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The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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    (May 30, 2002) - Like many in our audience, we used "What Color Is Your Parachute?" as a tool for navigating the path from adolescence to adulthood. The loose and reassuring message of the book, combined with easy access to tools for self-evaluation eased the transformation of youthful angst into productive goal setting and accomplishment. We remember the time fondly in spite of the fact that it was unpleasant to live through. 

    We can remember the day the book was published. For nearly a decade, we ran bookstores as a way of meeting college expenses. At that time, the book was a publishing marvel. The highly illustrated text set the model for books to come. Since 1976, the book has been a perennial best seller and continues today as a weighty franchise in our industry.

    Over the years, we have gotten to know Parachute's author, Dick Bolles. A kindly septuagenarian, Dick is intensely focused on the process of unblocking people's passions. Through decades of seminars and individual career counseling, he has delighted in the moments when his clients realize that their goals are achievable, that they can integrate seemingly irreconcilable elements into an income producing lifestyle.

    It is terribly easy to forget that the candidate/job hunter end of our business is about the quest for meaning. In stagnant economic moments like these, it's hard to remember that there's any value at all in candidate relationships. Bolles, who spent the day with us in the Greenhouse yesterday, tirelessly articulates the employee end of the equation.  

    He enjoys telling the stories of multi-generational families who have passed his book from Grandmother to Mother to Children. It's an awe inspiring legacy of benefit delivered by a single author over nearly 40 years. In many ways, he's the Napoleon Hill of our time. 

    With age comes a fair degree of wisdom and generosity. Bolles is continuing to build out his website in an interesting collaboration with three other luminaries of the Internet/Career Counseling Universe (Mary Ellen Mort, Margaret Riley and Susan Joyce) as a collective, this represents a real super-group of people with an interest in making candidates more effective.

    At the same time, Bolles pooh-poohs the overall utility of the Net as a job hunting tool. He claims that because the Internet is supposed to make things easy and quick, it produces an opposite effect. Job Hunters, says Bolles, are more apt to feel defeated quickly by the process because their expectations for results are so high. Though there may be a nugget of truth in the perspective, it sounds a little like the "because they have it easy, they're lazy" refrains you often hear about the use of spell-checkers and calculators.

    It's fair to say that we disagree with Mr. Bolles on a number of substantial issues. But, as the industry braces for the next round of economic growth, we're certain that his voice needs to be attended to diligently. Concentrating on meaning and purpose in advance of the job application makes for better, more productive candidates. We'd argue that corporate job sites, in particular, ought to focus on helping candidates know what they want and how to get it. 

     -John Sumser

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    Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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         © 2013 interbiznet.
         All Rights Reserved.

         Materials written
         by John Sumser
         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.