I’m in yet another career transitional phase. I think that this is truthfully my tenth different quest to find my true calling or so since I started working in high school. This time I’m finally seeking out the help of What Color is My Parachute? by Richard Bolles.
The first time I looked at What Color is Your Parachute? was long before the digital age had made such an impact on job-hunting. Since then, what’s being billed as “The Best-Selling Job-Hunting Book in the World.” I don’t know if that assertion is necessarily true or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me as What Color is Your Parachute? stands out from the crowd of other job-hunting books for a few reasons.
First, What Color is Your Parachute? offers job-hunters and those in transition to different careers practical advice, which is a welcome change from some of the Oprah gurus who teach job-seekers to “just follow your passion.” Sorry, Oprah, that’s a good idea, but real women and men need the concrete job-seeking skills listed in What Color is Your Parachute.
Bolles offers everything from job interview strategies to lists of websites that can be used for social networking or for finding out career information. He also includes helpful charts which force job seekers to actually think about their likes in terms of their actual skills and how the two might be applied to the job market. Before jumping onto a career path, for example, he suggests looking at the data from the government on the average wages associated with the job as well as the job growth rate.
Bolles also offers networking advice; he advises job-seekers to ask for short information interviews with different people who are in the same field as they are interested in. I haven’t yet taken the opportunity to conduct any information interviews, but I have a few on the books in the near future.
And I also appreciated Bolles advice about starting your own small business; he likened starting your own small business to being on the perpetual lookout for jobs. His reasoning is that small-business owners are constantly on the lookout for new clients to keep them in money. If someone doesn’t like job-hunting, they might not like seeking out clients for their own business so much, either.
So, while What Color is Your Parachute? hasn’t yet landed me my dream job, I’m confident that it can help me go in the right direction.