What Color is Your Parachute – Finding out what mine is

I’ve started reading the book “What Color is your Parachute – A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers” Written by Richard Bolles. It’s a book to help you find meaningful work and career success.

I tried reading this book a long time ago and I never really got into it and most definitely didn’t do the exercises within in it.

It was first written in 1975, with an update every single year. So it’s kept up with the changes over time. In fact it’s had over ten million copies sold.

Why Am I Reading this Book?

There’s some changes coming up in my current job.

In simple terms one group is taking over managing the role I currently do. But in reality in my own opinion they want the gear, but not the people.

In fact the more I think about it. The job I currently do really doesn’t make much sense. I’ve been doing in over 9 years now, I get paid OK. I can’t really complain.

Time to be Realistic

Even thought they haven’t explicitly said they won’t take us. They’ve said there is no current match with what we do, and what they want to do.

The time frame for this change is mid 2025. 

I feel that is going to be brought forward and a whole lot of people are going to be wondering what the hell they are going to do.

Now’s a good time to look into what I’d like to be doing in the future. This book is going to help, hopefully.

Is a Job a Job?

I’ve never really known what I’ve wanted to do.

I’ve just done the stuff I know how to do, to pay the bills and occasionally other things.

I never really thought about putting much thought into this whole work thing. It was sort of apply for things, see what you can get, then go from there.

After reading this book. Maybe that wasn’t the best option.

But you don’t know what you don’t know

I’m not sure if schools are much better than they were when I was there.

I feel there is a while bunch of kids out there that have no idea what they want to do. They fall into the group that doesn’t go to uni to do something. They got get a job. Whatever they can at the time.

They then work from there. 

It works for some people. It doesn’t work for others. The same can be said for uni as well.

I think they need a better process. Maybe something like this book.

How This Book Helps

It helps you think about the things you like and don’t like about work / jobs.

I think it’s a bit easier once you’ve had a couple of different work experiences. From there you try and whittle down what could work best for you.

Then you go after those jobs. 

Seems simple enough. But there is a bunch of work to put in to figure out what works best for you.

Jobs are strange

People that want a career in a field they like are very lucky I think. They have a goal, a path to get to that goal and they go for it.

Sure they might not actually like it when they get there. Or they might just do something completely different once they get to that point. There are stories like that all the time.

Some people work jobs they don’t like just to pay the bills. Maybe they don’t know any other way. Maybe they are scared of change or just want to do the thing they know how to do.

There’s a lot of jobs out there that I wonder why would someone do that. The same could probably be said for the jobs I’ve had in the past.

I don’t know what’s going to happen

I think a lot of it stems from whatever you do first.

I worked a lot and carried on in the same type of work I had done in the past, because that is what I knew how to do. It also allowed me to get similar jobs in different places.

I never once stopped to think about doing something else. I probably should of. But I could never answer the question of what do you want to do?

I know some things

I know what I don’t like doing. What I don’t do very well.

I guess that’s a start.

I also have the feeling that I could do a lot of different jobs. I can see myself doing it. I can see myself learning the skills. I’m not sure if I can see myself enjoying the work though.

I’m a kinesthetic type of learner. I learn by doing. 

When you apply for a position and you don’t get it, you feel bummed out. You feel if only someone gave you the chance you could do that job.

But it doesn’t work that way. Most people employ people that already have the skills they are after. 

Time to do things differently

It’s time to look at things differently.

First step is to read this book.

At the end of it I will have worked through the flower exercise and have that page filled out. It’s made up of 7 sections. Which are:

1. My preferred kinds of people to work with
2. My favorite working conditions
3. What I can do and love to do (my favorite transferable skills)
4. My favorite knowledges or fields of interest
5. Level of responsibility I’d like 
6. My preferred kinds of places to live
7. My goal, purpose or mission in life (or my philosophy about life)

So yeah. It’s all a bit daunting.

What I don’t want to do is is get stuck in a position where I have no job. Have to rush to find something, anything and then work from there.

I’ll update this more as my journey progresses.

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