Sunday, July 10, 2016

Chris Palmer on Revealing the Path to Your Success After College

Chris Palmer talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about his latest book, Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College.

“Success in life is about getting fulfilled.” ~Chris Palmer

As a college professor for around twelve years Chris Palmer noticed how much difficulty his students had with starting their careers after they graduated. He mentioned that a lot of students have no structure for living outside college, winding up living in the basements of their parents’ home, lonely and stressed out at not knowing how to handle an interview or find a job as well as struggling to figure out what their lives are about. He wrote the book to cover those topics which he admits college and university professors should teach their students but don’t - topics such as enabling students to figure out what their passion is and who they are. Now What, Grad? also deals with how to look for a job and deal with stress, as well as how to find mentors and be lifelong learners, among other things.

Chris notes that the present generation of college graduates looks too much “at screens,” or preferring dealing with people through a phone or a laptop, rather than dealing with them physically face-to-face, which includes shaking hands, meeting other peoples’ eyes and conversing. He also remarks that employers are looking for employees who have such soft skills, such as showing up on time, having a good attitude, know how to collaborate, are creative, ethical and resilient. Chris recommends college students to look for someone who could be a suitable mentor for them, which requires courage and hustle, to guide them. He also recommends that college students join student organizations, and, in particular, leadership positions in these, as these can be highlighted in their resumes to show prospective employers that they can take initiative.

Chris remarks that having a “growth mindset,” wherein one realizes that one’s skills are never fixed and that one needs to learn more, is very important to becoming a lifelong learner, and noted that the people who succeed in life are those who make lots of offers and keep their word.

Where looking for a job is concerned, Chris recommends that graduates do so by creating a list of organizations that the graduate wants to work for, then do an Internet search on what these companies do. That done, the graduate should apply, and Chris remarks that doing both online and real-world applying, which involves actually going out to where the company is and submitting one’s resume in person, are important. He notes that applicants will be rejected more often than not, as this is part of the game, and recommends going through the route of an informational interview on getting some career advice.

Where interviews are concerned, Chris states that being tense is a good thing, as this enables top performance, making one alert and energetic. He also recommends having a few questions handy, which requires that the applicant do research on the company he is applying for, as well as listen carefully and respond properly. Chris remarks that it is okay to reply, “I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know where to find it,” and that the applicant should enjoy the interview, noting that an interviewer will feel positively towards enthusiastic people whom they feel they can work with.

Chris remarks that a graduate taking some time off to find oneself, to do such things as travel or join the Peace Corps or participate in other activities, other than just sitting around and watching TV, is a good thing to do. He strongly recommends that people write out their personal mission statement which encompasses what that person stands for, what is important to that person, and this mission statement will enable one to find the career that suits him.

The key to networking, according to Chris, is to not be afraid to reach out to other people and to ask for help, noting that successful people aren’t afraid to ask for help, information, advice and guidance. Where leadership is concerned, Chris notes that this is present at all levels of society, and that leaders take initiative and are not afraid to stand and take action and be proactive when needed. Chris notes that failure has a stigma that it does not deserve, as while it is unpleasant, failure is essential to learning, and that failing means that one is taking risks and getting out of one’s comfort zone, which are “necessary precursors to success.”

Chris notes that writing the book made him realize that professors and parents have a big responsibility to help out younger people thrive and grow in the real world, remarking that what they learn in college isn’t enough to enable them to do so. He encourages people to think about the design of their lives, or what kind of life they want to create, and to create their own, personal mission statement based on this. Chris’ next two books are about fathers helping daughters, and about death.

Purchase on Amazon: Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College by Chris Palmer

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