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“What Color is Your Parachute” vs. “Work with Passion”

I see I am going to have to break with tradition and give a book review   One got published when Barack Obama was a wee lad with the wish to be president.  The other when he was in college with that same darned wish and desire.

The first one, “What Color is Your Parachute,” reared its ugly old head in 1970 and has been around in one form or another ever since.  I read it before, and I recently read it again.

It starts off well enough by explaining the world of work and giving insights into the employer’s mind.  (They are just as afraid of making a boo-boo and skidding off into the land of employment hell as you are) and includes some exercises for finding your passion and values that go into a flower where the center lists your natural strengths, and one petal is for your chosen working environment, another for the types of people you want to work with, et cetera.

But then just when it reads like a Franz Kafka novel, which is analogous to many of my job experiences anyway, especially the one where the guy turns into a fly, it stops and veers off and goes into metaphysics and all sorts of religious stuff, which isn’t going to help me approach anyone one bit.  If I quoted from those pages especially during an interview, they’d surely raise an eyebrow and call someone to throw a net over me or show me the door.  No thank you.  It could be one way to burn a bridge.

That’s why Nancy Anderson’s “Work with Passion” helps.  (Thank you, Nancy Anderson) Unlike Richard Nelson Bolles, the author of “Parachute,” Nancy Anderson helps the reader find ways to unearth the sometimes long buried and smoldering passions because without them, it will be a life of career misery and counting the minutes on the clock.

Like Bolles, Anderson not only emphasizes working from your strengths and what comes naturally, she also takes your sweaty palm in yours and shows you how to get there.  The first step in her book is clarity, where you write the unabridged, un-sugarcoated story of your life, no holds barred.  Next there are a series of exercises focusing on when you were in the driver’s seat of your life rather than a passenger.  She then tells you how to find work that fits your passion and work style by sending perusing the index of the yellow pages in search of categories that pique your interest and emphasizes the value of researching places in those categories before writing an advice call letter.

It’s a wonderful how to guide for work and finding your passion and surely read-worthy.

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