Richard Nelson Bolles: A Job Well Done
June 1st, 2017
Few people can match the productive, inspiring and extremely useful life of Richard Nelson Bolles, who died March 31 at 90. He was the source of countless careers, via the wise counsel in his annual job-seeking bible, What Color is Your Parachute? What began in 1970 as a self-published text, not long after he had been an out-of-work Episcopal minister, grew into a publishing behemoth that has sold more than 10 million copies in its various editions, with a number of spinoff titles. After Bolles’ initial do-it-yourself approach, the book was picked up in 1972 by Ten Speed Press, then a tiny operation that eventually was sold to the publishers now known as Penguin Random House, in 2009.
Learn more about Bolles’ life and work, and about his advice for success and prosperity, in these 10 articles:
Bloomberg, 2001: Richard Nelson Bolles on Finding Your Mission
Fast Company, 1999 (By Daniel Pink): What Happened to Your Parachute?
Forbes.com, 2006: First Job: Richard Nelson Bolles
Harvard Magazine, 2016: Parachute Specialist: Job counselor Dick Bolles ’50 keeps “chugging away.”
NBCNEWS.com, 2017: ‘Parachute’ author still tending the grapevine
The New York Times, 2017: Richard Bolles Dies at 90; Wrote ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’
People, 1979: Changing Careers? Before Bailing Out, Check Your Parachute, Advises Best-Selling Priest Richard Bolles
Time.com, 2011: All-TIME 100 Nonfiction Books; What Color Is Your Parachute?
The Washington Post, 2017: Richard Bolles, best-selling author of ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ and job coach to millions, dies at 90
Writer’s Digest, 2017: Remembering Richard Nelson Bolles, Self-Pub Pioneer
Bolles and Peter Drucker were longtime friends. In 2014, Bolles wrote a brief, charming LinkedIn post, “A Genius Knows How to Find You,” about their friendship and working relationship.
Bolles’ books, articles and online posts were full of practical and actionable advice, with lots of resources and exercises. Yet there was always something deeper behind his endeavors, and as pointed out by Emily Langer in the Washington Post obituary noted above, “his most meaningful guidance was philosophical in nature.”