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Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want Paperback – March 29, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Lindsey Pollak, author of Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World
“Jenny Blake is a rock star of her generation and her book, Life After College, shares her energy, enthusiasm and wisdom. The book is chock-full of tips, tricks, tweets and the genuine empathy of someone who has been in the shoes of her readers. Recent grads will love her writing style and the book's exercises, which encourage readers to personalize their own journeys.”

Christine Hassler, Author of 20 Something, 20 Everything and The 20 Something Manifesto, Life Coach, Speaker
“Jenny really understands what it is like to be a twenty-something in today’s society. This book serves as roadmap for navigating the various aspects of your life during your twenties. Jenny shares wonderful tips, practical advice and stories to help inspire individuals to live their truest dreams.”

Chris Guillebeau, Author of The Art of Non-Conformity
“College is easy: you get a schedule of classes and a four-year plan. Life is hard: you have to make the plan yourself. Thankfully, Jenny's book helps you make the plan, with plenty of time for both career and life itself. Jenny's great book lives up to its hefty promise—read it to get what you really want. Don't wait! ”

Alexandra Levit, Author of New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career
“Jenny Blake is an overwhelmingly positive voice for the Millennial generation. Here is someone who is working her way up the ladder at one of the most prestigious companies in the world while pursuing her dream. Read this book, become Jenny's friend, and be privy to all the life skills and knowledge she has learned along the way...in Twitter-sized bites!”

Dr. Susan Biali, M.D. Wellness expert, coach, international speaker and author of Live A Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You
“I wish someone had given me this book twenty years ago! The wisdom and maturity behind the tips and insights in Life After College are simply mind-boggling coming from a twenty-something author. Jenny Blake has written a guide to life that would enlighten and equip anyone, not just college students. What a gift this book will be to anyone who is lucky enough to read it.”

Ruth Ann Harnisch, President of The Harnisch Foundation and Founder of Thrillionaires.org
“Jenny was once my coaching client, and now her book is coaching ME. Yes, even experienced coaches can benefit from the back-to-basics self-examination that Life After College requires of its readers. The book is chockablock with tips, exercises, anecdotes and ideas that can help anyone create an independent, happy, fulfilling life.”

Adrian Klaphaak, Career Coach and Founder of A Path That Fits, Inc.
“Pithy not preachy, and way more than just good advice, Life After College distills the essential knowledge that you need to navigate your twenties, and coaches you through the process of implementing it to create meaningful results in your life, work, and relationships.”

Phil Villarreal, Author of Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel
Life After College is less a book than a compass. It's also an interactive pep talk, a plan of attack and a treasure trove of razor-sharp advice.”

Barbara Fittipaldi, CEO of Center for New Futures
“This is your real life – not a practice life. It’s important to stop for a moment to think about what really matters to you, what lights you up, what you truly want in life – and then to design a roadmap to that future. Jenny’s book is that roadmap. She helps you explore your unique genius, gives you fast-acting strategies and innovative exercises and shows you how to make your personal and professional dreams a reality. Most people spend more time planning their vacations than planning their lives. Miracles will happen when you follow the inspiring and practical advice Jenny offers. Give it as a gift to everyone you know who wants to get the most out of life.”

Kevin Smokler, co-founder of BookTour.com
“Jenny Blake's Life After College should be called The Rest of Your Life After College. It's the smart, useful get-up-and-go guide we all need to not only live big, but to live better.”

Neil Pasricha, Author of The Book of Awesome
“A book that solves all your life's problems and gives you a big wet kiss afterwards? AWESOME!”

Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
"Life After College is the perfect guide for the smart, motivated college graduate who does not want to spend the next twenty years blindly tripping through life to find happiness. Her advice will not only save you time and money, it will get your career off to a roaring start so you can enjoy what you are doing, while you are doing it. This book should be required reading for every college senior."

Forbes.com, March 29, 2011
“…it will resonate with anyone who is trying to figure out what they want – not just folks in their early 20’s who are navigating life without dining halls and class schedules. …In Life After College, Blake’s debut title, Twitter meets What Color Is Your Parachute. Using the short and concise format that has made Twitter and other social networking sites so popular with young professionals, the book reads like a portable life coach with tips from Blake herself, crowd-sourced information and exercises pertaining to 9 separate major life areas”
BookPage, May 2011
READY, SET, GO! Jenny Blake knows about post-college life because she’s experienced it twice: first, when she took a leave of absence from UCLA in her junior year, and again when she returned to UCLA two years later to finish her degree and graduate with the class of 2005. She’s been a career development program manager and internal coach at Google since 2006, and she launched LifeAfterCollege.org in 2007. Now, she offers the lessons she has learned in Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want. Blake confides that, while she’s always been a go-getter (she finished college in three years with a double major and honors, while working full-time beginning at age 20), she found herself exhausted at age 25 and unsure what she wanted to do next. She writes, “I finally . . . took steps to figure out what I wanted, and who I really was under the shiny veneer of achievement.” The author urges readers to view the book not as a narrative meant to be read beginning to end, but as a sourcebook that can be used to find specific information (on, say, taxes or etiquette or health) or thought-provoking exercises to help establish long-term goals. Advice from college graduates, tidbits from Twitter and quotes from famous figures make for interesting, quick reads, and “Jenny’s Tips” address seemingly every question that might cross a graduate’s mind, regarding work, money, home, family, dating, health and plenty more. This guide will prove at once useful, inspiring and reassuring for graduates who are ready to embark on an exciting new phase of life but aren’t quite sure where or how to begin.

Atlanta Journal Constitution, 5/23/11
This is another book providing more than job-search advice for new graduates. In fact, the actual hunt for work is covered rather briefly. Instead, Blake concentrates her attention on lifestyle issues ranging from work-life balance to managing friendships as a young adult.
Two features of this book stand out for me and qualify it for recommendation as a gift to graduates. 
First, Blake has included one of the better discussions on goal-setting and big-picture thinking that I have seen. To my mind, this concept is not covered very well in most careers books, which I can’t understand. What’s the point of getting a job if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish in your life?
And second, I like the exercises and worksheets. These are nothing fancy, but Blake has a good instinct for summarizing the points a reader would need to explore in order to develop an action plan on each topic.

From the Inside Flap

Need some straightforward guidance on how to maneuver the real world? Do you wish there was a roadmap that would help you figure out how to get where you want to go? Life After College IS that guide. Jenny Blake provides a powerful combination of tips, inspiration, quotes, and coaching exercises designed to help you navigate EVERY area of your life, including: 
  • Life: Your Big Picture
  • Work
  • Money
  • Home
  • Organization
  • Friends & Family
  • Dating & Relationships
  • Health
  • Fun & Relaxation 
  • Personal Growth
Life After College will help you focus on your goals, dreams, and highest aspirations so that you can create the life you really want. 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; First Edition edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762441275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762441273
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jenny Blake is an author, career and business strategist and international speaker who helps smart people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, and build sustainable, dynamic careers they love. With two years at a technology start-up as the first employee, five years at Google on the Training and Career Development teams, and over three years of running her own business, Jenny combines her love of technology with her superpower of simplifying complexity to help clients pivot their career or business.

Jenny created her first website, LifeAfterCollege.org, in 2005, then released a book of the same name in 2011 that was featured in Target's 2012 graduation display. She has been featured on Forbes.com, US News & World Report, Real Simple magazine, and has spoken at major universities and top companies such as Columbia, TEDxCMU, Yale, Parsons, UCLA, Google, Intuit, KPMG and Best Buy. Jenny is the co-founder of a new app called Lucent (@LucentApp) for people who are "meditation-curious," and is currently serving as the Director of Operations for SpringUps (@SpringUpsLLC), an urban farming start-up in Brooklyn.

Today you can find her at JennyBlake.me, where she explores systems at the intersection of mind, body and business. Jenny is a yoga fanatic, chocolate lover, coffee addict and avid book worm. Dogs, dancing, gadgets, writing, traveling, and long meals with friends all make her pretty happy too. Jenny is based in New York City, where she imagines she's starring in a movie whenever she walks through its crowded streets. Follow her on Twitter @jenny_blake.


More detailed background:

While working at Google, Jenny completed training to be a life coach through the Coaches Training Institute in 2008, and finished her certification in 2010. She is a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner, and served on the Board of Governors for the International Association of Coaching in 2010. Jenny also completed yoga teacher training in 2010 through the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara.

Prior to Google and halfway through her junior year at UCLA, Jenny took a leave of absence to help launch a political polling start-up company, Polimetrix (later acquired and renamed YouGov America), with her college professor and mentor. For two years she served as the office manager, marketing assistant, and webmaster. Jenny returned to finish at UCLA in the spring of 2005. She graduated in 3 years with degrees in political science and communications, and with several distinctions: Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and College Honors.

After stumbling through the "real world" (and reading more than 150 business and personal development books), Jenny felt compelled to share her knowledge with other young professionals. The experience of leaving school before her friends and her love of teaching others inspired her to launch LifeAfterCollege.org, a blog that provides simple, practical tips about life, work, money, happiness and personal growth. Jenny's goal is to help people focus on the BIG picture of their lives...not just the details. Follow her on Twitter @jenny_blake.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives me a lot of hope as a post grad millennial blindsided by the recession, although probably not for the reasons the author intended. Because after reading "Life After College" I have seen the light that will lead me out of my dark quarter life funk: I'm going to write a self help book. Seriously.

Because if this book can get 93 positive reviews on Amazon...then honestly dude, I'm going to be the next Tony Robins.

The problem with this book is really the same problem with a lot of self help books, particularly those that deal with career advice: they offer tips that should be all but obvious to even the most buffoonish of individuals. Other times they offer advice that is too simplistic, general, and often just plain wrong.

Here is her advice on work/life balance:
"exercise can be a great way to unwind and transition to a different state of mind"

"Make a point to relax, schedule time with friends, and have fun" ....And its all like this. Written completely in bullet points!

Thats one thing that has to be noted about this book right up front: it is written almost entirely in bullet-points...seriously. I'm not sure why the editor, publisher, and proof readers allowed this to happen. I understand that flowing prose is dead, and I'm not expecting Shakespeare here, but c'mon! Bullet points! For real?!? I get that we Gen Y folk are not the most literate, or intelligent people...we are the primary reason there will soon be a fourth transformers movie and probably a fifth pirates of the caribean...but really?!? Were not THAT bad are we? I get that paragraphs aren't what the kids are into now a days, but they've been around for 800 years or so...could we at least have gotten an old-school "paragraph re-mix version" of this book?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is meant to be a guide for budding twenty-somethings on what to do now that the structure of their life is lost. It is supposed to offer guidance to those that have had nothing but structured guidance their whole lives. However, I found that this book wasn't at all very helpful. As a twenty-something recently graduated from college, "Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want" offered lackluster advice and little in the ways of actionable steps or specific help. Most of the book is spent giving "soft" advice, which is no better than saying "find your passion and do what's right for YOU." This isn't helpful. Maybe I'm different, but I work best with specific examples, detailed steps, and actual results. Now, I know what you're thinking: "So you need your hand held every step of the way? Just because she didn't outline every little detail, you're going to write her off?" Not at all. I believe very strongly in empowering people to carve their own paths. However, the target audience of this book, recent college graduates, are inherently lost. They have been told their whole life to "just do what you love and it won't feel like work." They don't need mushy, good-feeling advice. They crave structure and need specific, proven, actionable steps that will help them sort out the chaos of being thrown into the real world without so much as a floatie.
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Format: Paperback
Length: 2:56 Mins
1 Comment 34 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Because I follow Jenny Blake's blog, I was really looking forward to her book. I was surprised to be disappointed in the book. For me, there is not a good flow to it. The author makes it very clear in the "About this Book" section that the book is not meant to read like a narrative, instead it's a compilation of tips. It should be noted that this format will not resonate with all readers...just a heads up!

The book was like a compilation of several blog posts. It is divided up into sections like "Deep Dives" and "Recommended Readings". When there's actual writing, there are several paragraphs of some OK writing and advice, and then it abruptly ends and moves on to a new section talking about something related, but completely different.

Much of the book are "Jenny's List" sections, which is in a bulleted-list format. Again, this works great for a blog post (where you're just looking for snippets of relevant information), but in the format of a book, it was a little overwhelming. There were too many bits and pieces of advice and not enough elaboration.It was tough for me to finish a chapter and summarize it in one or two good "take aways", since there was so much thrown at me! Reading this book makes me want to beg for a life coaching session from her, because the book was so all over the place, I really wanted more clear and concise advice for ME.

Other sections, like "Advice from College Graduates", "Notable Quotes", and "Two Cents from Twitter", were also lacking in terms of continuity from one piece of advice to another. I appreciated the input from others, especially the twitter users, because it brought the book back to reality. But these sections were still a lot of bits of pieces of advice versus following a common theme.
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Format: Paperback
LIFE AFTER COLLEGE is the sort of smart-but-simple, pragmatic-but-comprehensive resource that I wish I had access to over the last three years since graduating college.

Like the overwhelming majority of college students and recent graduates, it took lots of hard growing pains and learning experiences (the "getting hit in the head" kinds of learning experiences) to realize how ill-prepared I was to deal with my own finances and budgeting, let alone rectifying the hellish nightmare of entering a "real world" that starkly contrasted against the lofty dreams and goals that Generation Y has been trained FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES to pursue.

LIFE AFTER COLLEGE, even three years after graduating, is teaching me strategies and lessons that I would have paid far more for than $10. This book might be more appropriately be called THE POST-GRAD BIBLE because it is utterly incredible in its depth and resourcefulness, as well as it being deeply motivating.
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