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? (40 page)

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
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To steer your career toward success, you will also want to analyze the natural resources needed by and affected by the kind of work you want to do. Are those resources becoming scarce and more expensive? Just as the once-fashionable tall beaver hats worn by men (think President Lincoln) disappeared because beavers were overhunted, resources that are depleted, becoming overly expensive in the process, cause jobs to dwindle as well. If the materials necessary for your job become harder to get, or are predicted to, begin your quest for a new job.

Financial Sustainability

Remember the definition of sustainable as something that is easily maintained? If your combined student loan and credit card debt exceeds two-thirds of your starting salary, you won’t find it easy to maintain yourself.

When you have a job that is financially sustainable, your income covers your bills (and those of your dependents) and allows for saving. As you make decisions about the kind of work you want to do, consider how much the training, internships, or education to qualify for that work will cost you. What would your starting salary be? If the necessary studies will put you in debt for more than the
annual salary you’ll make starting out, that choice is not financially sustainable. Both a dream job and a good job need to be financially sustainable. This doesn’t mean you should give up a career path because it is too expensive to pursue at the moment. You may need to alternate education and work for a number of years until you can afford to study exactly what you want. Remember the preface to this book? If it’s going to take you about ten years to become financially independent or assemble the education and experience that your dream job needs, you’ve got time to climb that education and work ladder.

There has been a significant increase over the last few years in people’s interest in green careers, and the group leading the charge is … young people. A survey by MonsterTRAK found that about 80% of young adults want a career that is green, or ecofriendly, and even more (90%) want to work for employers who are environmentally responsible. Could this be due to the global warming/climate change and various other environmental problems that have been left to the younger generations to fix? It’s not like we gave them a choice.
—JIM CASSIO, coauthor of
Green Careers: Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future


We are heavily indebted to author workforce consultant Jim Cassio for tutoring us about green jobs. You can thank him by buying the book he coauthored with Alice Rush:

Cassio, Jim, and Alice Rush.
Green Careers: Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future
by New Society Publishers, 2009. You can also visit his website,
, where you can download his free e-book
Green Careers Resource Guide
or sign up for one of his informative workshops on green careers.

Llewellyn, A. Bronwyn, James P. Hendrix, and K. C. Golden.
Green Jobs: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Employment
. Adams Media, 2008.

Everett, Melissa.
Making a Living While Making a Difference
. New Society Publishers, 2007.

Hunter, Malcolm L. Jr., David Lindenmayer, and Aram Calhoun.
Saving the Earth as a Career: Advice on Becoming a Conservation Professional
. Wiley-Blackwell, 2007.

Green Career Job Boards

Green Career Central

Green Careers Center

Green Dream Jobs

Green Careers Networking Sites


Beyond Your Dream Job


You’ve probably heard the saying “There’s more to life than work.” We agree wholeheartedly with that saying and would add that there’s even more to life than the very good and fulfilling work that we hope you’ll find in your dream job. Though our main focus has been to prepare you to find that dream job, we have an even deeper purpose for writing this book. That purpose is to help you live a good and fulfilling life—to get the whole life you want.

In this chapter, we invite you to explore what that whole life means for you. We’ll begin by asking you to reflect on the people, things, and activities that you want to include in your life. Next, we’ll ask you to delve a bit deeper and consider the underpinnings of your life—your values and beliefs, what we call your “philosophy of life.” After that, we encourage you to look at those people you respect and admire—your role models—and consider how they can help you become the person you want to be. Finally, we’ll invite you to look at your purpose or mission in life—what it is that you’ve been put on earth to do and who you are to become. In each of these areas, we’ll ask you to spend time reflecting on different aspects of your life—how you want to live your life and
what type of person you most want to be. Although you can learn from how other people answer these questions, to get the life you want, you must answer them with your own thoughts.

Envisioning Your Life, Defining Your Future

What kind of life do you want? Knowing what you want is the first step to making that life happen. As you’ve gone through this book, you’ve spent a lot of time discovering what it is you want in your dream job. But what else do you want? How do you want to fill your hours outside of work? What about being alive is most important to you? Here are a few things you might want as part of your whole life:

• Friends, family, a life partner, children, pets
• Sports and outdoor activities
• Cultural activities (theater, music, dance)
• Travel and time for hobbies
• Involvement with community or religious organizations
• Participation in political or environmental causes

Obviously, there are many more things you can do with your time outside work, but we hope this short list will be enough to get you thinking about what you want in your life. Another way of looking at it is to think about what you enjoy doing now and want to continue doing. Also consider whether anything is missing from your life that you want to be a part of your future.

The power of vision is extraordinary.
WITT JONES, award-winning National Geographic photographer

For example, what kind of family life do you want to have as an adult, particularly in relation to your work? Will it be like the family life you have now, or will it be different? Kyle, age fifteen, wants something different because, as he puts it, “My dad hides out at work.” Family life is often neglected these days. Parents now spend 40 percent less time with their children than they did in the 1960s. If you want to have children, what kind of parent do you want to be? What kind of family life do you want to have?

Lisa, age fifteen, also wants something different because, she says, “Sometimes adults make it seem like all they do is work. This doesn’t make being an adult very attractive.” What would make being an adult attractive to you? Who are the adults you admire—and why do you admire them?

To do this exercise, you’ll need the following materials (or, if you have computer skills for doing graphic art, you may prefer to use your computer):
BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
12.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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