First Job, First Paycheck

First Job, First Paycheck

About six months ago, I had the pleasure of attending a ceremony to initiate a new Honorary Brother (member) into Alpha Kappa Psi, Professional Business Fraternity. His name is Jeff Lehman, and this week I am reviewing his third and latest book, First Job ~ First Paycheck: how to get the most out of both…without help from your parents. His previous two books, The Sales Manager’s Mentor & The Frugal Millionaires went on to receive positive reviews and win awards.

Lehman (who jokingly denies any relation to Lehman Brothers, the global financial services firm) continues to shine with FJFP,  putting out an amazing book that highlights details that most college students always wonder about, but never have the answers to.

Readers will undoubtedly feel the need to take out their highlighters and notepad and start taking notes as if they were preparing for a test. Because in many ways, we’re preparing for the biggest test of all, the job market.

On the cover is a quote from a student at the University of Central Florida….

Every university should hand this to their graduates with their diploma. It will get you excited and motivated to start planning your future. ~ Charlie A

No joke, colleges should literally hand their graduates a copy of this book with their diplomas! No college student should have to go out into the “real world” without having this information readily available.

The book is broken up into three sections, the first of which is “Getting your first job.” For college students, this section will have the student at full attention and unable to put the book down. Lehman starts with using himself as an example of having to find that first job during a recession. As a graduate, Lehman would move across country to find work. Later he would realize that…

It’s more fun making new rules than living by the old ones.

Lehman suggests that students preparing to graduate focus on markets that are on the verge of booming, or even better, markets that they themselves create. Lehman lays out the best ways to “recession-proof” your career. And if that weren’t enough, he outlines several tips for networking, and for preparing and conducting yourself while interviewing.

Are resumes not your thing? Lehman is a advocate of the world’s “easiest” resume…LinkedIn. LinkedIn, for those that don’t know (living under a rock?), is a social networking site in the same vein of Facebook and Myspace, only for business professionals. The site is essentially a collection of online resumes where you can input much more data than is suggested for a printed resume (which should be no longer than one page, two and only if you’ve got some serious experience).  If you don’t already have a LinkedIn, you’re only doing yourself a disservice once you start the job hunt.

After addressing LinkedIn, Jeff Lehman moves on to the topic that caught my eye more than any. By far, my favorite chapter in the book was “15 Key Offer-Letter Negotiation Points.” A resounding majority of graduating students have zero clue what goes into a offer-letter and what to look for. Most wouldn’t even know what one looked like until they finally get that first offer.

How do you know if that offer-letter you just got is a good deal or not? It seems like a good job where you can add a lot of value and has a fair compensation plan attached to it. But is it really a good offer ? Should you take it?

Most college students are probably thinking, “In this economy? I’ll take whatever I can get.” However, Lehman points out that the only way you’re going to get what you deem as fair and appropriate is to ask for it. Remember, it never hurts to ask. In fact, the employer will probably be impressed that you know what to look for, and they’ll want you for the job even more so.

At this point of the book, you’re about 1/3 the way there. The rest of the book is spent on a wide variety of topics that are essential to those looking for that first job (or the 2nd, 3rd, etc for that matter). Lehman outlines ways to be successful at that first job, how to find meaningful mentors, how to function in meetings, and ways to meet the “higher-ups” in the company.

In the final section of the book, Lehman starts offering valuable information and insight into things we know of, but don’t really know much about. Do you know how your FICO (credit score) is calculated? How about what you should actually DO with that first paycheck? Don’t go out and blow it. Lehman outlines several key factors that should be taken care of before you start going for that new car you’ve been dying for (such as setting up an emergency fund). Lastly, Lehman outlines several tips and his thoughts on why millionaires are millionaires in the first place. Many of the ideas come straight from The Frugal Millionaires and will prompt you to check out his other book.

Overall, Jeff Lehman delivers an outstanding handbook for graduating seniors that should literally be given to all those entering their final year of college. At UCF, courses are already starting to add it as required reading. I highly suggest checking it out, making notes, and highlighting key points that you find informative and helpful. I know one thing is for sure, it will be sitting on my desk and be at arms length for quite some time.

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About Jason Willis
Jason graduated from the University of Central Florida in the fall of 2011 with a B.S.B.A. in Finance. He currently works at The Newport Group as an Investment Analyst on the Asset & Liability Management Team working with Non Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans. In his spare time he continues to give back to AKPsi by assisting with the CFAC and NX Chapter at UCF. He also currently operates his own blog entitled Professional Hedging, and is also preparing to acquire his Series 7 and 66 Certifications.

One Response to First Job, First Paycheck

  1. As a student at the University of Central Florida, and being in one of those classes that is required to read this book I can vouch for this review. The book covers a lot of areas that we do not learn about inside of a classroom and answers those questions of which most people learn the hard way. It gives great insight into some much needed skills in making the transition from an academic environment to a professional one. I +1 this review and would recommend this book to any college senior.

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