What Color Is Your Parachute? 2009
By Richard Nelson Bolles
Ten Speed Press / 407 pages / $18.95
The popular What Color Is Your Parachute? series started as a self-published, self-help book in 1970 when its author used the word "parachute" to mean career transitions. The book transitioned into annual commercial editions in 1972 and soon became the bible for job hunters.
According to business lore, the phrase "golden parachute" appeared a decade or more later as a play on the book's title.
The newest edition has been rewritten, updated and expanded to offer tools, support and hope to help job-seekers even in the worst of economic times.
The pages offer myriad lists of things to do and not to do throughout the job search process, while also noting there is "no always right way to hunt for a job" and "no always wrong way to hunt for a job." Perhaps most helpful are the answers to pressing questions, such as, "What's the first thing I should do if my job hunt takes longer than I expected?" The surprising answer: Catch up on your sleep. (No kidding.)
The book is full of checklists and exercises, and the "Pink Pages" in the back offer additional appendices, skills evaluations and job-hunting strategies.
Success Is a Given: Reading the Signs While Re-Inventing Your Life
By Marlene Chism
ICARE Publishing / 188 pages / $14.95
Marlene Chism's Success Is a Given is an easy read if you are going through a significant change or want to reinvent your life. In her introduction, Chism writes that "very few people are willing to talk about what they really go through during times of change."
She adds, "Most people are afraid of being judged if they admit how scared they are, or if they talk too much about their desires, doubts and defeats."
So she has gathered stories, included a few of her own, and synthesized lessons in a series of lists and checklists that she calls "signposts" because she writes that "life always offers signs." Then she coaches her readers to examine where they are, where they want to be and how to get there.
She concludes with the helpful and hopeful observation: "Happiness is never a result of success. Success is the result of happiness."