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The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman
Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs
But when it comes to charting a career plan, that’s the wrong question. What you should be asking yourself is whether your parachute can keep you aloft in changing conditions. The unfortunate truth is that in today’s career landscape, your parachute—no matter its color—may be shredded and tattered. And if it isn’t that way already, it could get that way at any time. In his first chapter, Parachute author Richard Bolles writes, “It is important, before you enter the job hunt, to decide exactly what you are looking for—whether you call it your passion, or your purpose in life, or your mission.… Passion first, job-hunt later.”1 After four decades in print, this is still the accepted wisdom today. You see similar advice all over. Habit number two of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is, “Begin with the end in mind”: you should produce a personal mission statement that puts your goals in focus.
Apple II, bounce rate, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy
In other words, working right trumps finding the right work. Chapter Three Passion Is Dangerous In which I argue that subscribing to the passion hypothesis can make you less happy. The Birth of the Passion Hypothesis It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when our society began emphasizing the importance of following your passion, but a good approximation is the 1970 publication of What Color Is Your Parachute? The author, Richard Bolles, was working at the time for the Episcopal Church advising campus ministers, many of whom were in danger of losing their jobs. He published the first edition of Parachute as a straightforward collection of tips for those facing career change. The original print run was one hundred copies. The premise of Bolles’s guide sounds self-evident to the modern ear: “[Figure] out what you like to do… and then find a place that needs people like you.”
The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean
He was able to make crab-grass sound so rare and wonderful that he managed to sell hundreds of crabgrassy acres even though he didn’t happen to own the land he was selling. Then came John Whitney, who sold swamp lots to Northerners after assuring them that in Florida “insects are neither numerous nor troublesome”; and Hamilton Disston, who in the 1880s sold underwater lots in the Everglades and then, when his scheme fell apart, committed suicide by shooting himself in his bathtub; and Richard Bolles, who marketed his underwater lots at the turn of the century with the slogan “A good investment beats a lifetime of labor”; and Barron Collier, who took a million acres of marshy scrubland near the Fakahatchee and set out to build a replica of Paris; and Charles Rodes, who felt there wasn’t enough premium-priced waterfront property to sell, so in the 1920s he built narrow banks of land out into lakes and sold it as waterfront property, and then he dug wide canals and sold the land adjacent to the boggy canals as waterfront property too—a practice that became known as “finger-islanding”; and of course Carl Fisher, a Detroit automobile mogul who came to Florida right after World War I and poured three million cubic yards of sand onto an expanse of mangrove swamp and created Miami Beach.
Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
Airbnb, asset allocation, bank run, buy low sell high, car-free, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, Firefox, fixed income, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, index card, index fund, late fees, mortgage tax deduction, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, Paul Graham, random walk, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, speech recognition, traveling salesman, Vanguard fund, web application, Zipcar
To find a promising career, you have to take certain steps: Decide what you want to be when you grow up. Don't just pick a job because it pays well; have a goal in mind (see Setting SMART Goals). Choose a field based on your interests and experience, and know where you want to go in that field. If you don't know what you want to do, explore: read, take classes, and talk to people about their jobs (see the box on Taking a Second Job). For more inspiration, read Richard Bolles's classic book What Color Is Your Parachute? (Ten Speed Press, 2009). Your Money And Your Life: Finding Your Sweet Spot In his book Good to Great (HarperBusiness, 2001), Jim Collins describes how successful businesses are built by finding the sweet spot where passion, excellence, and economics meet. You can apply this idea to your own career. To help decide what you want to do, think about what you're passionate about, what you do best, and what people will pay you to do.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford
asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, buy low sell high, credit crunch, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, money market fund, Parkinson's law, passive income, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, strikebreaker, Thorstein Veblen, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond
Visions from childhood of how life could be had to be excavated from under the status, seriousness and self-importance that masquerade as adulthood. They had to tell themselves the truth about whether or not their current paid employment was really doing what paid employment is supposed to do: earn money. There are a number of excellent job-hunting guides on the market—and more coming out every day as jobs become a scarcer and more cherished commodity. The classic is the frequently updated What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles.22 Beyond that, you’re on your own. Just one word of caution. As P. T. Barnum once said, there’s a sucker born every minute. There are a host of workshop leaders, agents, “headhunters,” advisers, counselors and the like who would be happy to help you find Job Charming—for a hefty fee. Some of these services are useful—but be discerning. Read the fine print on contracts. Be as sharp a shopper as you would be for a car or a refrigerator.