My personal graduation party count is in the teens now and I am not done. Strangely I find myself energized with each new party because it gives me a chance to connect with a graduate, hear some of their plans, and revisit their first 18 years by looking at all the pictures they (or their parents) have posted. It if fun and scary at the same time. I always appreciate the graduates that look me in the eye and admit some of those fears. I get it.
Transitions are like that – fun and scary. Fun because of all the new things that are presented to us – new people, new challenges, new learning, and new perspectives. Scary because they often bring us into unfamiliar territory that will challenge our basic beliefs and put us into situations where we will experience failure.
Failure. It is a word that nobody likes to hear, and yet it is so necessary to learn. One of the reasons I like hanging around a start-up minded community is they see failure as a way to grow. You cannot have growth without it. While graduation is a great thing to celebrate, those graduates that will be going off to their first job in the next several months will need more help. The help they need is the support from the people around them for a great start in that new role. In the corporate world it is called, and when it is done well it provides a foundation for success. The key to onboarding is really after the program(or first 2 weeks), when the work begins. Being able to step into that work with the right perspective and attitude is critical.
Lets focus on the college graduate that will be starting their first job. As part of any new beginning, it is good to mark that day with a gift. Here are several books that have the potential to equip people and start some great conversations that will lead to a successful transition into their new role.
- Linchpin – Seth Godin (this breaks my <200 page rule, but it is worth the extra 36 pages)
- The Traveler – Daren Simkin
- Effective Immediately – Emily Bennington / Skip Lineberg (here is a link to my video interview with Emily)
- Great on the Job – Jodi Glickman (here is a link to my interview with Jodi)
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach/ Russell Munson
- The Dip – Seth Godin
- Do The Work – Steven Pressfield
If you have read my blog long enough you know that I believe in learning pairs. My philosophy of giving a book as a gift is simple – keep the books thin(<200 pages) and as part of the gift offer to read it/discuss it with them. (here are some other helpful gift giving tips)