Book Review: What Color is your Parachute? by Richard Bolles

What Color is your Parachute? - Another inspiring read for the self-developer…

On my bedside table, I have a pile of self-development books. They’re not the lightest of genre of reads I’ll admit, but I recommend them to anyone out there who looks into the face of the future and sees it as an opportunity worth seizing today.

The book of these that I’d like to talk to you about today is called, ‘What Color is Your Parachute?’ by Richard Bolles.

What Colour is your Parachute by Richard Bolles Book Review

First Impressions

Normally, when I come across a book centered on careers (such as this one), I put it down. But there was something different about the contents and opinions of this book, that made me keen to give it a try anyway.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

What Color is your Parachute? is as unique as the title suggests, in the sense that it teams both careers and philosophy together. These are two seemingly, very different aspects of life. But this works well in the book, because of the way in which Bolles ties them together.

The search for a dream job is, on its surface, a search for greater happiness - Richard Bolles 

What Color is Your Parachute - 2009 edition reviewBolles views ‘careers’ in the same light that I do; as something to compliment the ‘self’ rather than something which defines it. And this comes across clearly in the book as the reader isn’t simply bombarded with the role of careers in daily life.

Although Bolles does include chapters on this topic, including: ‘The Nature of the Job-Market’, ‘Interviews: The Employer’s Fears’ and ‘How to Start Your Own Business’, to name a few. He also acknowledges that the job market, like the education system, is often over-emphasized and takes this a step further in helping the reader discover how their career can actually be used to fuel their individuality.

So although it’s officially recommended for the job seeker, don’t be put off if your not seeking-a-job; this book is a worthy read for anyone with a drive.

And that’s why I’m going to flick over this book again as the New Year begins. And more importantly, is why I recommend that you do the same.

What Does The Book Cover?

Section 1: ‘The Things School Never Taught us About the Job-Hunt’

The first section of the book, discusses the physical side to the human life-style. And how jobs are a give and take cycle of knowing what you’re looking for and giving employers what they are looking for to.

These how-to chapters, although typical for a self-help book, are certainly most useful to anyone who wants to build up their confidence in the decisions they make. These chapters teach the reader a variety of valuable life skills and really do leave you confident in your ability’s and most importantly, in your ability to make decisions.

However, it was the second, third and final section of the book that drew me in most.

Section 2: ‘When the Unexpected Happens: How to Deal with Change’

The second section discusses how to deal with change and a redirection in your life.

For anyone who is leaving education, or feeling unfulfilled in their current position of work, this is section is great because it offers insight into the ways in which we can become more flexible and confident in the journeys and life choices we make.

And this refers to all areas of life, such as family, friends, talents and location to.

This section compliments a lot of the ideas behind the ‘Re-direction’ area of One Life Success. And is a worthy read for anyone who wants to find out further information on making a big change in their life and directing a different route to their goals and success.

Section 3: ‘Resuming the Search to Find Your Dream’

What Color is your Parachute? Richard Bolles

The final section is the one I would most recommend to you because it goes hand in hand with the values I described in the Discovery section. Bolles explains how we can apply what we know about ourselves to arrange our lives around the purpose we feel we have.

This is where the book gets more questioning and personal with the reader, because it encourages you to think about why you’re special and what it is that you can bring to the world and nobody else can.

It also discusses values, life missions and who we are as people. And offers various exercises to help you understand what your greater purpose is.

Bolles argues that in order to make decisions that will fulfill your true self, you must have a greater knowledge of this purpose for your life, and that’s why he divided this area into three steps. Self-discovery. Self-development. And application.

I guess what I most like about this final part is that it tackles the more philosophical side to the human life style. And the author seems to truly believe that everyone is special in their own way.

In Conclusion

Although it’s a big book (and some might say, a scary one at that!) it’s easy to follow, interestingly voiced and no chapter brings the same thoughts. I have never before come across a book like this, and I doubt I ever will again. So I recommend ‘What Color is Your Parachute’ to anyone who’s looking to find or develop a clear image of who they are, what makes them special and where they are going in the new year and beyond.

For more great reads, click here. 

Wrote by Aimee Hall