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What Color Is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

af Richard N. Bolles

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4,242452,791 (3.7)52
In today's challenging job-market, the time-tested advice of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever. Recent grads facing a tough economic landscape, workers laid off mid-career, and people searching for an inspiring work-life change all look to career guru Richard N. Bolles for support, encouragement, and advice on which job-hunt strategies work--and which don't. This revised edition combines classic elements like the famed Flower Exercise with updated tips on social media and search tactics. Bolles demystifies the entire job-search process, from writing resumes to interviewing to networking, expertly guiding job-hunters toward their dream job.--… (mere)
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Well, what was happening in 1991 that set me to exploring this book. I think my organisation was being "Mckinseyed" and a fair few staff were leaving and I was considering my options. As I've finally come to review this book (some 30 years later), I've just discovered that i have the 1998 version sitting on my bookshelves so I might review it in more depth before I dispose of this version. To be fair, I found the book to be profoundly helpful. It gave me a whole new suite of ways of examining myself and where I wanted to go. Now I'm staring down the funnel of the end of life and a parachute is not so necessary if one has a national health scheme and superannuation. But I've used this book and subsequent versions of it. And I've used it effectively with some of my staff who we were undergoing yet another re-organisation...(read "forced-redundancies"). And the thing that struck me was that it really gave people a sense that they had options. This was not the end of the road. In summary, a really useful and helpful book. five stars from me. (Even if it is dated) ( )
  booktsunami | Feb 9, 2024 |
I picked up a free copy of this book over the summer and read it more thoroughly than I have in the past. This is probably because I was about to start a new job search and needed some advice.

As always, the book provides much information to the job seeker entering a career or starting anew.

In this edition, there is much information about using the Internet and social media to find employment. I learned that 47 percent of company recruiters state that they seek applicants with social media pages. So, it's important to make a good impression with potential employers on social media.

The book suggests using LinkedIn to find "bridge-people" who can offer information about companies and suggest contacts. The book recommends using sites like Indeed and Glassdoor to find jobs.

Of course, the true benefit of reading What Color Is Your Parachute? is to gain access to many worksheets and job activities. I spent several hours filling them out and contemplating my ideal work environments, coworkers, and job tasks.

"The Flower" still exists--a centerfold in which job seekers may write down the results of all those hours of brainstorming and planning. The end result is the ability to create a sales pitch that is concise, yet emcompasses all the things you want in a future job or career.

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-Color-Your-Parachute-2020/dp/1984856561/ ( )
  KayFDavis | Dec 16, 2023 |
I try to read both woo-woo and dull-as-motor-oil books about prosperity—yes, I am mean; I make fun of people, lol; I’m the villain’s cat 😸—because I see the value and the dangers of both, as well as the allure of balance. (Either that—ie I am very wise—or else I’m just terrible at choosing sides, lol.) I do this even though the latter group, (motor oil), tends to irk me, in which this book certainly falls.

I mean, I know this is the most popular book of its type, but boy is it NORMAL. Sheesh! This guy was an Episcopal priest AND a scientist? It doesn’t get much more normal than that! I don’t know how to describe Episcopalians to people who don’t know them, (holy war alert: I had to become a Quaker because I just needed something freakier…. I was dying…. I said, Mommy…. Mommy help me…. 🤒), but it’s like, think English-American culture. Not everyone with an English last name: really ENGLISH people. Yeah, people like that! And scientists, well; some of these scientists are going to side with the robots when Battlestar Galactica happens. 🤖 No, I don’t mean that AI is LITERALLY going to take our jobs, I just mean…. Scientists are just so normal, so much more so than most people; it’s like they sit around Deciding what’s normal—them and the Episcopalians and the Jane Austen club! It’s not okay! 😬

I mean, I’ll be okay, but. You know.

[N.B. Too much Robert Ludlum though, lol. It’s the Soviet/American/Carlos conspiracy. And who’s the other guy? Who’s the one man against the system? Ahh! I can’t remember! Delta is Charlie; Charlie is Cain…. Marie, I think it might be me! Ahh! Ahh!!! Brain! My brain got shot! I can’t remember things! 🧟‍♂️ 🧠

I know, I know. Do you get a sense of how much more interesting I am than a bloody Episcopal priest, though?]

[Phoebe from Friends: Robert Ludlum…. The Quaker? (laugh track)
Shut up, Phoebe—I won’t let them silence me the way they silenced you! You could have been a great character! You coulda been a contender! The normies are so cruel to people like us; we must never surrender to fear and despair…. Aquarians unite! We’re not supposed to fit in! (turns into a bat and flies off) 🦇]

I mean, it’s an okay book. He makes some good points. It’s just that, in practical books as in storybooks, sometimes the guys who write the Famous Books, eh, well, it could have been worse, sure. But who Sells this stuff, right? Who decides it’s one of three books you should take with you to your deserted island gulag, right? I mean, just because smart people are uptight does NOT mean we never hype things, you know.

But it’s fine; it’s okay. Read it—it’s fine.

…. At least it’s not ‘Seven Effective Habits to Screw over Think & Grow Rich, the Richest Man in Babylon, and everything from after 1920, force-feed people philosophy, destroy psychology, and save the world for-evs, baby girl’—I deleted that. I felt like I was receiving a lecture about life and the Proper Way by a butler, you know. And he had the chutzpah to call it practical, you know, like, Wow. Just wow. Anyway—I’m just saying—normie parachute guy here could have been worse.

…. Although I should say that what he calls his signature tip: start with yourself and what you want, and then look for a job like that (and try to do it in person), is good; my thing is just that I don’t think that his personalized approach is as personalized as he thinks it is. (Or whoever’s writing at this point: a collective ghostwriting for a dead man.) Maybe the 20th century wasn’t as personalized as it thought it was. He does also give you the tools to check which jobs are theoretically-popular-now, (and tends to pad with odd things like that), as if he’s not quite sure, you know—the consummate intellectual. You don’t go to school, you’re possessed with the idea that you should learn. You go to school, you come out unsure of what to think, say, and do…. Anyway, since I’m starting near the bottom, somewhat, anyway, even the normie-level knowledge has some appeal to me. And I learned some, for example: getting the dream job, or even into the dream industry, in stages: which I guess for me would be, start in sales, learn sales, transfer to publishing, market books.

Even though sometimes the books ARE the illusions; but sometimes they’re fun. 😸

…. I don’t want to unload on him, (although he’s so wordy I feel like we could be translating Ancient Greek into French in the early 50s), but it’s like, he literally spends /over ten pages/, /introducing/ the Centre Court exercise or whatever he calls it, the Paper Mache Flower thing, right—and it’s like, couldn’t you /explain/ a one-page exercise in that amount of space, instead of rambling on like a learnéd fool, You could do the Centre Court exercise in a shoe, while you’re blue; you could eat it with strawberries and cream; you could eat it with green eggs and ham—but I’m going to wait /almost one hundred pages/, before I /begin to introduce it/, even though I want you to go in “with an open mind”. Well, it’s a little hard to trust something that’s the result of that much paralysis by analysis! —Oh, you don’t understand! I discovered this in 1954 when Homer and Plato and I were going to Harvard! Millions of over-educated fools like it! You’re just one person! You’ll never succeed without me! I’m an American Institution, dammit! 🇺🇸

“I keep forgetting: you are so smart, and yet, so not-smart.” (Crazy ex-Girlfriend)

…. I mean, I’m NOT trying to be ageist; in any healthy society older citizens would be valued elders and wise guides; however, civilizationally, if this was ‘progressive-and-accessible’ or whatever in 1970, then 1970 must have been Scary As FUCK, you know.

…. It actually makes me kinda angry how people like Nelson here can misrepresent what they’re doing, you know—there is just a quality to intellectualism that can be so fake and self-serving, so narrow—but I guess that the upside to this experience is that I realize that practical studies (or impractical studies, or useless practical studies), Can be engaging, you know. I thought I could only get angry when the Washington Clowns play the Southern Pirates, you know, out there in journalism-land….

…. And, yes, it is amazing how you can be a professional Christian or whatever, drain yourself of everything except “You must choose between the Washington Clowns and the Southern Pirates: choose the /intellectual/ elitists, today!” (raises tea cup, then, inexplicably, raises eyebrows disapprovingly), and become like meat driven through the Edwardian British Butler (after all: we’re agreed it’s either that or the Confederacy!) school of “artists & repertoire”…. And he had the nerve to call it the “Flower” exercise, as though he were like a Beatle or something and not everything that they protested, totally unreconstructed…. And then, do all that, and call yourself a “Christian”, a professional Christian, get people to stop going to church on top of everything! (Blame Jesus! He’s a Confederate general/Edwardian butler!) Although, to be fair, the Christian churches in America have in the main decided that dying is better than changing, so that’s what’s happening. The only problem is, the scientists are replacing them at the top of the food chain, and they are working very hard as we speak to perfect an Even More elitist way of conceiving the world. We used to have this pesky idea of mercy on the books that let physical and emotional people get away, potentially, when they couldn’t do mental or theological calculus. Now, we’re sowing the seeds of doubt that physical and emotional people even exist, really…. What, you don’t believe me? You must not have a very good job, so your opinion doesn’t matter! 😾

…. It does make me mad, sometimes, though. Help for the unemployed? What a perfect opportunity for some fucking elitism and gate-keeping, you know. It’s like people are like, Ok, you caught me: now I’ll tell the truth. The truth is—and you might want to get a chair; it’s very complicated— ~and then they just start lying again, top to bottom, just like they did before!

Man, Brother Malcom was right about our whole system: keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer…. I mean, unless your “friends” ARE your enemies, in which case…. You’ll probably end up getting vilified like Brother Malcolm 😸

…. I’m actually probably going to start skimming, you know—I’m kinda surprised; I’m /so angry/, but it’s like, now that he’s actually started the book, after the prequels or whatever, he’s probably going to jump into this philosophical mythology thing where he explains the world, right: On the first day, there was the male being of indeterminate gender, who did not create the world, because it is evil and does not exist. But on the second day, he created three things: illusion, women, and the world, these are three—although they do not exist—and by them men who are not wise are ensnared, and born in the hell-realms for the sin of, well, believing that they are like their betters when they are not….

…. I know it seems silly for me to say all this when I haven’t Done anything yet, but if you look at the world I think it’s obvious that the “experts” in business are often themselves dealing with subtle poverty thinking, you know. Often the trouble isn’t that the public hasn’t handed over enough of its power to the technocrats, but that the technocrats are themselves powerless to do much of anything except to create an unbalanced world with an overdeveloped chess-mind and an overly-large place for technocratic intelligence. (“Oh, so you’re for the Confederacy! You don’t read books!” —🙄). It’s like you can get informed a little bit, and then “go to your breast, knock there, and ask your heart, what it doth know”, or you can read too much, suppress your knowing, agonize over information and decisions, and then painfully form a limiting decision, you know—and be sure to grimace for the whole four-hour marathon process, so that the others say, Shit, I’ll just get the trash out for you, sir, and, Do you want your omelette with cheese or no cheese? ~ you know. It’s like, there is a distinct non-woo-woo aspect to wealth which can be a good supplement to the spiritual way, however, since the whole system is non-woo-woo, there’s also this whole system-way to wealth which is often this giant societal-level scam, you know. Unlike a personal scam, it’s legal and normal and the people doing it think that it’s moral and “just the way things are”, and so it’s hard to “uncover”, but it’s not good, and it leads to societal and psychic poverty, basically.

…. Basically just get off Centre Court, clear your head, and then go to your breast, knock there, and ask your heart, what it doth know.

….
—I’m like Alan Watts!
(they chuckle, then chuckle more, then laugh, then laugh more, then laugh uncontrollably, then die laughing, and then it subsides, like in a movie)
—(first person again) Isn’t it great! I’m the best!
—I was laughing because you are NOT Alan Watts. (coffee). When Mara or the Devil or whoever torments Alan Watts during his psychic exploration of the nine hell realms, he shows him a vision of you.
—But I’ve HEARD of Alan Watts! He was on the cover of—
—Please stop talking. (coffee). Ahh, good coffee. Well, (nods), thank you for making me laugh—and you have a good day now, you hear?

…. It just seems like such low-quality writing, like it’s hardly even a book at all. I know that some technical writing has some merit, you know, and if we could take this chapter on LinkedIn photos and get some actual large color photos we could turn this book into a real magazine article, you know!…. But it’s like, such little creativity, and it holds together so poorly, partly because of that; I just feel like I probably have read better writing in a newspaper or a magazine, but, hey I’m writing a book! Your time is no object!

For some reason the thought that comes to mind is not ‘accessible genius man’, but someone talking to say Robin Williams for this long-conversation until you define his world and make him lose his faith in humanity through toxic intellect, until eventually Robin loses his mind, right.

But we’ve already established that I’m a creative thinker, and that the fearful prosperity (normie) coaches think that employment is going to be the way that they control me, right. But, maybe this fish will slip the net, and slip into a coral wreath of wealth that actually IS worth having—and I /am/ talking inclusive of the money kind….
  goosecap | May 31, 2023 |
Auf Seite 144 lesen wir: "Die meisten Menschen, die bei der Jobsuche oder bei der Suche nach ihrem Traumjob scheitern, scheitern nicht an fehlenden Informationen über den Arbeitsmarkt, sondern an fehlenden Informationen über sich selbst." Dieses Buch eignet sich wie kein anderes, mir bekanntes, dieses Defizit auszugleichen. Ich verschenke es regelmäßig an Menschen, die a) generell in den Beruf starten b) sich selbstständig machen wollen und c) die arbeitslos geworden sind. Es fasst generelle Überlegungen zur Berufswahl auf das Beste zusammen, ja es sollte im Grunde schon 3 Jahre vor dem Schulende gelesen werden.

Nirgendwo habe ich eine bessere Zusammenfassung dafür gelesen, sich selbstständig zu machen, d.h. die abwägenden Plus-Minus-Analyse für diesen Fall. Es heißt nämlich nicht, nie mehr auf der Suche nach Arbeit zu sein, sondern andauernd um Jobs bzw. Arbeit zu kämpfen. Nur ganz wenige haben die Kraft bzw. die umfassende Befähigungen, die man dazu benötigt. Franchisesysteme sind eine der Möglichkeiten, um das Einzelkämpferdasein etwas zu umschiffen, siehe Internettipps auf Seite 407.

Der Weg zum Traumjob führt tatsächlich zu einem selbst und dem Bewusstsein dafür, was man wirklich gerne machen würde. Der Abgleich mit den Möglichkeiten ist heute mit dem Internet immer besser möglich. Wichtig ist nach meinen Erfahrungen weniger das Geld, sondern die Begeisterung etwas zu tun bzw. etwas zu hinterlassen (Es wäre ein gutes Leben, wenn die Menschen mich nach meinem Tode folgendermaßen in Erinnerung behalten würden:... Liste Seite 211). Dabei spielen die sonstigen Belohnungen m.E. (über Geld hinaus, Seite 219) eine entscheidende Rolle. Z.B. Abenteuer, Respekt, Macht, Ruhm, Kreativ sein, anderen helfen. Wirklich überdurchschnittlich wird nur das bezahlt, was man selbst mit Begeisterung unternimmt.

Hervorragend die Merkregeln für das Vorstellungsgespräch, das - wie immer im Leben - aus einem gut fließenden Gespräch bestehen sollte. 50:50 meint, dass jeder zu 50% der 20 Minuten (Vorstellungsgespräche sollten nicht länger dauern) reden sollte, keiner länger als 2 Minuten. Wichtig ist, nie als Bittsteller, sondern als Arbeit-Geber zu verhandeln. Wichtig zu wissen ist, dass nur ein Drittel offener Stellen über Stellenausschreibungen in TZ oder Internet besetzt werden, alle anderen gehen über den verdeckten Stellenmarkt (u.a. auch über Headhunter, aber auch Selbstinitiativen). Tendenz: steigend. Bolles umfasst alle dafür notwendigen Überlegungen, bis hin zur Suche eines Berufs-Coaches.

Ein hervorragendes Buch, mit umfassendem Literatur-, Adressteil (u.a. Coaches) und Internetverweisen in Österreich, der Schweiz und D.

2011
  Clu98 | Apr 16, 2023 |
not bad. A novel approach to job hunting. It definitely doesn't waste your time which I appreciated. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
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In today's challenging job-market, the time-tested advice of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever. Recent grads facing a tough economic landscape, workers laid off mid-career, and people searching for an inspiring work-life change all look to career guru Richard N. Bolles for support, encouragement, and advice on which job-hunt strategies work--and which don't. This revised edition combines classic elements like the famed Flower Exercise with updated tips on social media and search tactics. Bolles demystifies the entire job-search process, from writing resumes to interviewing to networking, expertly guiding job-hunters toward their dream job.--

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