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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.
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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.
The book, I have to say, was a lot different than I expected. It isn’t the usual job-hunting book at all. Yes, it covers the usual topics such as tips for interviewing, and salary negotiation. However, it goes much deeper than that. The bulk of the book has the reader look into herself, in all areas of her life, in order for her to find the skills, wants, and dreams in order to find, not only a job, but the perfect job for her.
Now, I already did someething similar to this before going back to school, but I went ahead and did the exercises for the review. And, I have to say, I got a lot of value out of the process. I think that just going through the steps to “Understand More Fully Who You Are” is worth the price of the book.
The crux of the guide is to help the reader get the opportunity to choose where to work, rather than being dependent on newspaper or online ads, and competing against many others in the workforce. That is why there is such an emphasis in the book of knowing who you are, dealing with any “handicaps” that may stand in your way, and advice on how to change careers. There is also a section for starting a business for those who are so inclined.
The extensive appendex offers information on “finding your mission in life, information specifically for returning veterans, a section on the emotional drain of being out of work, and a list of career coaches for those who want to work with someone personally.
One thing to note: much of the author’s grammar and language is, well to use his term, “unorthodox.” Thus, thankfully, he offers a note of explanation as to why he make the choices he did. I am glad that he included a note on grammar because when I was going through the book, I was a little surprised and annoying. Now, I don’t agree with some of the reasons he chose to take the unorthodox route, but his explanations changed my inital thoughts on the book. :)
If you, or someone you know, is look for a job or looking for a career change, I absolutely recommend this book.