On Our Bookshelf: Lean In For Graduates

Lean In for Graduates
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Our mission here at AfterCollege is to help students and recent graduates enter into the workforce. Whether that’s through our Explore feature, helping with job discovery, or going over résumé techniques, we’re always looking for ways to ease the transition from college student to employee.

That’s why when I heard about Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In for Graduates, I had to get my hands on it.

When I started reading, I realized that Sandberg had not changed the original Lean In to be specifically targeted toward recent graduates. Instead, she had left it as it was and added in additional stories and chapters for those who are graduating. (For a bit more on the original Lean In, check out our post, “The Cheater’s Guide to Leaning In.”)

At first, I was a bit confused by this. I thought, “If she wanted this to be for graduates, why didn’t she write a whole book for graduates?” But, as I read a bit more, I started to appreciate and understand the inclusion of the original Lean In material.

The rules of the workforce and necessity to “lean in” apply to us all. Both recent graduates and seasoned employees are dealing with the same business structures and need to learn how to navigate through them. Even though you may not be worried about your second or third job (you’re just trying to get your first), it’s important to realize that the “ladder” system no longer exists and we are now playing on a “jungle gym.”

It also provides a look into our futures and that view will help shape the decisions we’re making now. Sandberg talks about how in college, she didn’t think there was still a disparity between men and women in the workforce. As recent graduates, we probably feel the same way (I know I did). Reading this book and hearing about how many women drop out of the workforce later in life, and the reasons behind doing so, really changed my perspective about my career journey and the choices I am making.

The end of the book narrows its focus to graduates. Rachel Simmons, Mindy Levy, and Kim Keating give detailed advice for starting your career. These women provide specific examples of how to get yourself into the right mindset, organize your job search, and negotiate your salary when just starting out.

The book does a nice job of motivating you while also giving a realistic view of what the working world is like. As a recent graduate, I think that’s exactly what we need.

— Kellen McKillop (Recent graduate and Editorial Assistant at AfterCollege)

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