What Color Is Your Parachute? - A Book Summary


The best-selling job-hunter's bible for decades, this indispensable resource is a complete handbook for people who are on a quest to find their mission in life, or at the very least, the next good job that will put food on the table. Whether you are a fresh graduate, never finished a degree, or are searching for your deeper calling after many years of work, this is the book for you. You may need a temporary job, but the book strongly suggests a major life-changing one!

There are two types of job searches: the traditional, and the life-changing. The former requires the usual resume-matched-to-the-employer-formula. The latter begins with a weekend of honest soul-searching and really deep thought. The actual life-changing job hunt may take much longer. You must have adequate reserves of energy and determination to go on this hunt. But the result of the long search is well worth it. Why? Because the search for the "job of your dreams" is really the search for your true happiness?and you have every right to seek this happiness.

What are you looking for?

You may choose to embark on a life-changing job hunt for the following reasons: you are suffering from burnout, you want to set your career path straight, or you may want to earn more money. The best reason, though, is when you are searching for your mission in life.

The advantage of doing the life-changing job hunt is obvious: it makes you rethink your goals, really think about what you want to accomplish in this life, and it's about getting in touch with who you really are. It requires time, effort and a lot of deep thought.

Looking for a Job

1. Write your resume well. There are several resume-writing resources enumerated in the book for your easy reference. You may also ask your friends who are known for writing excellent resumes for assistance.

2. Your resume should be a summary of relevant work accomplishments, citing what tasks you were responsible for, what obstacle you had to overcome and what you did to solve the problem and what the results of your actions translated into in terms of profits, etc.

3. Go where the employers go: www.monster.com, www.hotjobs.com, www.flipdog.com, and www.eurojobs.com are just some sample sites you could look at.

4. There are other ways to find a job than on the Internet. Use your contacts. Study the phone book, or look around your neighborhood. It is still always best to be referred to an employer by a good friend or colleague.

How Employers Hunt for Job-HuntersEmployers like it when you:

1. Find their job ad on the Internet or on their web site.

2. E-mail your resume immediately.

3. Mail a professionally laid-out paper copy to the employer's mailing address on the same day.

4. Make a follow-up phone call within the week to see if both copies were received, and to inquire about an appointment for an interview.

5. If you do get interviewed, send a thank-you note immediately after the interview.

23 Tips to a Successful Job-Hunt

1. No one owes you a job. You have to go out and look for it.

2. Your success is directly proportionate to your effort.

3. Be willing to change your strategy.

4. Ask successful job hunters what they did.

5. Treat your job-hunt as a full time job.

6. Remember that the shortest job hunt still lasts between two and eighteen weeks.

7. Persistence is the name of the game.

8. You will not find the same exact job you had before, so redefine yourself.

9. Forget what is "available" and go for the job you really want.

10. Tell everyone to keep a lookout for that type of job opening.

11. If you own an answering machine, tailor your opening message to communicate your ongoing job hunt.

12. Join a job-hunter's support group in your area. If you can't find any, create your own.

13. Go after several organizations at once.

14. Go after any place that interests you regardless of whether there are vacancies or not.

15. Concentrate on organizations that employ 20 people or less.

16. Go see 4 potential employers a day. If you are using the telephone, call up 40 a day.

17. Use the phone and the Yellow Pages to call up places of interest and ask if they are hiring.

18. Go to places where you would like to work and knock on their doors.

19. Look for full-time, part-time, contract jobs or temporary jobs and other types of jobs.

20. Forget about your handicap, whether real or imagined.

21. Don't become depressed if you encounter several rejections.

22. Treat everyone you meet with courtesy.

23. Write a thank-you note to those who gave you their time that day.

Finding Your Dream Job How do you identify your dream job?

1. What are my transferable skills? What are my fields of fascination?

2. Draw a picture or in this case, The Flower diagram we use in Parachute, to have a picture of your new career. Give it a name. Go find a person who is already doing it.

3. Interview that person for information, to find out what the job is really like.

4. Research organizations in your area.

5. Network and seek out the persons who have the power to hire you.

6. Use your contacts to get to this person and show him how you stand out among others.

7. Take no short cuts, if you need to re-train or go back to school to get your dream job, do it.

8. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. If one path isn't working, try a Plan B.

The 10 Commandments for Job Interviews

1. Go after small organizations, those with 20-50 employees.

2. Ask everyone you know to keep a look out for your specific job opening.

3. Do your homework on the organization before going there.

4. Identify the person with the power to hire you and use your contacts to see this person.

5. Ask for only 20 minutes of their time and keep to your word.

6. Go to the interview to see if this organization suits your values, your agenda and your life.

7. When answering questions keep your answers down to 20 seconds or two minutes, max.

8. Approach them as a resource person who can offer a service rather than a job beggar.

9. Always send a thank-you note the very next day after an interview.

10. Little things may turn them off such as personal hygiene and lack of self-confidence.

The Seven Secrets of Salary Negotiation

1. Never discuss salary until the end of the interviewing process, when they have definitely said they will hire you.

2. The purpose of salary negotiation is to find out the most that an employer is willing to pay to get you.

3. Never be the first to mention a salary figure.

4. Do your homework on how much you will need per month.

5. Do careful research on salaries in your field or in that organization.

6. Define a range the employer may have in mind, and a range for yourself.

7. Don't leave it hanging. Bring the salary negotiation to a close. Request a letter of agreement or an employment contract. Get it in writing.

The Final Word

Part of the search for happiness and a deeper meaning in our lives goes hand in hand with recognizing our relationship with God.

By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla Regine Azurin is the President of BusinessSummaries.com, a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.

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