MAKE THAT LEAP! Starting Out as a Young Professional

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About to graduate, or just graduated and wondering what next? Working in a dead end job – or just couch surfing? Feeling like you’ve joined the queue but will never get to the front of it? Or just wanting to get ahead a bit faster?

Author Jan De Sutter spends his life coaching and training people in these situations. Here he brings together a whole range of ideas, blending insights from his own hands-on experience and the wisdom of other experts, to help give you the edge to get your career moving. The book is packed with ideas to increase your self-awareness and trigger action. And it explains the behaviours that employers are looking for – and what you need to avoid.

An initial chapter explains the difference between different kinds of intelligence and how these relate to emotional intelligence and soft skills. The book then systematically takes you through the essential soft skills, the ‘core competencies’ that will get you noticed and make your work more successful and fulfilled. These are Solving Problems, Meeting Expectations, Managing Time, Communicating, Working in Teams, Being Resilient, Managing and Leading, and Learning and Developing.

Individual chapters for each competency discuss what they exactly involve and provide checklists of behaviours asking “Which of these sound like you?”  Responses are ranked on a five-point scale from ‘unsatisfactory’ to ‘exceptional’. The chapters then provide a wealth of practical advice on how to improve your behaviours for that particular competency, the things you need to prioritise, and what you definitely must avoid. The book also includes annexes on how to land a first job and cope with interviews.

The self-assessment can also be done via a FREE APP which automatically generates a personalised self-assessment ‘competency passport’ showing in graphical format your strengths and weaknesses and what you need to focus on. Using the app enables you to get the most out of the benefits the book provides. And it is easy to use and highly intuitive.

Try the app!

Table of Contents

  1. Why being smart isn’t enough
  2. Solving problems
  3. Meeting expectations
  4. Managing time
  5. Communicating
  6. Working in teams
  7. Being resilient
  8. Managing and leading
  9. Learning and developing
  10. Know yourself to understand others
  11. What’s next?


  1. How to land your first job
  2. How to prepare for a job interview
  3. Bibliography
  4. Other Resources


About Jan De Sutter

Jan De Sutter is a coach and trainer working with EU staff and EPSO selection competition candidates. A former EU official who has served on EPSO selection boards, Jan has decades of front-line experience in management roles in both the public and private sector. To write this book he has applied the best management thinking to the real world of the EU administration, with extra input from occupational psychologists and serving EU officials.

Read an interview with Jan De Sutter on SpeakerHub.

Find out more about Jan De Sutter and his books.

Some Reader Comments...

‘Finally, there’s a book that fills the gap between education and employment’Maria, Italy

‘A fantastic tool-book that anyone should read … I love the way it is written!’Sandra, Denmark

‘I wish I could have had this when I started my career’Vivien, Hungary

‘These soft skills distinguish us from robots … for the time being’Laure, France

Product Details

Publication Date
12 Jul 2017
Page Count
129 x 198mm