We all face times in our lives where we have to make challenging, sometimes life-altering decisions. We might be choosing or switching careers, or picking a college major. We might be going through a divorce or other moment of crisis. Sometimes it can simply be recognition of a lack of fulfillment and purpose in our personal and professional lives.
Discover Your Passions and Your Ideal Career Using the Methods of the World's #1 Career and Job-Hunting Book, “What Color is Your Parachute?"
Self Inventory as a Path to Employment and Career Fulfillment
Too often, career search begins with looking for employment vacancies; scanning the job markets and trying to figure out how to best “fit in", writing a resume, searching employment ads, and replying and waiting for responses.
This is what I refer to as the “Traditional Method" of career search.
But not all career search methods are created equal. In fact, as outlined in my book, most job hunters and career changers would be shocked to see just how ineffective the Traditional Method of job hunting really is. And when a job is acquired, too often that job isn't one that we find fulfilling, that truly aligns with our skills and knowledge and passions.
For over 40 years, I've been offering an alternative – one that really works, one that has been helped up to 10 million people. And it all begins with the information in this course, which I call “self inventory".
Why would a career search start with self-inventory? It's simple, really - because the best answer to “What shall I do?" flows from knowing “Who you are".
By the end of this course, you will have a new understanding of yourself, and your unique talents, skills and gifts. You will know what your ideal job looks like, to you. You will be able to explain clearly to an employer what makes you uniquely qualified to help them achieve their goals.
You will stop acting as a “job beggar", and instead will see yourself as a “resource" – ready to search for the employer for whom you will already be a perfect fit.
You do need to know that you will need to do a lot of writing (or audio recording) of yourself. There is a lot of material here. There is a handout or exercise for each of this course's seven parts. This will take time, though you can do it in a week, if you do one unit each day. And it is important to do all the units in this course.
But if you stick with it, by the end of the course you will have a picture of who you most fully are. A picture of a job that will give voice to all you are. And where you would shine, because it uses the best of who you are.
And you will be well on your way to the career of your dreams.
What you can expect from this course. What you should be prepared to do in the course. What you'll get out of the course once you complete it.
The core part of job-hunting, career change, or finding your purpose in life is "self-inventory." In this module, you'll learn what it is, and why it's so important.
Self-inventory works best if we use both words and pictures. This module will teach you why this is true, and how you can best organize the information about yourself.
The first "petal" of The Flower is your preferred People environment. This module walks you through a very effective method for determining the kinds of people you most want to work with, or to help.
This module gives you an alternative method for understanding the kinds of people you would most like to work with or help.
The second petal of The Flower is Workplace. This module provides you with an exercise to list the kinds of workplace conditions that you don't like - and shows you how to convert those to positives.
The third petal of The Flower focuses on what you know. But this exercise starts by providing you with some "mental calisthenics" to dream about what you'd like to know.
This module walks you step-by-step through the process of inventorying the fields or bodies of information that you most enjoy using.
Here's another approach to inventorying your favorite knowledges.
The fourth petal is about your Skills - especially those skills that are transferable from one situation to the next. This module shows you how to write "stories" about activities you've done in the past that can illustrate the skills you most love using.
In this section, we suggest that you write five to seven stories. But if you have any difficulties thinking about what stories to write, this module provides you with some ideas for brainstorming.
A list by itself is just a list, until it's prioritized. This module helps you to organize your Skills into order of priority - putting the ones you most love using at th
The fifth petal of The Flower is Purpose. This module teaches you how to make a statement about what you feel is your most important purpose in life.
If the exercise in the previous module didn't give you the result you wanted, this module gives you an alternative approach to defining your Purpose, by helping you to write your own Philosophy of Life.
The sixth petal of The Flower is Geography. This module provides you with a "warmup" to stretch your imagination, and create a picture of an ideal island.
Armed with the creative brainstorming from the previous module, with this module you'll learn how to turn a list of your favorite geographical conditions into a description of the ideal place(s) you'd like to live and work.
This module encourages you to step back for a moment, and pick which of the petals on The Flower is your favorite.
The seventh and final petal of The Flower is Salary. This module provides you with an exercise to help you determine your ideal salary range.
This module will show you why it's important to prioritize what you've learned.
One way to use what you've learned from your self-inventory is to envision what your work and your life will be like in the future. This module provides you with an exercise to dream about the future you can create for yourself.
Whether you're going through a job-hunt, career change, or searching for purpose, this module will help you to understand the ways in which you might create roadblocks for yourself - so you can make sure you avoid them.
Armed with the information from your self-inventory, you're ready to go out in the world and start "information interviewing" with other people to learn more about the kinds of work you might like to do. This module will teach you the most effective method for gathering information from other people: The Practice Field Survey.
This module will help you understand the possibilities that await you.
Richard (Dick) Bolles' landmark book “What Color is Your Parachute?" has sold more than 10 million copies and is revised annually. Parachute made the Library of Congress list of 25 books that shaped reader's lives, and has been lauded by TIME as one of the 100 ALL-TIME Best Nonfiction Books. Dick is also a co-founder of eParachute, which offers online career exploration tools inspired by his teachings. Dick has been featured in Fortune, Money Magazine, Business Week, The Economist, Fast Company, TIME, Forbes and Readers Digest. He has also appeared on The Today Show on NBC, and on CNN, CBS, Fox, and ABC TV, as well as on NPR and PBS radio.