Dick Bolles died March 31, 2017, at the age of 90. He was an inspiration to me and to millions of others who have experienced career changes (that includes almost everyone these days).
The most famous career professional of all time, he started out as a minister and was downsized from his position at Glide Memorial in San Francisco because of budget shortages. He was sent from state to state, campus to campus to help out college ministers who were also being terminated, due to budget crunches.
Dick moved from the ministry into the career field. (It was a wry joke, a commentary on the workers of that day and age who would say, "Well, I've had it. I'm going to bail out." Dick's playful response was, "Okay, what color is your parachute? http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/about/category/about-bio), which turned into What Color Is Your Parachute, the best-selling career book ever, (over 10m copies sold worldwide).
Whenever someone asked Dick to serve, he would agree if, by serving, he would fill a need in society about something connected to his heart. Of course, the request would need to utilize his broad-based skills and experience. If he did not yet have the knowledge and skills, he would stretch until he gained them. Upon my request, Dick, already into his 80s, was keynote speaker at AgeSong's Poetics of Aging Conference in 2011. A few years previously, he also agreed to present at a Professional BusinessWomen of California Conference. For many years, Dick was keynote speaker at the annual International Career Development Conference. I always learned something new from Dick, no matter how many times he spoke.
Here's some wise advice from Dick Bolles:
When it comes to thinking about your next career step, "Don't be realistic."
Instead, you need to really let your imagination fly. You need to build a picture of the kinds of things that could draw and keep your attention, and that will only happen if you can let your dreams soar.
It's interesting that these quotes come from his new "Flower Course" and that my new website was created by Jacob Palmer, with time-lapse photograph flower images, representing continual evolvement and change.
Dick's brother Don, an investigative reporter, was murdered in a car when he was 48 years old. My granddaughter died a few months ago, not yet five years old. Those of us who have experienced tragic loss are especially inspired by Dick Bolles, the forever optimist, who worked hard, had fun in his work, as well as in his personal life, and loved passionately, throughout his life.