As a proud owner of a vintage copy of What Color is Your Parachute ? for going on twenty-six years now you'd think that I would've purchased a brand new copy since it is updated every year. Always jam-packed with great quotes, illustrations (some of castles!), great job hunting ideas, self-help tests and self-evaluation tools and much more, Parachute will help you find out how to get back to working or revitalize your life with a new career. Even for a self-employed person, which I have been most of my life, the information contained between the covers has been precious. The perpetual author is Richard N. Bolles who always welcomes criticisms and suggestions as to what he should do with his revision next year. He has been writing and rewriting this marvel of publishing since 1977 and the reading is delightfully uplifting. There is no dreary advice in it which instructs you to snap out of anything or to simply pick yourself up and dust yourself off. As a matter of fact, Dick's style is so positive that it is absolutely infectious and really helps you get those cognitive juices going again.
I have had the opportunity to peruse the 2013 edition recently which I borrowed from the library and noticed immediately on the cover that over 10 million copies of this book have been sold to date! I expected to see a lot of similarities with the revision but, in fact, it is practically a completely different book with plenty of online resources of which my 1986 edition is bereft. Online references were rather non-existent with the amount of technology readily available to the average consumer at that time. (There is one brief chapter for instructions on setting a priority grid (spreadsheet) on a computer other than an Apple with BASIC in the 1986 edition !)
The new book provides plenty of practical information alongside quizzes and worksheets to help you on job interviews, how to network, using social media, writing resumes, negotiating salaries or starting your own business along with prodigious encouragement throughout the book but especially in the Pink Pages which are located in the back of the book. Pink pages seem like a reference for your individuality and trump cards for the rough road of getting back into the workforce. There is a lot more information on networking and the self evaluation worksheets have taken on a brilliant organization that is admirable. Mr. Bolles never claimed to be a literary maven and in this new version he explains in one portion of the preface why he often uses the English language in such an unorthodox fashion. Apparently he has garnered a plethora of disrespect from unemployed English teachers.
With the 2013 revision, it is obvious to me that Dick has made a true mission of bringing each reader into a frame of mind that will help them find their bliss in employment. That alone is worth taking a look at and this book is not confined to those who are unemployed. It may well help you get out of the rut you are in now and help you find a job or employment which will give you the fulfillment you need in your life. Can we expect that in this shaky economy ? The answer to that can be found in the lyrics of a Tracy Chapman song:
If not now- then when?