Book Review: What Color is Your Parachute — For Teens by Carol Christen

(*Disclaimer: I RECEIVED this book for free as part of the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for an honest review. No other form of compensation was given, and all opinions expressed in this review are my own.)

Basic Information:

Paperback, 192 pages

Published April 21st 2015 by Ten Speed Press (first published April 7th 2015)

Back Cover Blurb:

This updated career guide for teens draws on the principles of What Color Is Your Parachute? to help high school and college students zero in on their favorite skills and find their perfect major or career.

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.


I love science. I love computers, making them bend to my will programming them, and technology. That all adds up to Computer Science, of which I will major in. However, that decision hasn’t always been concrete. In order to major in the sciences, one had to possess an inordinate amount of intelligence, I thought. I ain’t that smart, I thought. So, I took personality tests, major quizzes, everything I could get my hands on. Still Computer Science. Still, I wasn’t sure. I scoured the sites of colleges I was interested in, but they didn’t answer my question: Am I really qualified for this?

Then, I started read books like WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE?

Cue light-bulb moment.

I got the skillz, and I can totally pursue my major. With confidence, ya’ll.

Many of us are at that stage of life when deciding a career path is, well, stressful. So, I had high hopes for this book. Now, at first, I thought WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE was going to be one of the “follow your dreams” kind. While I’m all for my dreams, they’re a little impractical. So, I typically avoid books like that.

Thankfully, this book surprised me. The author knows what she’s talking about, and even this Google addict learned a whole lot about careers — and college majors. It’s easy to pick a college major once you discover what jobs you’re interested in. This book is an excellent resource, written to help you do just that. The author of this book knows how to talk us youngsters. Her language is simple, and any technical jargon is explained.

What’s it about?

There are three sections to WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE?:

  1. DISCOVER YOUR DREAM JOB: And Plot to Get It
  2. ON THE WAY TO YOUR FUTURE: Help If You Don’t Know Where to Go
  3. LAND YOUR DREAM JOB: Create Your Ideal Life…and More

There are twelve chapters in total, and four chapters to a section.

If you think this book will be a go-to, end-all for your college choices — it’s not. It won’t help you choose a college major, and it won’t detail various job titles for you. That would be a long book. However, it will give you a broad idea of where to look for your ideal job position. Then, you’re given the ultimatum to find a college major that suits you.

In the first few pages of the book, you’re given an example “parachute”. In it, you’re supposed to detail your work preferences. The book goes through everything you need to know about the parachute, and guides you through your answers. However, I suggest keeping a notebook in which you detail your “soul-searching”. The “parachute” given is much too small. You must either possess tiny handwriting, or a mini-pen to write in that thing.

In under 200 pages, “What Color is Your Parachute?” talks about what a Holland Code is (mine’s IEA or EIA, what’s yours?), job shadowing, interviewing skills, work environments, and job sustainability. Within the first section, you’re asked to describe your skills (yes, we have skills, whether or not we’ve obtained employment) and interests. Those skills and interests are expanded upon into potential career choices, which translate into college majors for you.

Then, the book gets into the nitty gritty. The author, Carol Christen, begins to discuss high school and college. She explains goal setting, and how those goals help you stay on track during the school years. Christen even talks about social media, and how we can best utilize it to further our educational careers. That was an interesting chapter, as Christen discussed the social media platform LinkedIn, and how your social media presence can either help or harm your college admission chances — and your employment status.

The author even discusses student loans. She talks about how to repay them, how much to borrow, and what to expect because of them. That section is a short one, but it truly makes the book worthwhile.


So, who should read this book?

If you’re in high school, and you’re pretty sure of your future career, it’s a good read. But, if you’re in high school and you aren’t sure of what your future career ought to be — this book was written for you.

WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? is short enough for a weekend read, and during the summer, I highly encourage you to pick it up a local bookstore or library.


My Rating

3Rating Label: G

More Info

CAROL CHRISTEN is a career strategist who has provided life/work planning and job-search skill training to people since 1979. Specializing in working with teenagers, Carol lives along California’s Central Coast.

So, have you read this book? Do you plan on picking it up sometime soon?AbbySignature

*This post was very early this morning, because I’m going to be out of the “office” (read: my house) all day. Please feel free to comment on this review, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!


2 thoughts on “Book Review: What Color is Your Parachute — For Teens by Carol Christen

  1. Oh wow, I want to go into the computer science field as well! This is exciting because I’ve never met an aspiring novelist who also is really into computer science. I’m not sure that I’m going to major in computer science as I’m kind of gunning to just major in Electrical/Computer Engineering and get a PhD in that with maybe a Computer Science minor, but I still haven’t figured it all out yet. Still, I really love coding and I want to crack down and focus on that more this summer. This seems like a great book! I think I saw it in the library before, but I’ve never picked it up. I just might now because it seems like it will be useful for goal setting now that I’m in high school. Great review, Abby!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.