation.
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