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“No one has been writing best-selling career-advice books longer than Richard Bolles.” —Wall Street Journal, 9/15/11
“What Color Is Your Parachute? is about job-hunting and career-changing, but it’s also about figuring out who you are as a person and what you want out of life.” —Time
“. . . one of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.” —Fast Company
“Bolles knows what he’s talking about: his practical job-hunting strategies are based on years of research, and best of all, they really work.” —School Library Journal
“Ideally, everyone should read What Color Is Your Parachute? in the tenth grade and again every year thereafter.” —Fortune
“There’s Parachute, and then there’s all the rest. . . . a life-changing book.” —Career Planning and Adult Development Journal
“Parachute is still a top seller and it remains the go-to guide for everyone from midlife-crisis boomers looking to change their careers to college students looking to start one.” —New York Post--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
The #1 best-selling career book of all time, revised and updated to keep pace with today's ever-changing job market. * Updates and revisions throughout.
I'm talking about my parachute. I'm a mid-forties Wall Street refugee, wondering what I want to be when I grow up...(Hint no jobs on Wall Street right now). So I turned to this old standard for help.
First note that this book is updated every single year, so buy the latest copy. Yes an older one will be cheaper but...don't. I first picked up the 2001 version off the bookshelf. As I read the section on the internet, I guffawed. Not the author's fault, things change drastically on the internet, especially in 8 years. So I credit the author for updating the book constantly. He also substantially rewrites it, not just changing the cover or whatever.
Second, this is not a spectator sport, you must do the exercises to make the book work. I have not yet done them, officially, on paper, but have given a lot of thought to what he asks us to do. I remember reading this book years ago (1988?) and being very annoyed. Annoyed? Yes, because I thought the author had a lot of nerve to tell me I could do anything I want to do. I could go to Hollywood? Yes. I could be an astronaut? Yes. I could be an interpreter? Yes. Pimp? Yes. Investment Banker? Yes. Yes, yes, yes. You may have to go to school, or work hard, but yes you can follow your dreams.
What if you have no dreams, like me? Well, do the exercises, and the book will help you find something to do with yourself that won't make you want to shoot yourself in the head when the alarm clock goes off. I can't wait to find out what it is for me!
Ignore the naysayers, buy the latest copy of the book, read it, do the exercises. And Good Luck.
"What Color is Your Parachute?" has become an American institution. This edition marks the 40th anniversary of the book's first publication, and the book has now sold more than 10 million copies. While I don't usually review books like "What Color is Your Parachute?" I find that it's such a unique and useful book on finding a job that it's worth encouraging people to read it.
My other copy of "What Color is Your Parachute?" is a much earlier one, and I can see by comparing it with this new edition that substantial changes have been made over the years. Unlike many other books that don't seem to keep up with the changing times, this new edition of "What Color is Your Parachute?" seems tailor-made for today's job market. In fact, "What Color is Your Parachute?" has been revised annually every single year since 1972 with the exception of 1975.
I like the way that "What Color is Your Parachute?" has always been more than just a standard guide to how to find a job but has always helped its readers think outside the box. For example, Chapter 1 of the latest edition is titled "How to Find Hope," and hope is something American workers need in an economy that is uncertain at best and shrinking at worst. Embedded in the idea of hope is a strategy of hope and a principle to live by, which is to not put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, you should always have an alternative: two ways to describe yourself, two ways to find a job, etc. And so the rest of Chapter 1 lists 18 ways to find a new job.
Chapters 3-14 go on to describe in detail the heart of "What Color is Your Parachute?" which are the 5 survival skills you most need today.Read more ›
I am currently between jobs, and use this book every day to plan my job search. It is literally like a shot of confidence in the arm. The book is full of great insights not just on the job search, but also on the entire psychology of it all. It has great websites you can use to do career tests and personality tests. The great thing about the book is that the author has so much experience, so is able to draw on those many years, to give advice. It is like having a high-paid careeer coach. I can't recommend this book enough.
I distinctly remember listening to a review of Parachute on the radio while in my car driving and saying to myself, "I need to buy this book." But good intentions have a way of not being put into action. It was years later when faced with a midlife career change and not knowing what I was going to do that my brother reminded me of this book.
Simply put, this book will give you hope and confidence. It will help you see what your strengths are and how to market yourself in a difficult economy. Let me share with you two ways it helped me. First, the exercises put to rest any doubts I had to where to pursue my new career. Second, the section on how to find a job was worth three times the cost of the book. To my chagrin, I discovered that the way most people look for work (including myself) is just the opposite way most employers hire people.
Now, I am beginning a new career. I love my work and look forward to a challenging and rewarding career. If you think that you may be facing a career change sometime in the near future order this book now. It will give you hope and confidence.
Turned out my parachute was mauve - who knew? Okay, not exactly, but to my admittedly great surprise "What Color Is Your Parachute" was a helpful tool in my career search.
As a man looking to change careers at mid life I reluctantly ordered this book b/c I had heard it so often described as the essential career guide. While the work is still up to the reader/user and while it may not point you to a specific job (which is what we all really want, right?) this guide did help focus my thinking on finding a more satisfying career by closely examining the skills that come naturally to me AND that I most enjoy - NOT ONLY related to doing a job but in my everyday life and activities as well.
Don't buy the book unless you're willing to spend quality time doing the exercises, though chapters on interviewing and negotiating are also very helpful, as was the overall - dare I say - spiritual tone of the book.
I eventually started a business (and for other budding entrepreneurs I also recommend, "The Freedom Formula," by Christine Kloser) so whether my career will be in the pink or in the black, well, we'll just see. But either way, I'd consider "What Color is Your Parachute" well worth the price.
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Dick Bolles--more formally known as Richard Nelson Bolles--is the author of What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Guide For Job-Hunters and Career Changers, the most popular job-hunting book in the world.
The book has sold more than 10,000,000 copies to date, and is dramatically updated, reshaped and rewritten, every year. The 2014 edition is just out. "Parachute", as it's often called, has been translated into 20 languages and is used in 26 countries.
Dick is credited with founding the modern career counseling field, and is often described as the field's #1 celebrity. He was given the National Samaritan Award (previous honorees included Karl Menninger, Betty Ford, and Peter Drucker).
What Color Is Your Parachute? was chosen as one of the 100 All-TIME best and most influential non-fiction books published since 1923. It was chosen as one of 25 books that have shaped people's lives (down through history) by the Library of Congress' Center for the Book.
Dick Bolles was chosen this year by Forbes Magazine, as one of the "Wealth Wizards" in the U.S.--(along with Warren Buffett, and 18 others). He is also one of LinkedIn's 300 "Influencers" or "thought leaders," and writes regularly for that platform as well as a number of others.
He has three grown children: Stephen, Sharon and Gary. He and his wife Marci live in the San Francisco East Bay Area.