40th for ‘Chute’
What color is your parachute?
It’s been 40 years since Richard Bolles first authored the incredible book for job seekers, What Color Is Your Parachute?, and he’s celebrating with his 2011 edition in book stores now. If you’ve never read any of his ‘chute’ editions over the years, it might be required reading if you take a career planning course. I was first introduced to Mr. Bolles and his masterpiece in college and I highly recommend it since it has so much more than job search methods to offer college students and grads.
Recently, Mr. Bolles was interviewed by Darrell Smith of the Sacramento Bee, in his home in Danville, California, after the August release of his newest edition. He had several things to say to frustrated job seekers, “I want them to take hope. There’s something they can do differently to get a better outcome. People need a fresh way of thinking.” Given our national unemployment rate is just over 9%, fresh thinking is not just a suggestion, it’s got to be an order we give ourselves.
Mr. Bolles believes, “The main mistake is that people assume they need more information about the job market. I say you need to do research on yourself first. That means taking stock of your skills, your knowledge and what you enjoy doing most.” Ask yourself these basic questions:
1.) When were you enjoying yourself at work, play, while volunteering, or doing another activity?
2.) What skills were you using?
3.) What gives you fulfillment?
Too often, people have a job title or position they hang onto as part of their identity, or won’t look outside of a certain field. “The mistake is having a job label around your neck. You can change your whole way of how you go about job hunting. If you have certain skills and knowledge, you can look for two or three different career fields,” states Mr. Bolles.
Mr. Bolles guesses that less than 10% of job hunters actually find a position using the internet as a search tool. Like other experts, he suggests networking, volunteering and temp agencies (see my blogs regarding all three of these avenues) to assist in landing a job. You have to go for all three, not just choose one and focus on it since competition is fierce right now.
Giving up and becoming frustrated and bitter is all too easy. Unfortunately, it can affect your ability to land a good job. Interviewers can pick up on subtle (and not so subtle) words and body language which tips them off to an interviewee who is at their breaking point.
In closing the interview, Mr. Bolles leaves the unemployed with this,”The thing you need the most is energy. This is going to be a long haul, but when you do the hard work, you’ll increase the chances of finding not just work, but meaningful work.”
And isn’t that what we all really want, meaningful work? Check out his book today.
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