Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: What Color is Your Parachute? 2014 Edition

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What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career ChangersWhat Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers by Richard N Bolles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Richard N Bolles is like a god in the career counseling world, but I have to admit that I have never been much of a What Color is Your Parachute? person. Knowing that makes me a pariah in career counseling circles even if my colleagues don't know they should treat me like one. However, I know that many job seekers every year turn to Bolles, and given The Great Recession, this minister's words of comfort have been greatly needed. Actually, when I found myself going through my own career crisis when it came time to read this galley, I also found comfort in Bolles' words. So, in this way, What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers strikes a good balance between offering the hard-nosed advice most job seekers need and instilling hope.

Bolles still includes The Flower Exercise even though I've always felt like it is way too much work. Also, how many people out there who are out of work are going to get excited about sitting down and saying, "I am someone who is . . . like a flower"? I think I'm kind of frilly, but I don't see myself doing that. It's a bit much.
I did appreciate Bolles' tips on interviewing. He includes the normal checklist of grooming tips and pointers on wardrobe choices. He also mentions that the fact that candidates are judged on the cleanliness of their nails or the freshness of their breath is petty, but he points out, as do I, that it's much better to turn down an offer from a superficial jerk than to lose out on an offer because of silly details like that.
The new edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? relies a bit heavily on Google for my taste. For some job seekers, that could seem a bit overwhelming and general. In a lot of the instances where Bolles refers job seekers to Google, he probably would have been better off referring them to their local librarian so they can learn how to use Google effectively to search for work. That said, this is a classic for job seekers, and I definitely feel comfortable directing job seekers to this new edition as a resource.

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