What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters & Career-changers

Front Cover
Ten Speed Press, 2004 - Business & Economics - 411 pages
4 Reviews
What Color Is Your Parachute?≠has been the best-selling job-hunting book in the world for more than three decades, in good times and bad, and it continues to be a fixture on best-seller lists, fromNew York TimestoBusinessWeek. It has sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages around the world.

Parachuteis streamlined this year to help those struggling in these hard economic times acquire the job-search tools they need faster and more efficiently. Its life-saving information is, as always, updated and relevant to today’s job market.

Career guru Richard N. Bolles leads job-hunters to find meaningful work. He asks, WHAT skills do you most love to use? WHERE–in what field–would you most love to use them? And HOW do you find such a job without depending on agencies and ads?

This book is not only about finding a job in hard times. It’s about finding your passion. In the words ofFortunemagazine: “Parachuteremains the gold standard of career guides.”


“Ideally, everyone should readWhat Color Is Your Parachute?in the tenth grade and again every year thereafter.”
–Anne Fisher, Fortune

“It was one of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.”
–Fast Company

Parachuteis still a top seller and it remains the go-to guide for everyone from midlife-crisis boomers looking to change their careers to college students looking to start one.”
–New York Post

“There’sParachute, and then there’s all the rest. . . . a life-changing book.”
–Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


What Color Is Your Parachute?is the world’s most popular job-hunting guide, with 10 million copies sold, in 20 languages. ThisNew York TimesandBusinessWeekbest seller answers such questions as:

“I was just laid off from my current job. What do I do first?” See page 3.
“What are the most helpful job sites on the Internet, out of the thousands that are there?” See page 5.
“What are the five best–and worst–ways to hunt for a job?” See page 24.
“I haven’t a clue how to do salary negotiation. Help!” See Chapter 7 (starting on page 99).
“In general, what are employers looking for?” See page 18.
“What interview questions can I expect to be asked, and how do I answer them?” See Chapter 6 (starting on page 71).
“I’m over 50. What special problems do I face when I go job-hunting?” See Chapter 10 (starting on page 143).
“How do I survive financially while I’m out of work, and how do I find health insurance when I have no employer?” See page 11.

Turn to the last page of the book for more questions.



RICHARD N. BOLLES has been a leader in the career development field for more than thirty-five years. He was trained in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in physics from Harvard University and a master’s in sacred theology from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Marci.

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About the author (2004)

Richard Nelson Bolles was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 19, 1927. During World War II, he served in the Navy. He studied chemical engineering for two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then transferred to Harvard University, where he received a bachelor's degree in physics. After graduation, he decided to become an Episcopal minister. He received a master's degree in New Testament studies from General Theological Seminary in New York and was ordained in 1953. He had been a clergyman for 18 years when a combination of budget problems and philosophical differences with superiors led to the elimination of his job and his dismissal in 1968 as a pastor at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. After six months of searching, he got a job with United Ministries in Higher Education, an interdenominational church organization that recruited and supported college chaplains across the country. However, when the college chaplains were increasingly being laid off, he decided to help the chaplains find new careers. He was an ordained Episcopal minister until 2004, when he left the ministry. In 1970, he self-published What Color Is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers as a photocopied how-to booklet for unemployed ministers. In 1972, he recast it to appeal to a wider audience and found an independent publisher willing to print small batches so that it could be frequently updated. His other books included How to Find Your Mission in Life and The Three Boxes of Life and How to Get Out of Them. He died on March 31, 2017 at the age of 90.

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