25 Mind-Blowing Richard Nelson Bolles Quotes

Richard Nelson Bolles was an Episcopal clergyman and author of the best selling job hunting book, “What Color is Your Parachute?” With an education acquired from Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bolles had a positive effect on many people’s lives as they looked to accelerate their life and career. Here is a look at some of the best Richard Nelson Bolles quotes to know.

“Always define WHAT you want to do with your life and WHAT you have to offer to the world, in terms of your favorite talents/gifts/skills-not in terms of a job-title.”

“But “shyness” is the historic word for it.”

“Call it anything else if you will—fear, anxiety, nervousness, sweating”

“Designing is more appropriate because you can’t possibly predict what is going to happen to you, even next week, much less plan for it. Planning your life is becoming increasingly unreliable in today’s world.”

“High tech needs to be complemented by high touch.”

“Hunches are not to be sneezed at.”


“I have always argued that change becomes stressful and overwhelming only when you’ve lost any sense of the constancy of your life. You need firm ground to stand on. From there, you can deal with that change.”

“I thank the Lord for the brain He put in my head. Occasionally, I love to just stand to one side and watch how it works.”

“I’m sure that a huge proportion of the situation you are facing, is out out of your control. There’s nothing you can do about it. But that proportion can’t be 100 percent. ”

“In today’s world, he or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; but, the one who knows the most about how to get hired.”

“It is a great victory if you learn how to survive in today’s hard times; it’s an even greater victory if you help someone else survive and find meaningful work.”

“Job-hunting is always mysterious. Sometimes mind-bogglingly mysterious. You may never understand why things sometimes work, and sometimes do not.”

“Just because you can’t find them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You’ve got to change the way you’re looking for them. Because there are always job vacancies out there.”

“One of the saddest lines in the world is, ‘Oh come now – be realistic.’ The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic. They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and gave them horses to ride.”

“Passion plus competency, not just competency alone, is key to securing employment.”

“Self-introspection is the way to improve any company, any marriage, any nation. And any job-hunt.”

“So many times you will see people wringing their hands and saying ‘I want to know what my mission in life is,’ all the while they are cutting people off on the highway, refusing to give time to people, punishing their mate for having hurt their feelings or lying about what they did.”

“The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were “realistic.” They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and then gave them horses to ride.”

“The object is to keep busy being something…as opposed to doing something. We are all sent here to bring more gratitude, more kindness, more forgiveness and more love into this world. ”

“The person who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; but, the one who knows the most about how to get hired.”

“The primary purpose of a resume is to get yourself invited in for an interview.”

“There is a vast world of work out there in this country, where at least 111 million people are employed in this country alone – many of whom are bored out of their minds. All day long.”

“Unless you look dirty, wild, and disreputable, and smell really bad, if you know what your talent is, I guarantee some employer is looking for you.”

“You want to take action every day, not sit around waiting for something to happen.”

“Youth is like a long weekend on Friday night. Middle age is like a long weekend on Monday afternoon.”

It can be difficult to plan the future you desire and work towards. In this Google Talk, Richard Bolles discusses how you can decide what you will be doing just years from now.