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What Color Is Your Parachute? 2011 : A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9781580082709

ISBN10:
158008270X
Format:
Trade Paper
Pub. Date:
8/17/2010
Publisher(s):
Ten Speed Press

Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?
This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 8/17/2010.
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  • The Used copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included.

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Customer Reviews

IT"S REALLY AMAZING BOOK  April 17, 2011
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This textbook was new and in great condition when I received it. Quick shipping too. This is a good textbook for someone who needs a little motivation out in the job market. This textbook helps those struggling in these hard economic times acquire the job-search tools they need faster and more efficiently. Its life-saving information is, as always, updated and relevant to today's job market. I like shopping from ecampus. I'm very satisfied with the price and convenient service.






What Color Is Your Parachute? 2011 : A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

Summary

What Color Is Your Parachute? has been the bestselling job-hunting book in the world for more than three decades, in good times and bad. It has sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages around the world.

Parachute 2011 is streamlined this year to help those struggling in these hard economic times acquire the job-search tools they need faster and more efficiently. Its life-saving information is, as always, updated and relevant to today's job market.

Career guru Richard N. Bolles leads job-hunters to find meaningful work. He asks, What skills do you most love to use? Where-in what field-would you most love to use them? And how do you find such a job without depending on agencies and ads? This book is not only about finding a job in hard times. It's about finding your passion.

What Color Is Your Parachute is deservedly the world’s most popular job hunting book…. This 2011 edition is as relevant today as when it was first published. Dick Bolles insightfully stays on the cutting edge of job searching and the book is full of new and updated suggestions, along with the classic advice that continues to hold true today.”-Alison Doyle, About.com Job Search Guide

“If I were job hunting, I would pick up a copy of this book without hesitation.”-FOXBusiness.com, 8/25/10

“There’s Parachute, and then there’s all the rest. . . . A life-changing book.” -Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

Parachute is still a top seller and it remains the go-to guide for everyone from midlife-crisis boomers looking to change their careers to college students looking to start one.”-New York Post

What Color Is Your Parachute? is about job-hunting and career-changing, but it’s also about figuring out who you are as a person and what you want out of life.” -Time

“Ideally, everyone should read What Color Is Your Parachute? in the tenth grade and again every year thereafter.”-Anne Fisher, Fortune

“It was one of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.” -Fast Company

Author Biography

RICHARD N. BOLLES has led the career development field for more than 35 years. A member of Mensa and the Society for Human Resource Management, he has been the keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences. Bolles holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in physics from Harvard University, a master’s degree from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City, and three honorary doctorates.

Excerpts

1. There Are Always Jobs Out There
 
The job-market is a mess, right now. People have lost jobs they thought would go on forever. Whole households have been plunged into financial ruin. Hunting for a job is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The future, to many people, looks bleak. Welcome to “Normal.”
 
Yes, this is what always happens after a Recession. It’s just been  worse, this time, because this has been a bad Recession. Really really bad. There’s still a tremendous amount of misery, out there. When you talk to those who are unemployed, as I do constantly, you feel the kind of pain that strikes at the very heart of why people want to live. Or not live. So many souls are living quiet lives of desperation. Their job is gone. Their home is gone. Their dreams are gone. Their savings are gone. Their plans for retirement are gone. Their hope is gone. And they feel heartbroken, abandoned, forgotten. To see what disastrous events in the economy, like a Recession, or disastrous events in nature, like the Gulf oil spill, have done to so many people’s lives, is to weep. You hear discouragement and despair, on every side:
 
“There are no jobs out there, I know, I looked. I went on the Internet every single day. After two months, I gave up.”
 
“I’m hearing all the experts say we are entering into a jobless recovery. They say some people are just going to have to get used to being permanently unemployed. I think they’re right. I can see a grim future ahead for me. It is the death of all my dreams; all I’ll have after this is a series of regrets.”
 
“I heard there are six people out of work for every vacancy that appears; those odds mean my situation is hopeless.”
 
“With the labor market so tough for the foreseeable future, even if I find a job, I imagine it will have to be one that I settle for; there is no hope of my ever finding work that I could feel passionate about, or find anything remotely approaching a ‘dream job.’”
 
“I always thought you were supposed to start your job-hunt by learning all you can about the job-market: what the hot jobs are, what vacancies are posted by employers on the Internet, and so on. I was taught that you have to take the job-market as the given, and then try to depict yourself as one who matches that given. But with this awful recession we are just coming out of, this doesn’t seem to work at all. Employers simply aren’t posting any vacancies. Hot jobs are nonexistent. I’m thoroughly bummed out.”
 
These, and similar sentiments, circulate in the media in the air, and in the blogosphere, 24/7.
 
All we want, now, is relief. We want the government to do something. And create jobs. Don’t just sit there; do something! And we will sweep out of power any government that does not make Jobs their number one priority, and come to our rescue.
 
How Jobs Get Created
The unfortunate news is that Recessions--not this bad, but bad enough--come around regularly in history, and recovery from them always works the same way: it is not the government, or employers who pull us out of our tailspin. No, it is the consumer who re-creates the job-market (and therefore “jobs”) after a Recession ends; but right now--after getting all banged up from what we have just been through--we consumers are basically operating in Cautious mode. That’s normal. If we have any money we consumers are first using it for other things than consuming, as is our custom whenever we come out of a Recession.
 
We are using our income first of all to pay off any debt we have; and then, to cut down our addiction to credit cards; and then if any money is left over we are using it to build up a safety net for ourselves, setting aside more into our savings. And only then, do we--will we--get back to spending at the levels we did before the Recession. (And thus create jobs and restore the job-market to the size it used to be, or more.) It’s going to take a while. Maybe a long while. Meanwhile, the job-market remains weakened, and good news comes only in fits and starts.
 
Of course, to know that all of this is “normal” after any Recession, is small comfort indeed to those of us who have been set adrift on the Sea of Despair. We’ve been trying all the things that used to work, except they don’t anymore. We used to troll the Internet to find interesting vacancies; now, no interesting vacancies are there (to our eyes, anyway). We used to look for employers who were hiring people with our job-title; now, our job-title seems to have vanished. We used to send out our resume by the bushels, and get interested responses; now, there is just the sound of silence. And we used to brush up on our interviewing skills, so as to win the day with a prospective employer; now, no employer even wants to see us.
 
In all of this, I exaggerate, of course. It isn’t that bad for everybody. But for many of us it is as bleak as I have just described it. For example, some six and a half million of us here in the U.S. have been out of work for twenty-seven weeks or more, as I write. That’s almost half of all the official unemployed, the worst figures since records began to be kept, back in 1948.
 
The Good News
On the other hand, millions of job-hunters have found jobs this year, in spite of everything, as we are going to see. And I want to help you join them. I am writing this to give you hope about your future, and to help you chart a winning path for yourself, out of this mess.
 
So, let’s begin with a description of what the job-market is really doing, at the moment, not what the media say it is. Let’s begin with the truth that there are always jobs out there. Maybe not exactly the ones you are looking for,  maybe not exactly where you would hope they would be, maybe not as easy to find as they were in good times--but they are out there. You have to be convinced of that, before it makes any sense to start looking. So, how do we know this?
 
Well, to begin with, simple logic will tell you there just have to be job vacancies out there. After all, at least 138 million people in the U.S. do have jobs; and they need (and can pay for) services, products, food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. Not to mention, travel (so long as a volcano doesn’t get in the way), recreation, vacations, hobbies, games, and amusements. Someone’s got to provide these for them. That creates jobs.
 
In addition, some of those 138 million workers die, retire, move, fall sick, get restless, get fed up and change careers; so there just have to be vacancies opening up, constantly.
 
Simple logic tells us that.
 
But to put a floor under that logic, there are continuing studies of the job-market’s actual behavior. And according to the experts, during the decade 1994-2004, in good times or bad, fifteen million jobs disappeared each year in the U.S., but seventeen million new jobs got created, each year.1
 
But doesn’t all this change during, and after, a Recession? I mean, look at the monthly Unemployment Figure. It’s been dreadful. It adds up to 8.4 million jobs that have disappeared since the Recession began.
 
Well, I’m glad you mentioned that Figure. It has led to more mischief in people’s understanding of what’s going on, than I can possibly tell you. Part of the problem is its title. Instead of calling it “the unemployment figure” we would be far better off if we called it “The Relative Size of the Employed U.S. Workforce.” Once a month, after the end of each month, the government does something like a “sounding” (think Mississippi riverboat) to measure the size of the employed workforce at the end of that month. They then subtract that figure from the figure at the end of the month before that, and tell you if the employed workforce has shrunk or grown overall that month, and by how much. If the workforce has grown, that means there has been a net number of jobs added that month to the U.S. workforce, and the government will tell you how many. On the other hand, if it’s shrunk, then obviously jobs have vanished that month; and again the government will tell you how many. And that’s the figure these past two or three years that has been causing job-hunters, the media, and the government to wring their hands, or lapse into depression and despair. With good cause, I might add.
 
What Happens During the Month?
But--and this is crucial--it is only a net figure computed once a month, at the end of the month, after all the dust has settled. Ah, and there’s the rub. A lot can happen during the month, in between the “soundings.” And does! To find out exactly what, the government (fortunately for us) maintains a site for exactly that purpose, which is cutely called “JOLT” (for Job Openings & Labor Turnover), and is to be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website at www.bls.gov/jlt.
 
Now, you’re probably not going to take the trouble to go there, so let me summarize for you what it has reported for the past twelve months (at this writing), and I’ll precede it, for each month, with the monthly “sounding,” traditionally called “The Monthly Unemployment Figure,” but as I mentioned earlier, should be called “The Relative Size of the Employed U.S. Workforce.” Okay, here goes:
 
February 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 726,000 people, since the end of the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 4,360,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 3,006,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
March 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 753,000 people, since the end of the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 4,172,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,717,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
April 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 528,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported,  during that month 4,099,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,633,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
May 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 387,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 3,980,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,554,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
June 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 515,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 3,776,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,558,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
July 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 346,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported,  during that month 4,059,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,392,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
August 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 212,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported,  during that month 4,029,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,387,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
September 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 225,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 4,010,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,480,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
October 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 224,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 3,966,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,506,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
November 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had grown by 64,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 4,176,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,415,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
December 2009
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had shrunk by 109,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 4,073,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,497,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
 
There are always vacancies out there, jobs waiting to be filled; our problem lies in how we go about looking for them.
 
January 2010
By the end of that month, the overall size of the employed U.S. Workforce had grown by 14,000 people, since the previous month. During the month, jobs were lost, jobs were found, but the net change at the end of the month was the figure above.
 
But as JOLT reported, during that month 4,080,000 people found jobs.
And at the end of that month, 2,724,000 vacancies remained unfilled.
 
 
Yeah, I know. All of that made your head hurt. And I know you’re bright, and you certainly got the point by the third month, above; but I droned on, because I wanted to convince you that this can’t be explained away as only happening for a month or two. This never changes, month in, month out: even in the worst of economic times there are always vacancies out there, jobs waiting to be filled; our problem lies in where they are, what they are, and how we go about looking for them.
 
During and following a Recession, the methods we use successfully to find a job when times are good--sending out resumes, plying the Internet looking for job postings from employers--don’t work very well at all when times are tough. We need new strategies, new thinking. That’s what this book is about. A lot of people are finding jobs; why shouldn’t you be among them?
 
Enough Jobs for Everyone?
The media have made much, this past year or two, of the fact that someone calculated there are six or so people out of work for every vacancy that opens up. That is a huge societal problem; it raises the spectre of the possibility that as a nation, the U.S. (and other countries) may have an underclass of permanently unemployed people--for all the foreseeable future. What that may mean in terms of social unrest, general discontent, political divisiveness, and just plain unfairness in the way the workplace discriminates, will inevitably play itself out in the years to come. And somehow it simply cannot be ignored.
 
But there will never be enough jobs in this country for those who want them, and there never have been. Even at the height of the  prosperous time prior to this Recession, there were eight million people in the U.S. who couldn’t find jobs. Currently, that figure is around seventeen million. That’s awful; after all, there were “only” thirteen million people out of work during the Great Depression.
 
As I said, this is a huge problem for our whole society, and for any government in power. But as far as its implications for your destiny as an individual job-hunter are concerned, the situation is quite different. The implication that has been falsely drawn from this, has run something like this: Hey, you never had to compete for a job before, but now you’re going to have to.
 
This is just plain nuts. As I said, even before this Recession, when times were prosperous, there were still eight million people who couldn’t find jobs. As a country, we have never produced enough jobs for all the people who want to work, except for a brief period during World War II. In all other years we always have an unemployment rate, and even if it stands at only 4.7 percent, that’s 4.7 percent of a labor force that is now 154,000,000 in size. So, in actual numbers that works out to be seven million people who can’t find work in the best of times. (Maybe more, since the government tends to play around with these potentially explosive numbers politically speaking.)
 
In other words, you have always had to compete with other people for a job, and you always will. You need to know how to do this well. It begins by first studying Yourself, before you study the job-market and the job-hunt.
 
Conclusion
For now, I hope this is your major takeaway from this chapter:
 
Even during hard times, people in the U.S. have been finding new jobs by the millions, this month and every month. Moreover, even after that, millions of vacancies remain unfilled. Now maybe these jobs are located in a different place than where you’ve lived for just ages. And maybe the job-titles are different from what you were looking for. But somebody wants the skills you have; maybe in a different location, maybe under a different job-title. But somebody wants you.
 
All of this is an opportunity for you, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves, and spend some decent time doing some hard work figuring out where you want to go from here with your life, and then mastering job-hunting skills that are more than just elementary. You can find not just “an okay job”; you can find a piece of your dreams.
 
Why be surprised at this good news?  I’m here to tell you lots of good news. After all, this is really a Book of Hope--only masquerading as a job-hunting manual.
 
 
January 22, 2010:
 
Just wanted to say Thank You for your book, it was such an encouragement to me when I was laid off last February after nearly 25 years with the same company. I learned some practical things that seemed to help, in fact I went on four interviews in a two-month period and was offered three jobs, one because a former coworker had recommended me to the company, the others I found online. The hardest thing was deciding which one to take, but the answer was pretty clear and so now I’ve been at my new job for 6 months and it is going very well. Thanks again.
--A Former Job-Hunter


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