CareerQuest logo CareerQuest Newsletter

The New College Graduate   
    Photo of Don Sutaria
April 2013   
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

Graduation season will soon be upon us. This issue has an article for the freshly-minted college graduate after the tassel is removed and two book reviews.

      How to Make a Successful Transition from "Backpack" (academia) to "Briefcase" (world of work) by Don Sutaria

Book Reviews:
      The Job Hunting Guide by Ron and Caryl Krannich
Kick Off Your Career by Kate Wendleton

Here is a great idea for an inexpensive yet thoughtful graduation gift for your favorite graduate. CareerQuest offers a unique small package, priced at only $50.00. It is called Backpack to Briefcase. It is counseling especially for those transitioning from high school or college to the world of work. It can be a face-to-face or telephone coaching session for 60 minutes. Parents, relatives and friends—this is a perfect and unforgettable graduation gift! Details can be seen on CareerQuest's website,, under Services.

Keep your feedback coming. Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends, especially new college graduates around you, during the next month or two during this graduation season, remembering to give us the due credit.

Regardless of what politicians say in the media and various interpretations, I want to offer you, the new college graduates, my congratulations and let you know that I consider you folks to be a wonderful group of motivated and hardworking people. This is evidenced by your calls to me for career counseling/coaching and your desire to find the best fit in your career. This is particularly true in the age group from 19-29.

Until we meet again through the magic of email,

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach

  Why I Love and Respect Peter Drucker  
  The Latest from the CareerQuest Blog

Peter Drucker has been my management guru for the past five decades. I was thrilled a couple of years ago when I had the good fortune to visit Claremont, California, and see Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management. Drucker passed away on November 11, 2005, at the age of 95.

Two of his concepts have had a deep impact on me...

  How to Make a Successful Transition from "Backpack" (academia) to "Briefcase" (world of work)  
  by Don Sutaria

          "Keep the faith"
               "Don't abandon hope"
                    "When the going gets tough, the tough get going"

This is my message to graduating seniors, and I would like to shout it from the housetops!

The prophets of gloom and doom will tell you that this is one of the worst job market they have seen in 20 years for graduating seniors. I say, so what! Perhaps you may have to work a little harder to get the first job, but it is not impossible to find one! Persistence is the key and your youthful enthusiasm will make a difference. With persistence and enthusiasm you can successfully plow through all your difficulties. "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid" says Basil King in his book, The Conquest of Fear.

James O. Freedman, the retired president of Dartmouth, once said that a well-rounded Liberal Arts education is a major advantage during difficult economic times, because it is a tradition that teaches flexibility of mind. Liberal Arts majors are receiving offers of $36,900 on average.

Business Administration majors received offers of $53,900 on average, and Accounting majors were offered $50,000. Consulting pulled around $70,000. Computer Science and Information Systems graduates came in at $59,200.

There are several fields where a lot of hiring is expected: health care, consumer products, nursing, insurance, education, military contracts and national security.

Fortune magazine had asked CareerQuest:
"What advice do you wish someone had given you before you ventured into the business world?" That is exactly the advice I would give a freshly-minted college graduate! ("What advice do you have for someone just starting out?")

Our response was as follows:
  1. Develop good working habits before you graduate from college.
  2. Always be organized.
  3. Always be prepared - Do your homework.
  4. Learn time management skills.
  5. Learn listening skills.
  6. Learn presentation skills using digital projectors, overheads, etc.
  7. Be a good public speaker/communicator.
  8. Master good oral and written communication skills.
  9. At every meeting, stand up, speak up (something meaningful) sit down, and shut up.
  10. Develop people interaction skills.
  11. Be a team player.
  12. Be loyal to your boss and company (if not, look for another job!).
  13. Continuous networking is very important.
  14. Mind your manners.
  15. Don't ever burn your bridges.
  16. Watch how you dress.
  17. Respect company property, including e-mail.
  18. You will use less than 10% of what you learned in college.
  19. Be a lifelong learner.
  20. Seek career coaching and career counseling as needed.
Persistence is the key and your youthful enthusiasm
will make a difference.

In their book, CampusCareerCenter's The Job Hunting Guide, Transitioning from College to Career, Ron and Caryl Krannich give the following 22 important prerequisites for success:
  1. You should work hard at finding a job.
  2. You should not be discouraged by setbacks.
  3. You should be patient and persevere.
  4. You should be honest with yourself and others - but not stupid.
  5. You should develop a positive attitude towards yourself.
  6. You should associate with positive and successful people.
  7. You should set goals.
  8. You should plan and implement for success.
  9. You should manage your time and get organized.
  10. You should be a good communicator.
  11. You should be energetic and enthusiastic.
  12. You should ask questions.
  13. You should be a good listener.
  14. You should be polite, courteous and thoughtful.
  15. You should be inclusive, give credit to others, and help others look good.
  16. You should be tactful.
  17. You should demonstrate your intelligence and competence.
  18. You should maintain a professional stance.
  19. You should overdo your job search.
  20. You should be open-minded and keep an eye open for "luck".
  21. You should evaluate your progress and adjust.
  22. You should focus on what's really important in conducting a job search.

The new college graduate has hopefully mastered the basic techniques of job search like networking (professional friendship development), Internet job hunting, effective resumes and cover letters, interviewing skills, and salary negotiations.

There are several fields where a lot of hiring is expected: health care, consumer products, nursing, insurance, education, military contracts and national security.

Even after a person lands the first job, it is a lifelong process to learn how to start you new job on the right foot, or better still to understand how to survive after you get a new job. Some tips I give my students and clients are as follows:
  1. Understand the Nature of the World of Work:
    • Rules of survival on the job are not clear
    • Things are not at all as they seem on the surface
    • Suspend judgment for 3-6 months
    • Recognize competition between individuals and groups
    • Loyalty to boss, department, company, and professional ethics
    • Be a team player
    • Be aware that justice may be sacrificed for expediency
    • Don't be surprised if you get leprosy or plague after a failure
  2. Analyze Your Company's Communications Network.
  3. Become a Part of the Invisible Communications Network.
  4. Do Not Give Anyone Self-incriminating Evidence.
  5. Continue to Learn and Contribute and Grow all Your Life.
  6. Keep a "Hero File" on Yourself.
  7. Develop Your Lifetime Career Goals.
What advice do you wish someone had given you before you ventured into the business world?
In closing this article, I would like to tell you a true story. It is titled From Trouble Comes Success, by Lewis Timberlake.

Around the turn of the century, young Clarence took his girlfriend for a summer outing and picnic lunch at a nearby lake. He was dressed in a suit with a high collar. She wore a long dress with about a dozen petticoats and carried a parasol to match.

As Clarence rowed laboriously in the hot sun, his young lady friend relaxed beneath the shade of her parasol, looking sweet and feminine. As he continued to row, he drank in the aroma of her jasmine perfume.

Despite the hot sun and the sweat upon his face, Clarence became hypnotized by his girlfriend's beauty as he watched her smile radiating from the protection of her parasol.

They finally reached their destination - a small island in the center of the lake. Clarence dragged the boat onto the shore and then helped his girlfriend out of the boat.

After he placed all their supplies beneath a spreading shade tree, she began speaking to him in soft whispers. He loved her voice and listened intently.

"Honey, you forgot the ice cream," she whispered.

"Ice Cream, " Clarence muttered, finally remembering that they'd planned ice cream for dessert.

He got back into the boat and rowed until he reached the shore. He found a grocery store, bought the ice cream, and made his way back across the lake. He got out of the boat and trudged up the hill to the welcome cool shade of the tree under which his girlfriend sat.

She looked at the ice cream, batted long eyelashes over her deep blue eyes, and purred, "Clarence, honey, you forgot the chocolate syrup."

Love will make a person do strange things. So, Clarence got into the boat, rowed back across the lake, went back to the grocery store, and bought the chocolate syrup.

Even after a person lands the first job,
it is a lifelong process to learn how to start a new job
on the right foot, or better still to understand how
to survive after you get a new job.

When he returned to the boat, he once again began to row in the steaming, afternoon sun. He rowed halfway across the lake and then stopped.

He sat there for the rest of the afternoon thinking that there must be a better way. By the end of the afternoon, Clarence Evinrude had invented the outboard motor. The story has another happy ending too! Clarence later married the girl he left stranded on an island for an afternoon!

Approximately 95 percent of the world's most important discoveries and inventions were made in times of deepest trouble. This comes about because there are always those people who look for opportunity in even the direst of circumstances. And, like Clarence Evinrude, they look for ways to turn crisis into opportunities.

If you are among the 90 percent of Americans who are looking for reasons to fail, you'll be sure to find them. But you can become one of the 10 percent who look for opportunities that you were blind to before, by recognizing chances to do things that will help you make your mark in life.

It's only when you recognize opportunity in adversity that you'll be able to go onto that elusive thing known as success. It's only when you do the things that successful people won't do that you can overcome defeat and failure.

So, young college graduate, get going! With your hard work and God's help, you will get a suitable job! Soon!

  Book Reviews  
The Job Hunting Guide by Ron and Caryl Krannich

The prime intention of the authors seems to be to provide a textbook for courses and seminars conducted by college career services. The subtitle says it all, Transitioning from College to Career. This book, published in 2003, does fill a vacuum for a sorely needed up-to-date book, in this niche market. Actually, I have used it as a primary textbook for college seniors taking my course: The Successful Job Search.

The book is divided into 13 chapters. Some of these are: A Season for Everything, Do First Things First, Specify Your Motivated Abilities and Skills, Discover Your Interests and Values, Formulate an Employer-Oriented Objective, Conduct Research, Create Winning Resumes and Letters, Network Your Way to a Great Job, Interview for Jobs and Offers, Negotiate Your Best Salary and Benefits, Turn Your Job Into a Great Career.

Freshly-minted college graduates may be shocked to hear that the same skills they used to succeed in college and obtain good grades, may not be the ones they need to land a good job and start a rewarding career in the world of work. Employers want to hire young people who can add value to their companies. In many respects, the fundamentals of job search, networking, has not changed from one generation to another of college students; it is connecting with the right people (not just what you know but who you know).

I would recommend giving this book as a graduation gift to your favorite graduate and also purchasing a copy for your own career counseling library.

Kick Off Your Career by Kate Wendleton

       This is a fine career book in The Five O'Clock Club series of books. Compared to Kate Wendleton's previous books, this one seems to have been geared a little more towards college students and recent graduates. It is a welcome addition to job search books.

On the day of graduation, virtually millions of freshly-minted graduates will flood the market. Typically students don't have time for the right job search techniques because of academic pressures in their final year. In many cases no one has taught them how to conduct a job search, except in a very superficial way, in the present tight job market. The exercises and assessment techniques provides tools for the graduating students to figure out which career they are best suited to. The book also gives helpful hints on internships and networking. Following the sane advice in this book will make these individuals stand out from the competition.


Don Sutaria, also known as "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).

Find me on LinkedIn Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
CareerQuest     2165 Morris Avenue; Suite 15     Union, NJ 07083     Satellite Office in New York, NY