As a new year begins, many of us engage in the long-standing tradition of making a New Year’s resolution. We typically establish these to improve our self or some aspect of our life, including our careers. Resolutions often involve improving roles in our current organization, finding a new place of employment or launching our careers. If any of these rings familiar for you, then I would invite you to join me for a brief exploration of “What Color Is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers” by Richard N. Bolles.
Let me preface this review with an important clarification that we will not just be reviewing the 2019 edition. It is the 46th edition since it was originally published in 1970. Not just 46th printing, but the 45th update, renewal, revision, refinement, etc. to keep this tremendously helpful tool current with the ever-evolving world of employment.
While the tools to secure and accomplish our work are constantly changing due to technology, there are two constants in Bolles’ “Parachute Approach.”
First, understand and work in harmony with one’s self. Second, always be in the driver’s seat.
Here is where the practicality of this manual begins. It is virtually impossible to pursue your passions until you understand yourself. This includes your strengths, weaknesses, interests, passions and more. Too often we only comprehend ourselves on the surface.
Bolles provides guidance to get beyond the tip of your iceberg and connect your true passions to what you do.
It is equally improbable that we will find the best opportunity by letting someone else steer for us. In the remainder of his manual, Bolles provides direction to help the driven individual choose where they want to work. This includes tips on utilizing online profiles, interviewing, compensation negotiations, managing personal handicaps and mindfully choosing a career. The central point running through each of these topics is our personal ownership. Throughout each of these steps, we must stay in the driver’s seat if we wish to achieve our full potential.
“What Color Is Your Parachute” is a powerful resource for anyone who is genuinely seeking to improve as a professional. Although it’s not a quick read, it is a way of effectively engaging with yourself and the work world. Enjoy the fruits of your labors!
As a Talent Management/HR executive with over 20 years of talent and human resource management experience, I strive to deliver value generating services to internal and external clients. This has provided me with the ability to lead or influence people in developing solutions to achieve higher levels of measurable success. My professional interests are targeted toward helping clients achieve their optimum performance through people solutions.