The generation of current twenty-somethings grew up with their heads filled with dreams of earning big money and having fulfilling jobs to match their education. But as sociology professor Christine Whelan points out, the big-ticket jobs have vanished and things are so bad for these depressed men and women that they are moving back in with their parents. In addition many college graduates are carrying heavy financial burdens from school loans and credit-card debt.

Rather than drown in the dreadfulness of the contemporary scene, Whelan, an expert in self-help books, has fashioned one of her own filled with rich thematic material, exercises of all types, and real-life experiences of Generation WTFers. By the way, the letters stand for the author's prescription for uplift in the face of doom and gloom: Get Wise, Get Tenacious, and Get Fearless. Whelan also provides this generation with wisdom tips from bestselling authors including M. Scott Peck, Suze Orman, Stephen Covey, and Dale Carnegie.

First up is counsel on determining one's values, purpose, and then writing a personal mission statement. Three slam-dunk chapters deal with universal challenges for recent college graduates: doing the inner work necessary to achieve self-control, overcoming procrastination and stress, and practicing thrifty living. Whelan believes that self-control is like a muscle that can be built up over time. She has several suggestions for breaking the cycle of procrastination, which is based on the fantasy of avoiding the pressure of deadlines and the boredom of daunting tasks.

Whelan is right on target with her chapter on thrift which she calls a lost virtue. Other subjects covered include the smarter way to achieve, being honest with yourself, learning new life skills, and making meaning.