What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success


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With timeless advice, up-to-the-minute insights, and more than ten million copies sold over fifty years, the world’s most popular and best-selling career guide is fully revised and expanded for 2022.
“One of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it isindisputably the most popular.”—Fast Company

In today’s challenging job market, as recent grads face a shifting economic landscape and seek work that pays and inspires, as workers are laid off mid-career, and as people search for an inspiring work-life change, the time-tested advice of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever.

This new edition has been fully revised for 2022 by Vanderbilt University Career Center director Katharine Brooks, EdD, with modern advice on the job-hunt strategies that are working today, such as building an online resume, making the most of social media tools, and acing virtual interviews. Building on the wisdom of original author Richard N. Bolles, this edition updates the famed Flower Exercise (which walks job seekers through the seven ways of thinking about themselves) and demystifies the entire job-search process, from writing resumes to interviewing and networking.

With the unique and authoritative guidance of What Color Is Your Parachute?, job-hunters and career changers will have all the tools to discover—and land—their dream job.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984860347
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date: 12/14/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 17,875
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard N. Bolles led the job-search field for more than forty years. A member of Mensa and the Society for Human Resource Management, he served as the keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences.

Katharine Brooks, EdD, is an award-winning career counselor and coach who is currently the Evans Family Executive Director of the Career Center for Vanderbilt University. She is a licensed professional counselor, nationally certified counselor, and board-certified coach. Previously, she had been the executive director of the Office of Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest University and director of career services for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. She is the author of You Majored in What? and What Color Is Your Parachute? for College.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction to the 2022 Edition

Why are you reading this book?

Maybe someone recommended it to you. Lots of people do. While working on this latest edition, I lost count of the number of people who told me “my mother bought it for me” or “a friend used that book—and it worked!” Maybe you’re hoping to change your career, or you’re seeking your first job, or you’re returning to the workplace after some time away. Maybe recent changes in the economy have forced you to seek a new job—or even a new career field. Whatever your job or career challenge, the highly successful system in What Color Is Your Parachute? is your solution. And this new edition has much to offer:

• Updated career advice and information
• Specific guidance on changing careers, no matter your age
• Techniques for winning the mind game of the job search
• Employer-based advice for all aspects of the job search
• Advice for dealing with challenges you fear are holding you back
• Suggestions on how to connect with advocacy groups and others who can support you
• Special tips for job seekers who are introverts
• Updated social media advice, especially for job-search powerhouse LinkedIn
• Helpful rubrics to quickly analyze and improve your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile
• Tips for creating powerful interview stories
• Internet-based job-search techniques and resources that actually work
• Salary and benefits negotiation guidance
• And, of course, the highly popular, successful, and classic Flower Exercise, which has been revised and updated

When What Color Is Your Parachute? was first published in 1970, it revolutionized the concept of job hunting. Unlike traditional guides to the job market, it helped job seekers understand themselves first, then find the jobs that fit, using a mix of good-humored advice and practical strategy. Richard N. Bolles also went against conventional wisdom to update the book annually, keeping it constantly relevant to new generations of job hunters facing changing times. By the time Richard passed away, it had become the bestselling job-hunting book in the world, with numerous awards and more than ten million copies published in twenty-two languages.

I have used his books throughout my own career; whether working in human resources at a department store, studying for my master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling (where this book was required reading), or providing career counseling and coaching to a broad range of individuals through good and bad economic times. It is an honor to be asked to work on this edition and continue the important tradition of yearly revision.

Much of What Color Is Your Parachute? is written in the first person, so throughout this book you will see the word “I.” Sometimes it will refer to Richard Bolles; sometimes to me. Most of the time it doesn’t matter. Where the ownership of the statement is significant, you’ll see (RB) after statements attributable to Richard Bolles and (KB) after statements attributable to Katharine Brooks.

What I love about the Parachute Approach is the level playing field it provides for all job seekers in every employment sector. In Richard’s writings, you see his timeless advice and wisdom in action. His compassion and respect for all workers. His emphasis on the importance of choosing your career and not letting the job market choose it for you. His encouragement to take the time to do a thorough self-evaluation before hitting the job market. And his belief in the importance of all careers, from pipe fitters to harp builders to doctors. With his usual aplomb, he deconstructed the holy grail of every job seeker: a job that fits your passions and fulfills your life mission. And he was quite transparent, practical, and honest in his approach to that search.

On the top of my computer, I have a sticker that reads “This Isn’t Career Development. This Is Rocket Fuel.” Well, Richard and I don’t have a rocket, but we do have a parachute to offer you. A way to land efficiently and happily in this crazy, messy landscape we call the job market. Safe and fulfilling journeys to you all.

—Katharine “Kate” Brooks

Table of Contents

Introduction to the 2022 Edition 1

Chapter 1 Welcome to the Ever-Changing World of the Job Search

The length of the average job hunt has increased dramatically. The length of time the average job lasts has decreased dramatically. The way jobs are done is changing. 5

Chapter 2 The Job Search Is a Mind Came: Here Are Ten Ways to Win

You have a choice in how you view your job search. Choose hope. Choose a positive outlook. 23

Chapter 3 How to Deal with Any Challenges You Have in the Job Search

Being turned down for a job can lead to thinking there is something about you that caused it. 37

Chapter 4 Choose a Career, Change a Career, or Find a Job: What Works

There are different ways you can go about the job hunt. Each has a different chance of success. The Traditional Approach begins with the job market. The Parachute Approach begins with you. 71

Chapter 5 Introduction to the Flower Exercise

At the heart of this book is the Flower Exercise: a self-inventory in which you examine seven ways of thinking about yourself, using the language of the workplace. 97

Chapter 6 The Flower Exercise: A Comprehensive Self-Inventory

You have a much better chance of finding work using this method than if you just sent out a resume. Not just work, but work you really want to do. If you are thinking about a career change, you will discover what new direction you want to pursue. 111

Chapter 7 You Get to Choose Where You Work

Find out what careers or work your Flower Diagram points to. Try on jobs before you decide which ones to pursue. Research places thoroughly and utilize contacts. 189

Chapter 8 Your Resume Is Already Online

There's a new resume in town, and it's online. Remove anything that contradicts the impression you would like to make. Expand your positive professional presence. 211

Chapter 9 Fifteen Tips About Your Job Interview

What to keep in mind during hiring conversations. 243

Chapter 10 The Five Secrets of Salary Negotiation

How to get the best salary possible. 279

Chapter 11 How to Start Your Own Business

There is another choice if you don't want to work for someone else. 293

Conclusion 307

The Blue Pages: Finding Your Mission in Life

From the original writings of Richard N. Bolles. 309

The Final Words 327

About the Authors 333

Notes 334

Index 337

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