I'm Not a Skydiver

Rachel Kaiser

4 Stars

March 13, 2017

With plenty of visuals, online resources, worksheets, and an organized layout, Bolles guides job hunters and career changers through the process of researching employers, building resumes, and interviewing. The backbone of his manual, "The Flower," provides a framework for creating an accurate picture of who the reader is as a potential employee.

First thoughts: I was excited, energized, and overwhelmed. Bolles writes conversationally, which helped make reading this easy on the brain, but the subject matter is both technical and emotional, so I found myself skimming chapters that didn't necessarily apply to my situation or putting off reading chapters that seemed to understand me all too well.

Alternative first thought: When does the parachute come into play? (Answer: never - the title is a phrase Bolles used as a comeback to anyone wanting to bail out of a job.)

Favorite quotes:

"So it is, that in any situation you find yourself, no matter how overwhelmed you may feel, no matter how much you may feel you're at the mercy of huge forces that are beyond your control, some part of it is within your control." -p47

"You are a person, not a job." -p115

"The more you see your own gifts clearly, the more you must pay attention to the gifts that others have." -p239

Best tip: YOU are the given, the common denominator in your job search. So focus on yourself and what you offer. Think of yourself as a resource to any potential employer. --> This is something quickly forgotten in the drudgery of job hunting, and something I, personally, want to be more intentional about in future job hunts.

Recommended for: job hunters and career changers, employers and employees, college grads and retirees.

Final thoughts: My brother read this book and got a job almost immediately afterwards. The book motivated him, gave him new ideas about how to job search, and made the entire process more of a puzzle to solve than an impossible challenge. I, on the other hand, read the book over the course of 4 months, in fits and starts as I was feeling up to it. I wanted to read it completely (doing each of the worksheets), but in the end I had to pause on those and just keep reading, or I would have been stuck on certain sections for too long. I'd advise any would-be readers to know themselves and their reading style, then use the book as a tool in whatever way best suits you. Not feeling a chapter? Skip it. Bolles agrees - Parachute is a reference, not a required read.

Editor's Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.