8.16.2013

Review: What Color Is Your Parachute? (2014 Edition) by Richard N. Bolles






Title: What Color Is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual For Job-Hunters & Career-Changers (2014 Edition)
Author: Richard N. Bolles
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Genre: Self-help, Career
Pages: 368
Source: ARC from Publisher

Rating:



Synopsis (from Amazon): The world's most popular job-search book is updated for 2014 with up-to-the-minute information and tips for how-to look for work and change careers.
 
In today's challenging job-market, the long-trusted guidance of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever. Published in 22 languages and 26 countries, and with over 10 million copies sold, What Color is Your Parachute? has helped millions discover their unique gifts, skills, and interests and land a job--even in hard times. 
 
This 2014 edition of “[one of] the 100 best and most influential [nonfiction books] written in English since 1923,” according to TIME.com, is refreshed with up-to-the-minute statistics, job-field analyses, and advice on social media and search tactics (including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype, Yelp, and YouTube). However, Parachute’s core message remains intact: WHAT, WHERE, and HOW. 
 
What do you most love to do? 
Where do you most love to do it? 
How do you find such a job and persuade those employers to hire you?
 
Career and business guru Richard (“Dick”) N. Bolles, who coined the terms “informational interview” and “transferable skills,” demystifies the entire job-search process, from resumes, interviewing, networking, salary negotiation, career coaches, how to start your own business, and more. 
 
Recent grads, workers laid-off mid-career, and people searching for an inspiring work-life change will all benefit from the support, encouragement, and nuts-and-bolts guidanceParachute has to offer. As Dave Kerpen, New York Times bestselling author and CEO of social media software platform Likable Local and chairman of Likeable Media, said on LinkedIn about pursuing his passions post-college:
 
“For several months I floundered -- as a life insurance salesman, a pizza delivery guy, and a tutor. Then I found a book which changed my life - What Color Is Your Parachute (incidentally, the best-selling career book of all time). The book essentially says: Figure out what you're passionate about, and then go find an industry, organization and job through which you can pursue your passions. I was passionate about marketing, and media, and children, and I loved the Disney brand. So I found Radio Disney, called them up and asked to meet with them, and even though there was no job posted, I got a job there. A year later I was the top salesperson in the country, and while I have changed jobs and careers several times, I've always pursued things I'm super passionate about. If you don't have a job yet, and take away just one thing from me today: Get the book.”
What other readers and reviewers are saying about What Color is Your Parachute? and Dick Bolles:
 
“This…edition is as relevant today as when it was first published. Dick Bolles insightfully stays on the cutting edge of job-searching, and the book is full of new and updated suggestions, along with the classic advice that continues to hold true today.”
—Alison Doyle, About.com Guide
 
“If you go into the bookstore and find the section on jobs, careers, or networking—the reason that section even exists is because of Dick Bolles.” —G. L. Hoffman, JobDig
 
“This book brought me back to life, caused me to rethink everything about myself and revived my passion for me to be my best self.” —Simi Kaila
 
Are you ready to dust off your motivation, land a job, and live your best life?


 

     What Color Is Your Parachute? is a book I always heard of, but never actually read. I can't say this book fully applies to me since I'm pretty set in more than one career at the moment (Cosmetology until I graduate college, then teaching music), but I thought I could look at it from a different perspective than one who is already feeling a little discouraged or stagnant in their search for their "calling" in life. I think this is a decent book for people needing to get motivated in their job-search...if they allow it. 

     We all go through that point in life where we ask ourselves, "What do I want to do with my life? What am I actually good at?" Obviously, you can examine your deepest desires in life as much as you want, but experience is also very important to figuring out what you want out of life, and a book can't do that part for you. The tasks within this book will definitely get you noticed and set you in the right direction, however, it is for people who WANT to help themselves. If you go into it cynical and comfortable in your lack of direction, then you probably won't get a whole lot out of it. The same is with pretty much any other SELF-Help book.

     I do like that there is a new edition of this book every year. The market is always changing, and it is wise for Bolles to keep current. If I picked up the 2007 edition and was looking to change my career in 2013, I probably would've pushed it away. The market is VERY different now than it was even then. Not to say there wouldn't be useful tips that I could apply, but it just wouldn't seem practical. He even mentions recent networking resources like LinkedIn in this edition.

     I think there are a lot of great tips in here for people figuring out what they want to accomplish in life, and might also be struggling with an identity crisis (I use that term loosely). If you're solid in where you're going and what you want to do, this book probably wouldn't apply to you as much. But keep in mind, experience is important, and no job is going to be absolutely perfect.