What Color Is Your Parachute?

What Color Is Your Parachute 2006: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters And

by Richard Nelson Bolles
Pub. Date: January 2006, Ten Speed Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-58008-727-8
402 Pages
Review Written: 2/28/07

Success Rating :5

Why I Read this Book:
I wanted to get a firm understanding of the career direction in which I wanted to head and how to go about it after finishing my university work. This book provided a wonderful road map.


This book, or I should say a version of this book has been on the best seller list for many years now. Bolles spends the majority of each year putting together the updated version for the year to come. This is not the type of book you buy once for one search and that is it. Every time you are looking to change jobs and especially when you are looking to change careers, it is important to read through the most current version of this book. Given the leaps and bounds our world has gone in terms of change, it is no wonder why this book needs to be updated yearly.

This book is a must for career changers whether you are just getting out of college or you have been working for 30 years and you need a change. Dick Bolles is a brilliant man who I have had the pleasure of having dinner with on a number of occasions. He first started writing a version of Parachute in the 1970’s and has since changed countless lives. The success stories he discuss in the book are inspirational.

Bolles explains every job search method we have heard of out there today (and even some we have not). He gives very eye-opening statistics about which methods are most effective and which are not. Do you know what the single most ineffective strategy for job searching is according to Bolles’ research? It is posting your resume on a job board like Monster or Career Builder. That is only effective 4%-10% of the time. How many people use this as their only technique and expect good results? Too many. Just understanding that fact and what techniques produce the best results will make this read invaluable. Here’s a suggestion. Get started on building your network and never stop. More on the networking buzz word once you read through the book.

Parachute is also a great job search reference book. Every professional serious about their career should have a copy on their desk. It contains relevant websites, career tests, salary negotiation & interview tips, articles, techniques and processes that you can refer to at any time in your search. This is one reason why it is so necessary to update every year. Website links and data change in the blink of an eye. He has the most up to date links and resources online at his website mentioned at the bottom of this page.

The reason this book, and more importantly his system for finding your career calling, has been so greatly successful is that Bolles’ main focus is not on the job but instead on the job hunter. In order to truly find your career calling you must truly know yourself. Many of our inherent characteristics are things that we do not necessarily take as common knowledge. This is the key to his system, which he calls the Flower Petal Exercise. Be warned that this exercise will take some work, but it will pay huge dividends in your future. Going through this series of exercises is what is going to get you clear on what you should be doing professionally (and perhaps personally) with your life. I cannot stress enough the importance of completing the Flower Petal Exercise. The accompanying Parachute Workbook which I detail elsewhere in this site will step you through the exercises from start to finish. It is so easy to read a book and do nothing about it. The key is to take initiative and get proactive with this book and all books for that matter so that they will make a difference in your life and lead you to success. Enjoy the journey.

Valuable Quotes:

“Most job-hunters who fail to master the job-hunt or find their dream job, fail not because they lack information about the job-market, but because they lack information about themselves.”
—Richard Bolles

“Values are a matter of what guides you through every day, every task, every encounter with another human being. Yet, we are often unaware of what our values are.”
—Richard Bolles

“Determine to be seen in the Interview as a resource person, not a job beggar.”
—Richard Bolles

Related Web Sites:


-Reading for Your Success