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? (8 page)

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
8.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
If you envision yourself in a job where you have customers, clients, or patients, list what kind of people you’d want them to be. For example, let’s say you want to be a speech pathologist working with children and teens. Your patients would be “children and teens.” Prioritize this list, as well. Once you’ve figured out your top two or three descriptors from both prioritized lists, write them into the Favorite Types of People section of your Parachute diagram (or if there’s no room, draw a line and write it along the bottom of the page).

Using Career Assessments

You may find that your school offers some written career assessments that you can take as part of a career class or career-center orientation. If your school doesn’t have a career program or hasn’t offered you any assessments by the time you are fifteen, you can find a few options online (see
If You Want to Explore Further
for resources). Either way, if your school has guidance counselors, show them your results and ask them to help you figure out what the results point to for your future. Not asking for that help can make it hard for you to know how to use the results from the assessments. Keep in mind that assessments have limitations: often they will tell you more about the style with which you perform your skills than what your best skills actually are (which is why filling out your Parachute diagram is so important).

Holland Code, the three letters you chose in the
Party exercise, not only tells you what type of people you enjoy being with, it also provides clues to jobs you might enjoy. For example, if your three letters are RIA (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic), you may find being a police sketch artist or occupational therapist of interest. If your letters are SEC (Social, Enterprising, Conventional), you might enjoy working as a self-employed wedding planner or an event coordinator.
You can explore job possibilities using your Holland Code at
, where Holland Codes are given for numerous job descriptions. Although this site is for jobs found in California (there is no national site quite like it), if you come acoss several jobs you like, do your own research to find out whether there are similar jobs where you live—or where you want to live. You can use your three-letter Holland Code to research job possibilities on many websites and in other job-hunting resources. The great thing about this approach is that you may discover interesting jobs you might never have thought of doing, or even jobs you never knew existed.

No assessment can give you a final, definitive answer about what job would be perfect for you; it can, however, give you helpful clues as to where you should begin your search for your dream job. In the United States, there are currently about twenty thousand job titles out there for you to choose from. Plus, technology and consumer demand create new jobs every year. Assessments should begin with those twenty thousand, and then narrow the territory down for you. Unfortunately, only a few hundred jobs are included in the databases of career assessments from the get-go. The jobs suggested are those chosen in the past by people who answered the assessment’s questions the same way you did. So,
you’ll get a limited list of jobs based on your interests. Still, it’s a place to start. Do some research on the Internet or in books like the occupational guides in the library. Learn a bit about each job that’s suggested before nixing it. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t like any of the suggestions you get. Do a little bit of thinking. In what field are the jobs that were suggested for you? Does this field interest you, even if the particular jobs suggested don’t? There might be other jobs in this field that would use all your skills. Through research and networking (which we’ll explore later in the book), you can find the right job for you.


The Holland Code

The Party exercise gives an approximation of your Holland Code. If you want to take a longer test to more accurately determine your Holland Code, you can take the Self-Directed Search (SDS), developed by Dr. Holland. The SDS online costs $9.95, and it will take you approximately fifteen minutes to complete. You’ll get a personalized report on your computer screen (which you can print out) that lists the occupations and fields of study that most closely match your interests.

If you would like quick, free online assessments (based on Dr. Holland’s work) to find jobs you might be interested in, check out

The EUREKA site provides a variety of job-search resources, including job possibilities for various Holland Codes. For a $30 fee, you gain access to all that EUREKA offers. Your school may subscribe to EUREKA and you may also be able to gain free access through a counselor, teacher, or adviser.

Career Assessments

You can learn about the usefulness and limitations of career assessments and find links to online assessments at


Where You Love to Be


Your heart has its own geography, where it prefers to be. That may be by a mountain stream. It may be in the Alps. It may be in the hustle and bustle of the streets of Shanghai or New York. It may be on an Oregon farm. It may be a beach town. Or it might be right where you are now—in your own hometown, in your own backyard, at your high school. Maybe what you’d really love to do is return there someday as a teacher.

Your heart knows the places that it loves. That’s what we’ll be exploring in this chapter, because finding where you love to be is connected with doing what you love to do and who you want to do it with. It’s an important part of being happy with your whole life, not just a small part of it. It’s living your whole dream, not just half (or less) of it.

There are lots of ways to consider where you want to be. We’ll explore two: your ideal work environment and your ideal community (which includes geographical location). We’ll be asking you a lot of questions. You may have answers to some of them and none to others. Maybe you won’t even have answers to most of the questions. That’s OK. Answer what you can—we’re
certain you’ll have some answers—and just keep the rest of the questions in the back of your mind. Questions, even when you don’t know the answer, can help you notice new things or think about things in a way you hadn’t thought about them before. For example, if we ask, “Would you rather work outside or indoors?” and you aren’t sure, you may start to notice what types of jobs are done indoors or outdoors, or jobs that combine both indoor and outdoor work. Maybe you’d be fine working indoors all the time, but you’d want to live in an area where you could go skiing or surfing on the weekend.

Use the answers you do have as a foundation for further exploration of where you’d love to be—to live, to work, to play. Your answers will change over time, as you visit places you’ve never been before, as you go to technical school or college, or as you experience your first job. All of these experiences will help you learn what, who, and where is most important in your life.

Each person’s ideal working conditions are different. Let’s start by exploring something you may never have thought about before: your ideal work environment and what makes it just right for you.

Your Work Environment

When you begin working, roughly one-quarter of your time each week will be at your job. Many a person has gotten what they thought would be their ideal job, only to find that even though they are doing what they most want to do, the workplace is so uncomfortable they must quit. Your work environment needs to be one not only in which you feel comfortable but in which you can thrive. We use the term “environment” here because your ideal “where” includes more than just the location (office, laboratory, farm) where you do your work. The environment also includes, among many other things, your work space (desk, cubicle, lab space, five-hundred-acre ranch, machine shop), physical conditions (windows or no windows, natural or fluorescent lighting, noisy or quiet), atmosphere (formal, casual, amount of contact with people, working style), company size (small, large, local, national, international), and clothing (uniform, suit, jeans).

If you’ve already had some work experience or if you’ve visited various workplaces (for example, where your parents work, your doctor’s office, your school), think about what you liked or didn’t like. Another way to approach this is to think about where you like to study—in a quiet library or in your bedroom with the CD player on, alone or with a group, and so on. Where do you feel
comfortable or uncomfortable? Where would you like to spend more time? The same job (or very similar jobs) can happen in many different environments—some you would love, some you would hate! So let’s start exploring what’s just right for you.

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
8.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

An Ordinary Fairy by John Osborne
tameallrom by Unknown
Gravity by Leanne Lieberman
The Reluctant Bachelor by Syndi Powell
Gamerunner by B. R. Collins
Talk to Me by Cassandra Carr
Blessed Is the Busybody by Emilie Richards
The Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry