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What Color Is Your Parachute? 2013: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers Paperback – August 14, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: What Color Is Your Parachute?
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 13 edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607741474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607741473
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (504 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


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
“Ideally, everyone should read What Color Is Your Parachute? in the  tenth grade and again every year thereafter.”
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.”

From the Publisher

*A completely revised and restructured PARACHUTE for 2005.

*Focuses on the rising problem of unemployment in the economy’s current jobless recovery.

*Offers new techniques to help job seekers find meaningful work and mission.

*200,000 copy first printing. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

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.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend it to anyone who is job hunting or thinking about changing careers.
William Bannier
It felt so good to know the BEST thing to say, and then when the interviewer responded exactly the way the book said he would, well, THAT was priceless!
S. Garten
It will help you direct your job/career search towards opportunities that bring you satisfaction rather than misery in your chosen work.
Marla Reeder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.

P.S. I also recommend the workbook.
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99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
"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 ›
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By John on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mike on March 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What Color is Your Parachute has a long-standing reputation as one of THE books for job seekers and career changers. Even though the content is far more focused on self discovery than cutting edge job search techniques, the material is incredibly powerful. The ideas are delivered in a context of career change and job search, but the real foundation for Parachute is the personal discovery of mission, purpose, marketable skills, and hope. This is the good stuff, the reason people keep coming back to this book and recommending it to others.
Mixed in with these essentials are some really good ideas that are job search and career specific (relating to oneself "as a person who...", focusing on small and medium sized businesses, salary negotiation strategies, and interview tactics, to name a few). This isn't the meat of the book, though, and the content probably falls a little short on effective techniques and strategies for competing in today's high-tech world.
That said, I personally felt a stronger sense of mission and focus after doing the exercises, and these things are absolutely essential when trying to build a career (or life) that has impact. In fact, I think you'd be a little bit nuts to go another day without doing the kind of work prescribed in this book.
The author, Richard Bolles, is quite remarkable as well. Even though our books cover a lot of common ground, he made time to share a meal and offer guidance as I was preparing to publish Purple Squirrel: Stand Out, Land Interviews, and Master the Modern Job Market. I think this speaks volumes about the kind of person he is and the kind of impact he wants to have on other people. All in all it's a really good book and I highly recommend reading it.
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