What Color is Your Parachute Now?

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Dick Bolles, the bestselling author of more than three decades of editions of the job hunter’s bible, What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers at a speaking engagement in downtown Seattle, WA, sponsored by Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal and the University of Washington Alumni Association.

Mr. Bolles’ has been revising his bestselling book for nearly 40 years. It has sold over 10 million copies in more than 20 languages. The exercises in his book helped me to understand that I left school librarianship because it didn’t satisfy my love of travel, but that post-9/11 flight attending would never satisfy my need for a professional salary and great working conditions (nor would it satisfy my desire to learn and teach–but one can always do those things as an avocation, which is what I did while flying).

Learning from Bolles’ “flower petal exercise” (named for the shape of the graphic organizer) that my best and favorite skills are learning, teaching, writing, organizing and traveling got me thinking that what I needed was a career in education or library science that was mobile–that is, online–so I could I have the flexibility to live abroad on and off without being tied to a single campus in a single city. I started researching my options and quickly discovered the exponential growth of K-12 online learning and the exploding need for online high school teachers and curriculum developers. Our world is changing rapidly due to emerging technologies, effecting every field and industry. Education is no exception. Experts predict that within the next ten years, 50% of high school classes will be taught online. Fifty-percent. This is going to be huge. The future of education is online. And that’s where you’ll find me.

Recommended resources:

Dick Bolles’s What Color is Your Parachute? at www.jobhuntersbible.com

North American Council for Online Learning at www.nacol.org

And if you’re in Seattle, check out:

Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal at www.centerpointonline.org

[Photos by Rebekah Casner].

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