Cover image for What color is your parachute? : a practical manual for job-hunters & career changers
What color is your parachute? : a practical manual for job-hunters & career changers
Bolles, Richard Nelson.
Personal Author:
2003 edition.
Publication Information:
Berkeley, Calif. : Ten Speed, [2003]

Physical Description:
xviii, 411 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5383 .B56 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Thoroughly revised for 2003, a handy job-hunter's guide explains how to identify one's personal goals and interests and explains how to apply that information toward obtaining satisfying employment, with tips on interviews, salary negotiation techniques, career searching online, and more.

Author Notes

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.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2003 Editionp. xi
Chapter 1 What Are You Looking For?p. 1
Chapter 2 Job-Hunting At Warp Speedp. 15
Chapter 3 But What If That Doesn't Work?p. 31
Chapter 4 How Employers Hunt For Job-Huntersp. 53
Chapter 5 Twenty-Three Tips For A Successful Job-Huntp. 69
Chapter 6 How To Start Your Own Businessp. 93
Chapter 7 The Secret To Finding Your Dream Jobp. 125
Chapter 8 When You Lose All Track Of Timep. 153
Chapter 9 The Geography Of The Heartp. 177
Chapter 10 Getting In To Impossible Placesp. 223
Chapter 11 Interviewing Tips For Smartiesp. 239
Chapter 12 The Seven Secrets Of Salary Negotiationp. 279
Epilogue: How To Find Your Mission In Lifep. 307
Appendix A The Flower Exercisep. 328
Appendix B Finding Help: A Samplerp. 371
Appendix C How To Choose A Career Coach Or Counselorp. 393
Indexp. 405