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Home > Blog > September 2008 > Surviving Your First Job

How To Be Useful : A Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work / Megan Hustad

Admission: I picked up this book because of its cover. I don’t take much stock in the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” line of thinking; I’ve always judged books by their cover and will likely continue to do so as long as there are book covers. 

The thing about this cover is that, on first glance, it’s kind of misleading. How To Be Useful is a how-to book for people facing their “Quarter Life Crisis.” (Lesser known than its Mid-Life counterpart, the Quarter Life Crisis affects 20-somethings and usually coincides with graduating college and getting one’s first job.) And as we all know, How-To books (unless about cooking, piano-playing, or computer programs) are really Self-Help books. 

Which is why the jazzy cover is misleading: self-help books have covers of wise-looking authors reclining on beaches, or big pictures of apples or some other comforting object that’s meant to make us feel better immediately. They are not supposed to be covered in florescent orange doodles. But a read of Hustad’s introduction sheds light on one possible intent: the 20-somethings the book is intended for would rather be struck with the plague than be seen carrying a Self-Help book. Even the truly useful ones. 

Which this one is. Summarizing over a hundred years’ worth of business-related advice to the next generation of the workforce, Hustad provides a thorough guide at how to be successful at work. There are useful anecdotes, along with chapter-closing, convenient lists and the scope of the material she presents is generous, to say the least. 

And thankfully, with a cover like this, it’s not too uncool to read. 

Call number: 650.1 H968h

Tags: How To, Reviews, careers

Cool cover, no?
Cool cover, no?
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Comments
Sun, September 07, 2008
MY FAVORITE FEEDBACK IS THE BLACK PEARL IS WAS A INTERESTING BOOK.
ZAKIA. - Example: Philadelphia
Sun, September 28, 2008
There is nothing worse than having to go to a job that you hate. This is a must appreciated book ... thanks! Find Culinary School
Stephanie - Example: Philadelphia
Mon, September 29, 2008
How to be useful. What a great topic that everyone can use. Some more How To Articles
Dominic - Colorado
Tue, September 30, 2008
Great article, and yes the cover is awesome :) Ismail
Ismail - California
Tue, September 30, 2008
"How to Be Useful" is a wonderful book, I have read it and plan on keeping it and giving to my children when they are ready for it. It is just full of useful information. Home Improvement
John Brice - Texas, Houston
Wed, October 01, 2008
I used to think that going to work is so difficult, especially in the fist days of my job. When I was young, I always dreamt about a scuba diving career. But after a while, I got used to beeing a programmer.
Dugu - Brasov
Thu, October 02, 2008
Clever and engrossing. You may think it's the generic self-help book but it contains a lot of practical advice. I'm not Dilbert and do not work in a cubicle. I still found this book incredibly useful even though I don't hate my job nor go .
john - phili
Sun, November 23, 2008
Very informative post, I appreciate this information, thank you.
Rachiel - Pittsburgh, PA
Thu, November 27, 2008

No one can judge a book without looking at its cover, many people take a book LOOK THE COVER, then turn a page or two, read the biography of the author... it's only theatre! Liars! You have already choose that book for the appealing of its cover! :-D


Survivor - Florida
Tue, December 02, 2008

Interesting read.

Thanks for the article


Jim - Example: Philadelphia

Sun, December 07, 2008
Great read. Something someone once told me was, 'learn to love your work, and you will never work again.'
Jerrod - Philadelphia
Sun, December 07, 2008
Very interesting book. Can't say I agreed with much that was said but worth the pick up for the few things I did find valuable.
Dennis - Winnipeg
Mon, December 08, 2008
Good read but not sure if I agree with all of it....
Mike - Osaka
Mon, December 15, 2008
Great common sense advice even for someone approaching their mid-life crisis. I wish this book was published back when I was in my twenties.
Howard - Thousand Oaks
Sun, December 21, 2008
Great article
Paul - CA
Sun, December 21, 2008
Great article
Get oaid to blog - US
Wed, January 07, 2009
it is really very great.
Angelina - Uk
Mon, February 23, 2009
This is agreat book regardless of how misleading the title looks :)
Dave T. - Georgia
Mon, March 02, 2009
I just love these how to books, but can real get some unrestricted books on alternative medice like this for instance, things liek this matter to me.
Steve - Philadelphia
Mon, March 02, 2009
I just love these how to books, but can real get some unrestricted books on alternative medice like this for instance, things like this matter to me.
Steve - Philadelphia
Mon, March 02, 2009
Totally agree - practical advice of a good quality is so much better than just theorising about anything. Thumbs up for this book.
Igor - Ljubljana,Slovenia
Tue, March 03, 2009
I have a blog that caters to parents and children, talking about topics of interest in our town. But sometimes I come across a reference like this one that should be read by everyone and is not particular to young people in one area or another. I think I will give this book its proper recognition in a future post. Thanks for reminding me of what I had forgotten.
Lawrence - Kansas
Thu, March 26, 2009
I loved the book as it has real practical advice - the kind of advice that is contrary to what we have learned in school or were told to be the proper etiquette. Megan Hustad has read plenty of self-help books and has decided to come up with one that is somewhat humorous but at the same time reveals how to be the person who gets what he/she needs from a job. These set of advice does not apply only to business or career but ultimately to life itself.

Bill - Hoboken
Fri, April 03, 2009
That's actually pretty funny. The title is so vague. You're right, with self-help books, you usually expect them to have titles like "How to remodel your kitchen" or "how to get a date next Saturday night" or "How to buy or "how to" and you fill in the blank with some kind of really specialized, sometimes "off the wall" project or action that you didn't really know needed a "how to" book written about it. What do you think makes 20-somethings afraid to pick up a legit self-help book? Is there something left over from the "I'm invincible" teen years?
Vlad - New York, NY
Sat, April 04, 2009
This is A Useful Book Because I am taking My

and will be looing for a job as a cpa.
Richard - New York
Sun, April 05, 2009
The cover of the book is very cool. It is attractive and eye catching. The cover tells what the book offers to the readers.
Tom - Connecticut
Sun, April 05, 2009
The cover of the book is very cool. It is attractive and eye catching. The cover tells what the book offers to the readers.
Tom - Connecticut
Wed, April 08, 2009
I bought this book because of the title, and to tell the truth I was a bit disappointed. Daniel
Daniel - Philadelphia
Thu, April 23, 2009
Interesting post for sure. I've always enjoyed adding comments at other blogs that I enjoy reading. In my view hating work is difficult to me. Usually i spent my time with my home garden and fixing . Brayan
Brayan - California
Thu, April 23, 2009
Great Post! Can i buy this book at San Francisco?
Louis - Canada
Sun, May 03, 2009
This guide was very helpful for me expecially the last section opened my eyes thanks for this!
Don - USA
Sun, May 03, 2009
This guide was very helpful for me expecially the last section opened my eyes thanks for this!
Don reverse cell expert - USA
Sun, May 03, 2009
This guide was very helpful for me expecially the last section opened my eyes thanks for this!
Cori Check - MA
Wed, May 13, 2009
I think its quite good.
- LA
Wed, May 13, 2009
Thanks for letting me know.
Resume - - LA
Wed, May 13, 2009
Thats so nice of you.
Resumes - Utah
Wed, May 13, 2009
I enjoyed reading ur blog.
http://www.dennisfriesen.com/ - http://www.dennisfriesen.com/
Sun, May 17, 2009
Looks like some reviews good and a couple not so good. But none the less, looks like something I will be checking out.
Texas mortgages - Texas
Sun, May 17, 2009
But surely 20 year olds know it all and won't buy a book to tell them? And it's them that it's aimed at.
Peter - Sydney
Tue, May 19, 2009
to be honest it's all about being happy in the work that you do. Regardless if your being paid a huge salary.. if your now happy then your in the wrong job and in the long run it will ruin your outlook on life to stay n that job... Have fun in your job About me -> Steve
steve - LOndon
Wed, June 10, 2009
Absolutely the most important thing about your job is loving what you do. If you don't love it you won't be able to go those extra yards that make sure that you're going to make it. If you want to make good money at anything you have to love it.
Peter - Example: Philadelphia
Thu, June 25, 2009
I've always been swayed by a books cover - Although some are quite plain, something has to catch my eye in order for me to pick it up. I think this is a brilliant book and the cover selection just goes to show how much thought went into targeting the demographic.
Ami -
Mon, June 29, 2009
Very good post
mumfry - Philadelphia
Fri, July 17, 2009
This is certainly a book for the 20+ The jazzy spiral looks much nicer than those selfhelp books and with the vagueness of the title, not much many people will know that this is a selfhelp book. But as the rest said, if you really like your job, only then you will be able to put extra effort
Nick Lee - Singapore
Sat, July 18, 2009
In today's society, the twenty something young adults have had so much information and coaching to become the next rungs on the corporate ladder that it's no wonder they are all stressed out. It is a dismal life indeed, if the only gratification attained from a job is a paycheck. I believe that there needs to be more emphasis in our education system to isolate the innate skills and talents of our children and help them develop those attributes rather than teaching them how to just get a job. College does not equate into a satisfying job. Sadly, judging a book (or people)by it's cover is still the socially accepted standard.
Rich - Seattle
Tue, July 21, 2009
Greatest article. regards, .
Esaul - Indonesia
Thu, August 27, 2009
The book is a god reference for people looking for direction in their life. When we are growing up, it is really decide on the right direction. Then one day in our twenties or later we stop to reflect on how far we've come and whether or not we are heading towards where we want our life to really go. The sooner people seek out this advice, the sooner they will find the peace in life they are looking for.
Dan - NewYork
Sat, October 10, 2009
Interesting post. Curious focus on the cover. As far as book covers go, I'm sure publishers will attest to the fact that indeed prospective book readers/buyers certainly do, "judge a book by its cover". Aside from that, for those in the situation the target readers find themselves at in terms of life and work, I suggest they consider as an alternative.
magicjack reviews - working from home ;p
Wed, October 14, 2009
Being useful isn't a luxury these days it's a skill you have to learn and develop in order to keep a job!
Mac - Pennsylvania
Thu, October 22, 2009
Be Useful is useful! :D
leoabetas - Los Angeles
Sun, November 01, 2009
"Work is the essence of life " and no man can do without it. It gives your life meaning and adds value to it.... Great Article you got here
Chris - San Francisco
Sun, November 01, 2009
"Work is the essence of life " and no man can do without it. It gives your life meaning and adds value to it.... Great Article you got here
Chris - San Francisco
Sun, November 01, 2009
"Work is the essence of life " and no man can do without it. It gives your life meaning and adds value to it.... Great Article you got here
Chris - San Francisco
Fri, November 06, 2009
It's nice.
Archanfel - World
Sat, November 28, 2009
Sounds like I should have read this post earlier! I guess you have an ideal of what working life/chosen career path will be like. It's not until you have been working in your profession for a few years that you find out maybe you made a wrong call - hence the crisis in mid/late 20s!
Annabel - London UK
Tue, December 15, 2009
I read the book and I have to say it really helped me out at work attitude wise, because I seriously needed an attitude adjustment. It also helped me put things in perspective and have a more positive attitude. And I love the artwork on the cover!
Andrea - ATlanta
Tue, December 15, 2009
I read the book and I have to say it really helped me out at work attitude wise, because I seriously needed an attitude adjustment. It also helped me put things in perspective and have a more positive attitude. And I love the artwork on the cover!
Andrea - ATlanta
Tue, December 29, 2009
This is an excellent book. I bought it for my niece, who just graduated from college. Great review.
Ndidi Feinberg - Philadelphia
Sun, January 17, 2010
This book helped me to overcome my complex ridden mind.
Paul - New York
Mon, January 25, 2010
This is a fantastic read. If more people enjoyed their jobs they would wake up excited to go to work and thus be more productive. BUT it's not just about finding a job that you like, it's a mindset too. You have to want to like what you do. For instance you have to want to enjoy being a if you truly expect to love your work.
Kirk B Bernard - LA
Mon, January 25, 2010

Firstname -
Sun, February 07, 2010
Very Nice Posting. Great recommendation Goblinks.com
- Singapore
Thu, February 11, 2010
Interesting book cover indeed. I still find it hard to like the job though. Working is essential to living, but jobbing to me is exhausting. In these economics time it's like we have to be thankful to have one. Well, join the club. But Megan Hustad shows that there are ways of making it not suck, besides precious Dilbert-style resignation or ruthless backstabbing. "How to Be Useful" takes what's good from self-improvement books you wouldn't be caught dead with (Carnegie, Covey, Trump) and shows that--who knew?--they actually contain some sound advice for the shrewd, secretly ambitious entry-level worker. Warmest regards, Gary http://www.OmSaiRadio.com Self Help Radio Shows
Gary Stoddard - Washington DC
Tue, March 02, 2010
I must be in the minority because I never gave much thought about the color or design of a book I'm carrying. :-)
Joan - Tucson
Fri, March 19, 2010
I read the book and it has helped me create the right job for me.
Jason Brand - USA
Thu, September 30, 2010
Thank you to share this good book. I just made quick peek at Amazon, and put into my wish list.
keladi tikus - malaysia
Mon, December 13, 2010
Thanks for sharing this great book!!
Kelvin - PR, USA
Wed, December 15, 2010
Great post. Thanks for an interesting read. I've just subscribed to this blog so I'll be back soon! Cheers I enjoy your blog posts,Thanks for posting this informative article.
Coupon Codes - New York
Sun, January 09, 2011
I'm sure this book will make working much easier and fun to do. Great resource that could also help those working an from home. Could this be found on amazon too?
Josephine - Denmark
Sun, January 09, 2011
Oh and if you know another great resource that could help working moms in the industry, Please let me know.
Josephine - Denmark
Wed, April 06, 2011
Josephine - I found the book on Amazon and on Ebay. I bought it from Amazon because it was cheaper, but it was used. Came in perfectly fine shape. Great Read! I remember in my early 30's I went through an early "mid-life" crisis. I ended up going back to school and received certification as a laser technician and went to work for an company. Best move ever!
Carol - Philadelphia
Thu, May 26, 2011
I found this blog with very useful and helpful guidelines for those who are seeking jobs. Thanks for posting this article a very helpful resource. Thanks, Anna
Anna Phills - USA
Thu, June 16, 2011
I think this book is wonderful.
window replacement austin tx - Austin
Thu, January 05, 2012
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Sun, January 22, 2012
If you are willing to buy a house, you would have to receive the . Moreover, my brother usually takes a consolidation loan, which seems to be really firm.
InesDILLON18 - US
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