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What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers Paperback – August 12, 2014
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"One of the 25 Books that Have Shaped Readers’ Lives."
—Center for the Book, Library of Congress
“. . . one of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.”
“This is a fantastic tool useful to almost everyone. . . . It’s so darn useful because it is about more than just ‘finding a job.’”
—Kevin Kelly, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities
“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.”
About the Author
RICHARD N. BOLLES has led the career development field for more than forty years. A member of Mensa and the Society for Human Resource Management, he has been the keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences. Bolles was trained in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in physics from Harvard University, a master’s in sacred theology from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City, and three honorary doctorates. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Marci.
Top customer reviews
► THINGS I LIKED THE MOST ◄
♦ Insight into the actual interviewing process--especially the suggested time to take (minimum and maximum) for your responses.
♦ Bolles provides "Conversation Tips" to use for your interview preparation. This section alone is worth the price of the book. For example, "Conversation Tip #12,"Employers don't care about your past; they just ask about it as a way to predict your FUTURE behavior.
♦ Suggested response to the common question, "Tell me about yourself." Bolles notes, "How you answer that question will determine your fate during the rest of the interview."
♦ The 5 key questions that the applicant must know:
-Why are you here?
-What can yo do for us?
-What kind of person are you?
-What distinguishes you from other people?
-Can I afford you?
♦ Six Secrets of Salary Negotiation. I was already aware of some of these, such as not being too quick to mention a salary first.
♦ Suggestions on how to best use social/networking sites like LinkedIn. For example, the author points out the importance of completely filling out your user profile, so that prospective employers (who will search these sites) can get an accurate picture of your qualifications. I had no idea how important it was to have your PICTURE on these sites. Bolles notes that surveys always show that not having a picture is a turn-off.
♦ Explanation as to how the job hunt as changed in some ways with technology, but in essence is still the same.
► QUALITY OF EDITING ◄
+ Excellent editing and book design. Someone has spent a lot of time getting this right! The book is well laid-out into logical sections.
+ Even the appendices are impressive. The first appendix will certainly be the most controversial, because the author makes his own religious beliefs clear in the thought-provoking section, "Finding your Mission in Life."
+ Bolles defends his inclusion of religion in a book on job-hunting by citing this statistic: In the United States, about 89% of the population believes in God. So, Bolles reasons, "Leaving out a section that 89% of my readers might be interested in, and helped by, in order to please 11% of my readers, seems to me insane."
+ Finding your mission in life will not be trivial, and will not be quick. The author points out that being forced to find a job can also have beneficial effects on our whole life. It offers "a chance to make some fundamental changes in our whole life. It marks a turning point in how we live our life."
► OTHER APPENDICES ◄
The other, less controversial appendices include:
+ "A Guide to Choosing a Career Coach."
+ "A Ten Minute Crash Course for Vets."
+ "Sampler List of Coaches"
+ "Recent Foreign Editions" (well, okay, this one does seem a bit self-serving.)
+ "Final Word from Author."
The author's "PostScript" is a very poignant missive--almost a plea, to the reader. When faced with a job crisis, you can abandon your beliefs, or rethink the things that have been your core principles. "While we are out of work, we can reach toward a larger conception of our God and of ourselves."
√ HIGHLY RECOMMEND! This review doesn't do justice to this outstanding work. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE 2015 is a COMPREHENSIVE, well-written book by the #1 expert in the field. Honestly, if you are struggling finding your next job, you would be nuts to not read this book.
♫ A Review by Chris Lawson
Advance Review Copy courtesy of NetGalley.
[Note: I do not know the author of this book, and no one requested I write this review.]
About 1/3 of the book is an exercise of finding what color you parachute is, which is basically an exercise to find what you like and eventually help you determine what you really want in life.
The last third of the book is religious and the author prefaces it by saying so and somewhat justifying it. I skipped it and don't penalize the inclusion of the subject.
Overall, I took several tips from the book for my interviews and for negotiating salary. Otherwise the rest is not useful for those in STEM jobs in my opinion, unless you're moving to management, in which case the parachute exercise may help you decide.
I always gravitate back to the information in What Color is Your Parachute and about every 3-5 years purchase the latest edition. The 2015 edition is worthy of my library. It contains great information about Social Media, Google as a "resume", etc.
Whatever you do, the place to start is with yourself, learning who you are at this point in your life and what it is that is meaningful to you is essential to career success. In my many years of professional career counseling I would say this is the step is most often glossed over and given little attention. The reasons why are many but the outcome is pretty much the same, dissatisfaction with a career choice, job, company, etc.
There are few other books that provide so many tools to help you explore who you are and what you want. Even if you think you know what you want go through the steps in this book and it will either confirm your conclusion which will build your confidence in your choice or it will provide insight into other directions which can be exciting and help you avoid wasting time and resources pursuing something you aren't meant to do. Both directions are valuable.