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"What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers" is the best-selling job-hunting and career-changing book in the world. Twenty thousand people buy the book each month, and there are more than 8 million copies in print. In its lifetime, it has been on the New York Times Best-Seller List (paperback) a total of 288 weeks.
In 1995, the Library of Congress' Center for the Book listed it as one of "25 Books That Have Shaped Readers' Lives" (alongside such works as Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," Saint Exupery's "The Little Prince," Henry Thoreau's "Walden," Cervantes's "Don Quixote," Tolstoy's "War and Peace," and Mark Twain's, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn").
The author coined the word "parachute" to mean career transitions, back in 1968 when people commonly said, "Well, I'm tired of this job - - I'm going to bail out?" Bolles' playful rejoinder at that time: What color is your parachute? It later became the title of the book.
A writer for Life Magazine said that the phrase "golden parachutes" appeared for the first time a decade or more later, as a "play" on this book's title. In fact, a number of common phrases in our culture: "golden parachutes," "informational interviewing," "transferable skills" etc., were all born out of this book.
It was first published December 1, 1970 -- self-published, in fact, with the author using a local copy shop (CopyCopia) in downtown San Francisco. Its first commercial edition was published in November 1972, by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, Calif. It began appearing on best-seller lists in 1974, has been revised and updated annually since 1975.
Recent reviews have called it "the jobhunter's Bible," "the Cadillac of job-search books," "the most complete career guide around," and "the gold standard of career guides."
If you wish to find a copy, check with your local bookstore for the current edition (2010) or order the book online at www.bn.com or www.amazon.com or directly from the publisher, Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, Calif., at 1-800-841-BOOK (that's -2665) or at www.tenspeed.com.