We've come a long way since 1970 when Richard Bolles penned What Color Is Your Parachute? This treasured book has sold more than 10 million copies in 28 countries since it was first published, and it is revised each year to keep up to date for those searching for a job or new career.
I remember many years ago thumbing through the book at a friend's house, then going out to buy my own copy the next day. Although I had a job at the time -- I was answering phones at a lighting and supply store -- not exactly my "career choice." It was just that, a job. A paycheck.
Sound advice & reflection
I found the book to be a lot of common sense, but it also provided a certain inspiration for this gal who had no clue what she wanted to do the rest of her life. I had a daughter at a very young age and found myself divorced and widowed by the time she was 3. While I still wasn't quite sure of a career path, this "guide" helped me begin to explore areas that piqued my interest and develop new skills accordingly.
My next endeavour in the work world would last 13 years at a Thoroughbred racing magazine in Lexington, Ky. I started out in the research department then worked my way through the ranks to the assistant to the Executive Editor. These years turned out to be pivotal in terms of discovering my strengths and weaknesses. I was introduced to the world of writing, editing and tons of proofreading. Soon after, came computers and early internet. I was hooked.
My fascination led me to "follow my passion," which was pretty much the takeaway for me years earlier when I had read Parachute for the first time. I recall when the author had explained how he came up with the book's title, which was in response to someone telling him that he and several co-workers were "bailing out" of a failing organization. This prompted Bolles to answer jokingly, "So, what color is your parachute?"
While not everyone agrees with this advice, one thing I believe is for sure. If you have the interest, the courage, the drive, the desire, the enthusiasm, and the positivity -- that passion increases your chances for success substantially. For me, enjoying what I do is far more important than making a fortune. I'd say that kind of passion ... is golden.