When it first came out in 1970, it was just another book that had hit the stores. Within the following four years, it not only became the bestseller but soon was changing the lives of those who read it. So much so that in 1995, the Library of Congress' Center for the Book, listed it as one of the 25 books that have shaped readers' lives. For more than three decades it remains on the most sought after list, making it the gold standard of career guides.
Those who've read it call it their religion. It is the Bible for first time job hunters and also for those who are unable to assess their options in a career change.
Each year Richard Nelson Bolles comes out with a new edition of What Color Is Your Parachute, with new examples, instructions and cautionary advice. And before you'd know it's snapped from the shelves. But is it just hype or this book really stands the test of time?
The word parachute simply means career transitions. The author came up with this word as a playful rejoinder to those who were looking for career changes. At first the whole book might seem insignificant. But as you read on, chapter after chapter, it unfolds the whole psychology behind job hunt. Very optimistic in his approach, Bolles, goes great length in bringing the readers to terms with their emotions when they expect a lot happen in a short span of time. People tend to get frustrated, confused and dismayed, and author shows them how to conquer these feelings in an utmost natural way. A very good resource at motivating the readers, it significantly changes the attitude of its readers.
In a quite practical approach, there are several time-consuming exercises, listed to help one analyze and decide on the right career, given the qualifications of the reader. Although the list is not exhaustive, but the author has taken time out to list online resources to help your brain going. Apart from toiling through the exercises, the other sections in the book deal with assorted strategies on interviews, salary negotiations, with pragmatic and consistent advise in a very enjoyable and humorous manner. On a serious note, it gives one a dose on spiritualism and in a few descriptive passages on becoming a better human being.
This years' edition has a very small chapter on internet based research but fails to show how to use the online job portals to get the best. Given the job scenario in the tight market, Bolles, easily ignores the competition in a tough job market. His description to use hard work and clever tactics to beat competition seems to be more of a filler.
This book is not one of those with heavy loaded advise, gives one a direction in life but does not include everything you need to know about job searching strategies. No matter what it definitely is a good read.