Let’s set the scene. Three, four, perhaps seven years ago, you made the massive decision to dive head first into further education after your A-Level results made their way through your letter box. It wasn’t an easy decision. You had witnessed so many others before you choose the apprenticeship option — and now they’re earning the big bucks. But you made your bed and slept in it 

After a ridiculous amount of sleepless nights and uncountable breakdowns, you’re safe. Despite the stress, you had the time of your life, right? But what now? For the past 20-something years of your life, you had direction in your life. Admittedly, throughout university that crutch was slowly removed, but when worse came to worse, your lecturer’s door was just a knock away, and they were there to provide that well-needed advice.  

Now, as tragic as the reality is, it’s just you and you’re trusty degree against the world. Thankfully, you aren’t the only person who has been in this situation before. Millions of other young adults across the world have found themselves in the same boat, struggling for a sense of guidance in life. Not only is this an emotional journey shared by many individuals who have found themselves in the same boat, a handful of these inspiring few have turned their experience into words — to help graduates alike.  

Here, with Where the Trade Buys, offset book printing supplier, we run through our top five books to read as a recent graduate.  


“So What are You Going to Do With That?”

The title of Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius’ self-help style script is something you’re going to have to get used to hearing over the next matter of months. For an adult, who has ‘got their life sorted’, this is their favourite question. Coming towards the end of your final academic year, and throughout the following year, unless you have already landed the job of your dream, you are going to be debating staying on in education. As the authors explain, remaining with academia is in no means a negative, however don’t feel afflicted to stay, and certainly don’t if you’re only doing so to fill time. The book goes on to respond to the question with a solid answer, giving you clarity in what your post-graduate life will entail. 


“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

Not all the successes in your graduate life will hinge upon your ability to develop a killer curriculum vitae. At university, you may have realised that you ended up putting yourself under unnecessary stress, simply because you couldn’t find the book you were looking for. As opposed to tidying on a daily basis, Marie Kondo walks us through her guide in how cleaning up once and for all will have one of the most significant impacts on our day to day lives. The author suggests how a thorough decluttering will translate into massively increased productivity.  


“Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life”

Admiral William McRaven, a retired US Navy SEAL, delivered a speech to the University of Texas, which has received more than ten million views on YouTube. Talking about his career, he noted how when he was training, he seen the task of making a perfect bed every morning fairly mundane and in some respects pointless, as he was going on to become a fighter. Now however, William, the author of Make Your Bedsees carrying out that simplistic task at the start of each and every day as the most important thing — as that is the first challenge of the day achieved. The book goes on to talk the reader through the ten ‘life-changing principles’ which Admiral McRaven picked up during his time in service, and how these steps will help create a better you and give you a better relationship with the world. 


The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster

Steve Dalton’s 2012 manual will prove a trusted companion to graduates, and anyone currently seeking work alike. Despite the fact the internet has provided us with the opportunity to sift through a wide range of jobs that previously we might never have known about — actually managing to find the one for us can prove to be a rather complex task. Organisation is the key focus of Dalton’s piece of work, as he points to the different ways in which technology can be used to whittle down their search. 


How to Win Friends and Influence People

Okay, so once you’ve managed to land a job, despite the fact it may only be a stop-gap, you need to make friends, otherwise your journey is going to be an incredibly tedious one. Unlike university, this isn’t going to be an easy experience. The first day in a new job isn’t going to be like the first day walking into university, because frankly, at this stage, not everyone will be in the same boat. You might be the most likeable person on this side of the Atlantic but that doesn’t mean everyone will warm to you.  

In 2018, Warren Buffet was ranked as the third richest person in the world, and he credits this 1936 book with transforming his life. The American businessman and philanthropist found up a copy of Dale Carnegie’s guide on his grandfather’s bookshelf and suggests he has applied it through his career. Having shifted over 15 million copies worldwide, the book is ranked within the top 100 best-selling books ever and is certainly a must read, regardless of your situation.  

Life is not something to fear, it is something to embrace, but hopefully with the help of these guides, you can successfully better yourself and prepare for the challenge ahead.