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? (9 page)

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
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Answer the following questions as best you can. Because there are a lot of questions, don’t try to answer them all at once. Set a timer for ten to fifteen minutes. Answer as many questions as you can during that time. If you’re enjoying the exercise when the timer goes off, set it for another ten to fifteen minutes. Another option is to answer some of the questions now, then come back again in a week or two and answer some more. By then, you may have noticed things that you aren’t aware of right now. Also, if you think of something not included here, be sure to put that on your list too.
Where would you most like to work…
• Indoors or outdoors?
• In an office building? In a machine shop? On a ranch? At your home? Somewhere else?
• In an urban, suburban, or rural area?
• In many locations or one spot (travel or no travel)?
Work Space
What kind of space would you most enjoy…
• A cubicle in a large room with lots of other people in their own cubicles?
• Your own desk in a private office?
• Lots of variety—at a desk, in your car, at clients’ locations, on airplanes, in hotels?
• A classroom, laboratory, hospital?
• Garage or workshop?
• Outdoors—golf course? ranch? barn? forest? under the sea?
• A place with everything you need—all the latest tools or technology and necessary supplies—or a place where you need to be creative with limited resources, supplies, and equipment?
Physical Conditions
Do you prefer…
• Fancy and upscale, moderately nice, or does it not matter?
• Windows that open and close or a climate-controlled building?
• Natural or artificial light?
• A light or dark environment?
• Comfortable temperature or varied temperatures?
• Safe or risky?
Do you prefer…
• Noisy or quiet?
• Calm or bustling?
• Formal or casual—for example, do you want to call your coworkers “Ms. Smith” and “Mr. Jones,” or do you prefer that everyone is on a first-name basis?
• Lots of contact with coworkers or very little?
• Lots of contact with the public (clients, patients, customers) or very little?
• Working by yourself with minimal contact with others or working frequently or constantly with others?
• A hierarchical setting (where the boss tells everyone what to do) or a collaborative setting (where the staff works together to determine goals, priorities, and workload)?
Size/Type of Business
Do you prefer…
• Large or small? (Think about what “large” and “small” mean to you.)
• Locally owned, national chain, or multinational?
• Knowing all your colleagues and customers or always having a chance to meet someone new?
• A for-profit or nonprofit organization?
• Running your own business?
What would you like to wear at work…
• A suit?
• Trendy clothes?
• Casual, comfortable clothes?
• Jeans and a casual shirt?
• A uniform (for example, military, firefighter, police officer, waiter/waitress)?
• A lab coat?
• Different clothes for different aspects of your job (for example, a suit when meeting an important client, casual clothes for regular days in the office)?
• Whatever you want to wear?
• Something else?
Write each of your answers on a small slip of paper or sticky note, then put them in order of what is most important to you. (You may want to include one or two items from each of the categories—Location, Work Space, and so on.) Select the five factors that are most important to you. Write these in the My Ideal Work Environment section of
My Parachute

Your Ideal Community

Everyone has different ideas of what makes a great place to live. If you love to ski, you’ll want to be within reasonable distance of the mountains. If you love to surf, you’ll want to live near the coast. Another person may want to live near a lake or river, or in the desert. You may want to live near good friends or family. Or, if you have excellent foreign language skills (or want to develop them), you may want to live in a foreign country.

And, more directly related to their jobs, some people want to work within a few blocks of a mass-transit stop. Others want to drive to work and therefore want lots of parking. Some people might want their gym or favorite coffee bar nearby, a grocery store located on the route home from work, or a park close enough for eating lunch or taking a walk. What characteristics do you want in the community where you’ll live and work?

Geographical Features
Do you want to live…
• In or near the mountains? near the coast? in the desert? on the plains?
• In a small town (less than 5,000 people), a medium-sized city (5,000–20,000), a large city (20,000–500,000), a major metropolitan area (500,000 or larger)?
• In a rural area with a town or city within a reasonable distance or in an isolated area, far from “civilization”?
Do you prefer…
• A good mix of age, ethnic, economic, and religious groups?
• Mostly people your own age or in your own ethnic, economic, or religious group?
• Living where you already have friends or family or in a place where everyone is new?
Do you prefer living…
• In a subdivision?
• In an apartment or condominium?
• In a single-family home that doesn’t look like everyone else’s?
What is important to you…
• Good bookstores, art galleries, libraries, and museums?
• Movie theaters?
• Music, dance, and the arts?
• A local semipro or pro sports team?
Educational Opportunities
What is important to you…
• Personal enrichment classes?
• Professional development classes?
• A college or university?
What would you like your community to have…
• Good parks?
• Bike paths, walking/hiking trails?
• Community sports leagues and facilities?
What is important to you…
• Commute by car?
• Ability to take mass transit to work?
• Being able to walk or bike to work?
Write the answers to these questions about Your Ideal Community on small slips of paper or sticky notes and put them in order of their importance to you. Then select the top five characteristics and write them in the My Ideal Community section of
My Parachute
The categories and items on this list are not your only choices. We hope that these suggestions will stimulate additional ideas about what makes a community an ideal one for you. You can also get great ideas by using the categories to brainstorm with a group of friends.

Your Ideal Salary and Level of Responsibility

The last part of your work environment involves determining what level of responsibility you want—both when you first start to work and ultimately—as well as your level of compensation. Your salary level can affect your ideal location, based on what you can afford in what area of the country, and your level of responsibility can affect which people you interact with and in what way.

Because a job finances your life, it’s important to know the salary ranges for the different jobs that interest you. There are websites that can help you guesstimate the annual income you need to have for various lifestyles. Salary information is often very general. Career literature usually quotes a national average of the salaries of all people doing that work. To help you make decisions, you’ll need to know starting salaries and what more experienced people earn in the parts of the country (or the world) where you most want to live or where there is high demand for the work you want to do.

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
3.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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