It is billed as a ‘practical guide’ for job seekers. But more than that, What Color is your Parachute? is an insightful, exciting and funny self-help book that can be relevant for anyone— and everyone— who’s out in the market in these trying times. Together with our cover package (Page 40-59), it can be your ‘Job Bible’ to find a better workplace (no, we are not being optimistic) even during the downturn.
|What Color is your Parachute?|
|Price ||Rs 774 |
|Author ||Richard Nelson Bolles |
|Publisher ||Ten Speed Press |
|Target audience||All employed people |
|Language ||Easy |
|Style ||Illustrative |
|Visuals ||Tables & Charts |
|Quick read tip: Read only the sections that are applicable to you. So, if you are a job seeker, read chapters 3 to 7 |
It can be your parachute to escape almost unscathed the emotional, intellectual and financial crash. More importantly, it helps demolish several jobrelated myths, points out mistakes that we make while searching for a job, and presents a blueprint for corrective action.
For instance, did you know that a typical job search lasts 15-19 weeks depending on the state of the economy? Most people who don’t find employment easily are the ones who get frustrated and give up after hunting for two months (eight weeks). The best way to avoid this is to use multiple methods— circulate CVs to headhunters, apply directly to companies and use social networks to find out about openings. Research has shown that only a third of those who use several methods give up within two months; the figure for those using only one method is over 50%.
“Further, it’s been discovered that when you are answering questions during a job interview, you are more likely to get hired if each answer you give is at least twenty seconds in length, but not more than two minutes,” says the author. On the whole, during an interview, your chances increase if both the interviewee and the interviewer talk for almost the same time. “Another research finding: you are more likely to get hired, if right after the interview you send two thank-you notes, one e-mailed and the other handwritten….”
Similarly, the best way to look for a job is not through Internet searches, by answering employment ads or going to private HR consultants. The chances of landing a job in such cases are not higher than 30%. However, if you use social networks, make cold calls using Yellow Pages, or knock on the doors of prospective employers, your chances increase dramatically to 70%. In case you pursue the ‘life Similarly, the best way to look for a job is not through Internet searches, by answering employment ads or going to private HR consultants.
The chances of landing a job in such cases are not higher than 30%. However, if you use social networks, make cold calls using Yellow Pages, or knock on the doors of prospective employers, your chances increase dramatically to 70%. In case you pursue the ‘lifechanging job hunt’ method, which was invented by the late John Crystal and which involves extensive homework on yourself to find out what you really want, the figure for success rate climbs up to as high as 86%, or “over 11 times higher than if you just sent out resumes”.
Still, says Richard Nelson Bolles, the resume has its benefits. But it is useful only “to get yourself invited to an interview”, and not to get the job. It’s more like a “business card”, and not your “biography”. So, you need to evaluate everything you write to determine whether the item you have included will help you to get invited. In addition, a printed resume is first felt by the receiver and then seen; therefore, the paper you use can be a critical factor. But experts contend that “a resume is something you should never send ahead of you, but always leave behind you”.
Apart from such information, Bolles also looks at combating the emotional stress that individuals undergo once they have lost their jobs and are unable to find another one quickly. For Apart from such information, Bolles also looks at combating the emotional stress that individuals undergo once they have lost their jobs and are unable to find another one quickly. For example, he says that a job hunt “offers a chance to make some fundamental changes in our lives”. It helps us to think at a philosophical level. This leads to an intense process of learning and unlearning, which can help us become better human beings. Therefore, instead of looking at job loss as a trauma, you should think of it as an opportunity to keep your body and soul together.
The problem, as is the case with guides, is that they are impractical when it comes to implementing them. It’s good to say ‘don’t lose heart’; you will find a job within 20 weeks. But imagine the stress that builds up every nanosecond that you don’t have one. It’s easy to say this is an opportunity, but try telling that to a person who has a spouse, two kids and five EMIs to pay. It’s easy to say scale down your lifestyle for a few months, but imagine someone who’s used to a flashy car taking a DTC bus or an auto rickshaw. So, as a reader, decide which portions of the book are relevant to you and can be implemented by you, and forget about the rest.