Nearly 50 years of job seeker success can’t be wrong
When a resource has been around since 1970, sold over 10 million copies, is regularly updated and still flies off the shelves, you can assume you’re in good hands. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers remains an exceptional resource for anyone seeking to make a change—even after nearly 50 years.
In interSector’s work with people seeking new careers—especially those who are looking to switch sectors—one of the first things we hear is: “I just need to find purpose in my life” or “I want to use my talents to make a difference in the world.” We applaud this desire and often ask people to get more specific about what they mean – what do they see as their true personal mission and how can a job help them to achieve that mission?
Take the experience of Rachel Lucas, human resources training and development specialist at the GLBT Center of Colorado’s social enterprise, RANGE Consulting, who shared her experience using What Color Is Your Parachute? Rachel needed support after moving to a new city and state for her spouse’s new job. She was unemployed and facing finding new employment with no local network.
“I had worked in traditional HR generalist roles in the past and knew I wanted to transition in a new direction while utilizing my existing skills, says Rachel. “As I wasn’t entirely sure what that new direction was, I took my dad’s advice and purchased ‘What Color Is Your Parachute’ with a particular focus on completing the career transition process outlined in the last half of the book.”
Rachel gained valuable insights from the book, including how to identify her transferable assets and the art of informational interviewing. She also utilized the seven-step career transition homework: “Once completed, I had a chart that visually included everything I needed to consider before selecting my next role. I was surprised that when completing the seventh section, my personal mission that came onto the page was that I wanted to use my HR skills to work for the inclusion of LGBTQ workers.”
This clarity was valuable, but caused some concern—was there such a job to be found? Rachel shares, “I was thrilled to find that my local LGBTQ community center had a new program focused on LGBTQ workplace inclusion and signed up to volunteer immediately.” Within two months, a position became available and Rachel was hired.
As Rachel mentioned above, What Color Is Your Parachute? utilizes exercises and activities that allow the reader to more deeply explore:
Their goal, mission or purpose in life
Areas of knowledge or fields of interest
Their transferrable skills
Who they prefer to work with
How they like to work
The salary they need to make
Where they want to do this work
Armed with this deep dive, job seekers can begin to identify the types of jobs that will be a good fit for them, as well as learning from the book about how to make the connections necessary to locate and succeed in securing that next career opportunity. The book “demystifies the entire job search process” allowing them to find meaningful work that also meet their financial needs.
The moral of Rachel’s story and that of millions of others who have benefitted from this tried and true system? What Color is Your Parachute? holds up as a career guidance and search book for the ages.