Read What Color Is Your Parachute? Online

Authors: Carol Christen,Jean M. Blomquist,Richard N. Bolles

Tags: #Juvenile Nonfiction, #Business & Economics, #Careers, #School & Education, #Non-Fiction

What Color Is Your Parachute? (3 page)

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
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We want your life to be different. We want you to have both the skills and the knowledge necessary to find good and rewarding work throughout your life.

The world of work changes constantly. Some jobs disappear, while new ones appear; others change significantly because of scientific advances, new technology, or the needs and expectations of society. The strength or weakness of the economy also affects the number and types of jobs available. If you have solid job-search skills and know what you really want to do, you can thrive—or, like a cat, always land on your feet—even when the work world changes.

Perhaps you’ve had a few part-time jobs already. Maybe you liked your work, maybe you didn’t. More likely, you liked some parts of your work but
not others. Those work experiences—and all your life experiences—are valuable because they can tell you important things about yourself and about the work you want to do.

Are you ready for an adventure? Great! That’s what this book can offer you—an adventure in discovering more about you and what’s most important to you. So let’s get started by looking at your life and discovering your answer to this question: How do I find work I will love?

Some people think that career planning means narrowing down your options or making a decision early and being stuck with it. Good career planning—the kind you’re going to learn by reading this book—doesn’t do either. In fact, Parachute career planning is a decision-making process that involves learning about yourself and the job market so you can expand—not narrow—your options.

you know what your dream job is? If you have talked with half a dozen people who do that job and you’re absolutely sure of what you long to do, that’s great. But maybe you aren’t so sure. That’s fine too. Perhaps your dream job will become clear over time, as it does for many people. Whichever is true for you, we believe that the search for your dream job is very important. Because so much of your adult life will be spent working, finding work you love will help make your whole life more satisfying, gratifying, and fun.

Speaking of fun, that’s what the process of finding your dream job can be. You’ll become a detective looking for clues in your own life,
discovering what matters most to you: what you love to do, who your favorite types of people are, and where you’d like to do what you love to do. As you gather together these clues from your own life, you’ll discover the foundation for finding work you love.

“I was lucky—
I found what I wanted to do early in life.”

—STEVE JOBS, cofounder
and CEO of Apple

Most people don’t find their dream job because they think that having their whole dream come true isn’t possible. They may pursue just part of it—whatever they think might come true. The problem is, if you only pursue half your dream, your whole heart won’t be in it. You’ll pursue that half dream halfheartedly, and half your dream is all that will ever come true.

We want you to discover and pursue your whole dream with your whole heart! To do this, we’ll begin by asking you three basic questions in
part 1
of this book: What do you like to do and what are you good at? Who (that is, what kind of people) do you like to do those things with? Where do you like to do those things? Once you know your what, who, and where, you’ll be ready to explore how to find work you’ll love. We’ll look at the question of
part 3
. But before that, in
part 2
we’ll look at some things you can do right now to get yourself on your way to your dream job.

Before you begin your detective work, though, you may have one other question you’d like answered: Why is this book called
What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens
? The “for teens” part is clear—it means this book is for you. But what about this “parachute” thing? We use the image of a parachute because a parachute helps you land where you want and need to land. In the case of finding your dream job, your parachute is made up of all your skills, goals, and desires or dreams. Everyone’s parachute is a different color because every person’s
skills, goals, and desires come together in a different way. As you explore the questions what, who, and where (and how, in
part 3
), you’ll list your most important discoveries about yourself on your own parachute (see
My Parachute diagram

You may want to keep your answers in a journal and return to these questions after a few months, after your first job, or after you get some technical training or go on to college. Your answers will change as you accumulate more life and work experience. The answers to some questions may not be very clear now, but they’ll become clearer over time. And answers that you’re certain of now may remain steady through the years, which will confirm their importance in your life.

When you put all your what, who, and where clues in one place (on your parachute), you’ll have a clear word picture to guide you in finding work you’ll love. Whatever color it is, your parachute will be designed to help you land in just the right spot in life—in a job you’ll love.


What You Love to Do


Why does this first chapter focus on what you love to do? Because what you love to do reveals your interests and your skills. Those favorite interests and skills, especially the skills that you most enjoy using (which we call your “best” skills), are major clues to finding work that you’ll love. Let’s look at your interests first.

Discover Your Favorite Interests

Take a moment and think about how you spend your time. Of the things that you do, what is the most fun? What captures your attention—and your imagination? What is your favorite subject in school? Everyone will have different answers—his or her unique combination of interests. Danika, for example, loves movies. Jeff spends hours on his computer, trying to figure out new ways of doing things. Jessica loves plants and gardening, and Darnel lives and breathes sports—all kinds of sports. So how might these different interests lead Danika, Jeff, Jessica, and Darnel to work they’ll love?

Let’s take a look at Danika’s interests first. She loves movies. If she chooses movies (or filmmaking) as a career field, what could she do? Our first thoughts usually go to the obvious: she could be an actress, a screenwriter, or a director—or maybe a movie critic (then she’d get to see lots of movies). But Danika has many more possibilities to choose from. She could be a researcher (especially for historical movies), travel expert (to scout locations), interior designer (to design sets), carpenter (to build sets), painter (for backdrops and the like), costume designer, makeup artist, hair stylist, camera operator, lighting technician, sound mixer or editor, composer (for soundtracks), stunt person, caterer, personal assistant (to the director or cast members), first aid person, secretary, publicist, accountant, or any number of other things.

Danika also loves animals and is really good at training them. She could combine her interests—movies and animals—with her skill in training animals, and become an animal trainer (or “wrangler” as they’re sometimes called) for the film industry. That’s a job most people wouldn’t think of when considering careers in film.

What kind of career might Jeff’s interest in computers lead to? He could be a programmer, do computer repair, or develop video games. Or because he loves art as well as computers, maybe he’ll work with Danika in the film industry as a computer graphics designer (for special effects).

Jessica, because of her interest in plants and gardening, could become a florist, botanist, or developer of plant hybrids, or she might run her own landscape design, lawn maintenance, or plant nursery business. Darnel’s love of sports might lead him to be a professional athlete, a coach, or maybe—because he loves working with kids and has a little brother with cerebral palsy—he might teach adaptive physical education, helping children with physical disabilities get the exercise they need.

As you can see, your interests can lead you in many different directions in your work life. It’s true that interests change with time, age, and exposure to new people, places, and experiences. But it’s also true that your interests now may be with you all your life, so naming your current interests is a great starting place for finding work you’ll love. Let’s take a closer look at your interests now.

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
6.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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