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What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers Paperback – August 13, 2013
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About the Author
RICHARD N. BOLLES has led the job-search field for more than 40 years. A member of Mensa and the Society for Human Resource Management, he has been the keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences. Bolles holds a bachelor's degree cum laude in physics from Harvard University, a master's degree from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City, and three honorary doctorates.
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- Highlights are picked out in the palest shade of gray, rendering key phrases almost illegible.
- Tables and diagrams are filled with tiny, fuzzy fonts that are unreadable, even when zoomed (I have a K2, these may be better on a DX but I suspect that they would just be larger and fuzzier).
- Hyperlinks are provided to online versions of the tables and diagrams, but they lead to PDF files that the Kindle cannot download
- It even opens with a piece that defends why it needs to be published in a paper edition
Kudos to Amazon for allowing a prompt and easy return and full refund (even though I'd had it more that the requisite seven days) but the publishers need to do a far better job.
After an odd preface explaining why Bolles writes the way he does, Chapter 1 outlines "How to Find Hope". Having begun reading this book with plenty of hope, I find I'm quickly losing it. With reluctance, I turn the page...
From here on out Bolles finally begins describing how to find a job. Now there's lots of good information here. In particular Bolles does a good job of highlighting the differences between job-hunters and employers, emphatically noting that they have different goals and methods for obtaining them. He also makes it very clear that finding the right job involves a large amount of introspection and self discovery - a premise I strongly agree with.
It's before here however where I find "What Color Is Your Parachute" difficult to continue reading. Rather than cite actual studies or research, Bolles creates a sidebar where he explains why his soon to be recited numbers are just guesses. In the sidebar entitled "Estimates (=Guesses)", Bolles states:
"There is absolutely nothing scientific about the lists that follow. The statistics, the percentages, are often guesses. My guesses."
The subsequent advise seems reasonable, but it's spoiled by what he now calls "Success Rates".
Bolles then launches you into a series of exercises where you get to turn the book you just purchased into a 1st grade cut-n-paste project. You start by cutting pages into cards and sorting them. Next you're instructed to manually draw petals on a color-book style flower.
I do not doubt that this book has served countless job-seekers well in the past and will continue to serve more in the future. Unfortunately though, due to Bolles' large amount of hyperbole, the self-help nature of the book and the pure lack of any scientific rigor, this book did not satisfy my initial hopes.
I first read this book in 1983 and although the author says he updates it annually (or I think he used the word 'revised'), it is not adequate for job seekers of today. Some of the elements in the book stil ring true, but he fails to address the "world-wide/global" strategy job seekers must do in order to "stand out" and get the job. I think he is an adorable and intelligent charming man, but I wouldn't recommend spending money on this book. He does recommend Linkedin and other social medias to search out the potential employment, but that's about all. I would recommend first checking the book out at your local library,(any previous edition) before spending your hard earned money on it.
I came across this book online and decided to give it a shot because of the great reviews. It would also be something I could add to my research. My initial assumption was that there would be some personality tests in this book, eventually giving you a color category (as the title seems to suggest), to use as a guide for what career fields could be best for you in that color grouping. I would have found this to be more useful, because giving me a list of jobs based on my personality color code that I could research would have been beneficial. A simple point the right direction. Unfortunately, this was not what it was at all. It involves a lot of projects, lists, thinking, and time. One project even suggests to take weeks to finish it if need be. I found myself being more frustrated and lost more than anything. The projects are very extensive and I feel like they are almost a distraction. I just wanted to get through them because I kept waiting for the book to get more interesting or helpful, but it just seemed to drone on and on about techniques that I feel would just simply not work. Once I finally finished my flower to the best of my ability, it gives you a Holland Code, which ultimately pulled up next to nothing when I tried to research my code. Things like Architecture, and Construction? I feel like those are so generic and not fitting of my personality at all. I found myself using the examples a lot for my tables, because the lists seem to become repetitive and I would run out of ideas pretty quickly. This was frustrating also because I felt like I wasn't being true to myself having to keep using the examples to come up with ideas. I knew there would be little tests in this book, but nothing like what I expected. I got bored quickly and really had to force myself to get through it.
I wanted this book to help me so bad, but it ultimately left me in the same place I was before. Frustrated, clueless, and back to what I was doing before. These tips would be good I think for people who are not shy. I'm not shy, but I'm also not a pushy person. It stresses not to be 'pushy', but I feel like that's exactly what it would be. For a more reserved person like me, I'm not going to walk into a place I'd like a job and ask them to create one for me. Most people would look at you like you are nuts if you tried to do that. It just seems bizarre to me. I feel like this was a key point in the book--to be outgoing. Get out there and get yourself known. Step out of your comfort zone. I have no interest in doing that. I would just like a step in the right direction, not tips on how to annoy people. Even the interviewing tips were a bit out there. I sat there and thought about all the interviews I'd been in over the past few years and I just feel like the tips would have made the interviewers think I was a total jerk with outrageous demands. One of the tests was also based solely around "all of the places you've lived"...ok, well I've lived in two places in my life, 5 minutes from each other. How can a whole petal of the flower be based on "all these different places" if you haven't lived all over the country? Again, frustrating.
I was hoping this book would help point me in the right direction, but it didn't. It genuinely made me sad that I spent so much time doing the exercises and reading, got all the way to the end, knowing nothing different then before.
I see that it's a best-seller, and that people rave about this and have "turned their lives around", so, what did I miss here?