How do you feel about job hunting? Do you love the thrill of the hunt, or does it tie you up in knots?
Don’t panic if you fall into the latter category. Many people get uneasy at the thought of sitting in front of a computer screen and scrolling through online job postings for hours on end.
And that’s where Richard Bolles steps in. For more than 40 years, job hunters have turned to Bolles and his classic guide What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. Revised and updated annually, Parachute is the world’s most popular job-hunting guide for a reason: It has helped millions of people land new jobs and create new and interesting careers for themselves. The 2013 edition has been vastly rewritten to include the newest social media trends and address the challenges of the current job market.
As in previous editions, Bolles asks questions about your mission in life. Each chapter has a table or worksheet that aims to help you discover inherent skills and traits you excel in. His most famous exercise is called The Flower, where a seven-petal diagram helps you focus on what you want from your career – such as goals, working conditions and level of responsibility. His belief is that just getting any job (including one you’re good at!) is not the best decision in the long haul. The exercises in the book help you clearly see your passions and skills so you can work toward a more rewarding career path.
When stepping into a whirlwind job market, you must be armed with every possible resource, from a stellar resume to a list of potential employers. Bolles also encourages exploring new ways to find jobs – from leveraging family, friends and former colleagues to the person standing next to you at the grocery store.
The chapter on interviews will certainly ease the anxiety of many job seekers. Bolles supplies a table that lays out questions most employers ask, the reasons they ask those questions and the points you should try to make when answering them. Two other chapters worth careful review cover putting together a great resume and how to negotiate a salary.
These books are not written in a preachy, self-help tone, but as a survival guide. Perhaps most helpful is how Bolles keeps you accountable, stating if you truly want to find a new job you can’t make excuses. You’ve got to do the work. You’re either looking to make changes, or you’re not.
If a job change is really what you want, it can’t hurt to have this time-tested classic by your side.
For more information about What Color is Your Parachute, visit jobhuntersbible.com.