Book Review: "When Reality Hits" | Lindsey Pollak's Blog

Book Review: “When Reality Hits”

barry.jpgHelpful and realistic career advice for college students and recent grads

In the Introduction to her book, When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent Graduates to Know, Nancy Barry explains that she wants readers to feel “as if I’m sitting right there with you in a coaching session. I’m your biggest champion and we haven’t even met.”

That is exactly what it’s like to read this book. Nancy, a speaker and author with an impressive corporate career behind her, is friendly, positive and honest about the skills and tactics young professionals need to know. When Reality Hits is a fast and helpful read for college students and recent grads.

Here are some of my favorite tips from the book:

Build your network. “When we graduate from college and start our careers, many times we focus on the job title, salary and benefits. But in reality, it’s the people who are the most important aspects of any job.”

Own your mistakes. “If you ever make a mistake and tick someone off, just say these words: ‘I take complete responsibility.’ It completely disarms the other person. There’s really nothing else for them to say.”

Lose the attitude. “Never, ever think you are too good to do anything. Be the one who always has a positive attitude, no matter what needs to be done. Your strong work ethic will separate you from the rest of the pack.”

Respect people’s time. “If you ask for thirty minutes, take twenty-nine. Whether the meeting is with a co-worker, your boss or a client, be respectful of the other person’s time. ”

Solicit honest advice. “When you are considering a major career move or other important advice, ask trusted mentors to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. That’s the best way to receive really honest and helpful advice.”

Click here to find When Reality Hits on

  1. Nancy Barry’s book is incredible! She has a ton of advice to offer new graduates straight from the trenches of corporate America. Knowing her personally though, I can tell you something you might not know: Nancy truly loves her job and she’s in the business for all the right reasons. She really truly wants to help new graduates make a successful transition into the workplace, and she would sit every twentysomething down for a one-on-one chat if it were humanly possible for her to do so. She’s the perfect mentor in every way.

  2. @Maria – Thanks for the endorsement of Nancy and her book!


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