Monday, May 25, 2015

What Color is Your Parachute? For Teens (3rd edition) by Carol Christen, 2015

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No idea what you want to be? No worries! This fun, rewarding guide draws on the time-tested principles of the career classic What Color Is Your Parachute? to help you discover your passions, skills, and potential college majors and dream jobs.
Why now? Because when you identify your interests and passions early, you can make informed decisions on what additional schooling (and tuition debt) makes sense for your chosen field.
With fresh updates on the specific challenges of today’s job-market, this new edition features activities and advice on information interviewing, social media, internships, and more. Most importantly, it’s packed with big-picture advice that will set you up to land the job that’s perfect for who you are—and who you want to be.
(192 pages)

I'm a high school junior-almost-senior. You know what that means: I'm big-time stressing about college. After years of deliberating I've gotten no closer to a definitive decision about what career I want to pursue in college. Computer science? Information Technologies? Accounting? Publishing? Who knows? So when I saw that I could get a review copy of What Color is Your Parachute, I jumped at the chance.

But of course, I mentioned I'm a junior planning to go to college. And you may not have noticed, but it's May - otherwise known to high school students worldwide as "AP testing month." I got through about half of the first chapter and then completely dropped it because my brain was too tired to do anything in my free time but watch I Love Lucy.

I'm back, though, and I spent the last week slowly working my way through the rest of the book. I can't say I enjoyed reading it, because it's not that kind of book, but I do think it was very thought-provoking. The parachute idea is genius, it really is. It took me weeks to finish filling it out, mainly because there's quite a bit of work that goes into completing each section and I didn't have the time to do it (which goes back to the whole "AP testing" thing). I honestly probably didn't put as much thought into my answers as I should have, so I think if you really let everything simmer the way Christen wants you to, it would take a month or so. The second half of the book focuses on tips for conducting interviews, applying for jobs, etc. It was a little less interesting for me, because I'm not there yet, but it could be a very helpful resource in the future. There's also a chapter about managing your online presence. I didn't really like that one very much, because I don't use my real name online for safety reasons. It might be more useful for other people, though.

Now it's time for my biggest complaint with this book: its physical format. The parachute is just a tad too small, so you have to cram everything in with barely-legible small font. The text next to the parachute literally says "To make it easier to use, photocopy this page and enlarge it." Then the introduction to part one has this helpful tip: "Take your book to a print shop and have it spiral bound. Removing the spine makes the book lie flat so it's easier to read and photocopy." Do you see a problem here? Why do I have to get the book spiral bound, and then enlarge the parachute? Surely it would be much more convenient if they did that in the first place? It's not exactly a huge turn-on to open the book and be faced with "go spend your money and time doing something we could have done, but didn't want to!"

Physical logistics aside, What Color is Your Parachute? a great resource that I highly recommend for anyone who's still deciding what to do after high school. When you're ready to do some soul-searching, start filling out your parachute. When you're looking for some good career-search resources, flip through What Color is Your Parachute? - you'll find everything you could ever need, though it's unfortunately scattered throughout the text instead of gathered in one place. When you're looking for a one-stop quick-guide to planning for your future, give What Color is Your Parachute? a try. I will definitely be referring back to it in the future.

I received a copy of this book through the Blogging for Books programs in exchange for an honest review.

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