- Paperback: 422 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Revised edition edition (1 Nov. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580084605
- ISBN-13: 978-1580084604
- Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.7 x 2.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,741,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
What Color is Your Parachute? 2003: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career Changers Paperback – 1 Nov 2002
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For three decades Richard Nelson Bolles's annually updated and revised Parachute has been cheerfully advising people that the best way to find a job or make a career change isn't to answer a job ad and/or send in a CV. That way, the statistical odds are heavily stacked against success. Instead he advocates a creative three-pronged approach. You are in charge so be proactive and sell yourself. First identify your talents (and of course you've got lots). Then work out where you would like to apply these transferable skills. Lastly, decide how you will pursue organisations which interest you. Thereafter it's down to your efforts: "Successful job hunting is a learned skill. You have to study it. You have to practice it. You have to master it, just like any new skill. And master it thoroughly because you'll need it all the rest of your life", says Bolles.
An ordained Episcopal priest, Bolles was canon pastor of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Made redundant in 1968, he created another career by publishing the first edition of Parachute in 1971--then little more than a newsletter. Today it is published in 10 languages world-wide and bought by 20,000 people a month. It's an immensely detailed, friendly book whose attractive layout includes coloured fonts, nice historical sketches and lots of easy-to-read grids, charts and even the odd poem. Useful Internet site addresses abound. And although Parachute is American, most of Bolles's advice is just as applicable in Britain as in the US. Bolles evidently means to be inspirational and is. He's also down to earth. Once you get into an interview you are much more likely to get the job if you don't reek of aftershave, perfume or garlic and if you've had a bath and pressed your clothes, he points out. --Susan Elkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
Parachute went from 560 pages to just 235 in this edition.
For much of 1998, The 1998 What Color Is Your Parachute? was the second best-selling business paperback in America. But, at 560 pages, I had a feeling people weren't reading it, except in bits and pieces. Its size was just too intimidating. So, for the 1999 edition (now out) I rewrote the entire book, summarizing where I could, writing shorter sentences where I could, and as a result, reduced it to just 235 pages in the main body of the book. Much more manageable. Here's a typical reaction from a reader: "For the past 20 years, I have purchased or been given a copy of your annual edition/rewrite. In my opinion, the 1999 edition is the best, easiest to read, briskly written, humorous, personal, practical, jam-packed with hints and helps, and 235 pages, excluding the appendices. You have returned the book to the reader and now for the first time in many years, I will strongly encourage people who buy this book to read the entire thing. I am in awe of the masterpiece you have produced." (Jim Kell, Texas) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now I wish I hadn't wasted money on all the other careers books I've bought over the last couple of years.
WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? is extremely well-written. You feel as though Richard N. Bolles is writing especially for you. His advice is frank and straightforward, but always encouraging and reassuring - he really seems to understand the jobhunter's 'fragile' state of mind. The author offers spiritual comfort as well, but without ever preaching or becoming bogged down by religion (I found that Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was sanctimonious, on the other hand).
The book was a real source of comfort and inspiration to me when friends had run out of advice and family had run out patience - and I had run out of ideas.
There are lots of excellent exercises to help you work out exactly what you want from life. They are very effective, and not too time consuming - you probably need a weekend or so to work on them. There are also masses of links to free websites which help analyse your skills and so on.
For me, the best part of the book was the news that recruitment agencies, classifed ads in newspapers and the Internet are among the five WORST ways to look for a job!
This book has changed my attitude to job-hunting and has filled me with enthusiasm, as well as providing me with practical ways to channel my enthusiasm. I'm so glad I've discovered WHAT COLOUR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? The only other books I've found to be as useful are the PERFECT CV/PERFECT INTERVIEW etc. range by Max Eggert which are short but extremely helpful.
I disagree with other reviewers about the emphasis on skills. I find, all too often, that employers are very literal about skill requirements and extremely poor at recognising transferable (or even equivalent) skills. The only hitch is of course, if you are out of work you are probably unable to make the financial committment that many skills require, thus leaving you in vicious circle.
My only criticism of this book is the encouragement to search for smaller organisations rather than larger ones. This might be ok for some people but small organisations can be very much dictated by one or two personalities - for worse as well as better, and this can make a very negative working environment that is more difficult to change. On the other hand, large organisations are more change driven and offer far greater opportunity, though as an individual it is much harder to make an impact in a large organisation. Also in my experience in the UK and Ireland, small organisations, often often limited benefits taken for granted in bigger organisations that can have a big effect on your life quality - sick pay, training, health insurance etc. I would definitely advise people to be cautious when talking to smaller companies as its much easier to get into a job you'll end up really unhappy in.
Ultimately, the author of the book has set out exercises and pretty much a proven method to help any jobseeker, no matter what their background or goal is. I've used this book myself once already for one career move and am now buying the 2001 version to start thinking about the next one.
If you have access to a photocopier and can write/draw tables on a wordprocessor or blank sheet of paper then you don't really need it at all!
I was uncertain how to rate this book. Compared to other job-hunting guides I have read, it is the best. So it didn't seem fair not to give it a five star rating. On the other hand, compared to what is needed, this book is mired in stalled thinking of the past.
Let me talk about the good first. The book is pretty good on goal setting. Its first piece of major advice is to decide what you have to offer the world. Many people fail to self-assess and become stuck in misconceptions about what their job potentials are. Most people can do more than they think they can. In a tight job market like today, chances are you can get some flexible responses if you look for them.
On the other hand, I thought the third major piece of advice was much more relevant: Go after organizations that interest you the most. Companies are increasingly hiring for attitude, and plan to work with you to add the necessary skills. If you find organizations that turn you on, chances are they will turn you on, too. The current thinking is that companies should have exciting purposes that make a job more like a meaningful adventure. I'd start there, if I were you.
In fact, I was surprised to see the emphasis on skills in this book. That's certainly relevant, but it has not been a dominant factor except for certain types of engineers in over five years. Does Bolles do any new research on the job market before writing each volume?
The best part of the book related to encouraging people to find their mission in life. That's something that most people never do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first became aware of Richard Bolles about seven years ago probably through the Amazon website. Buying this book is more and investment that than perhaps many other... Read morePublished on 11 July 2011 by Late Reader
This book is aimed at the U.S market, and is a poor purchase for U.K oriented people in my and my familys opinionPublished on 9 Feb. 2011 by M. J. Johnston
The book arrived in the timescales given - just! Book in good condition. No complaints.Published on 1 May 2010 by Mrs. J. W. Green
With so many job hunting books focused on things that don't matter like Resume writing and Cover letting writing. Read morePublished on 16 Jan. 2010 by Mr. Chris Pires
We know that interviews and job search hardly ever lead to job success. This book offers unusual and effective ways to meet the important people in an organisation, which may lead... Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 2009 by Ann Maguire
Absolutely brilliant book in encouraging me to really think about what I really what to do for work.Published on 7 Jun. 2009 by Mr. T. Pagden
I've used this workbook before, having been given it by a career counselor a while back. What I love about this workbook, rather than the books that are out there, is that... Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2006 by gidget
I've used parachute off and on since 1990. I wonder if any of the negative reviewers made any serious attempt to put into practice the techniques and advice in the book... Read morePublished on 15 May 2005