What Color is My Parachute? The Flower Petal Exercise

I’m working my way through the classic job search guide What Color Is Your Parachute. First, I’ll summarize the 7-part “Flower Petal” exercise—a comprehensive self-assessment geared toward the workplace. Then, I’ll share *my* results from the self-assessment.

Ah, but first, my TL;DR: If you’re looking for work, or going to be looking for work soon, do yourself a huge favor and buy the latest edition of What Color Is Your Parachute. Work through the book, especially the Flower Petal Exercise. It’s well-worth your time!

The Flower Petal Exercise

The Flower Petal Exercise is a self-discovery tool designed to help individuals identify their career objectives and life goals. Using a visual analogy of a flower, it engages users in an interactive exploration of their skills, interests, values, and professional aspirations.

The ‘flower’ consists of seven ‘petals’ or components, each representing a different aspect of a person’s work-life:

  1. People Environments: Here, you define the type of people you enjoy working with. Consider factors such as company culture, team size, or the sociopolitical views of your colleagues.
  2. Working Conditions: This focuses on the conditions under which you perform best. It may include factors like flexible working hours, remote work, office settings, or your preference for a structured versus unstructured work environment.
  3. Transferable Skills: These are skills you’ve acquired over time that can be transferred across various roles and industries. For instance, project management, problem-solving, or leadership skills.
  4. Fields of Knowledge: This petal captures specific knowledge areas you’re interested in or have a deep understanding of. This could be anything from technology to psychology or even history.
  5. Level of Responsibility: This petal evaluates your desire for responsibility. Are you seeking a leadership role, or do you prefer a supportive, team member role?
  6. Salary and Level of Lifestyle: Here you outline your financial goals and the lifestyle you aim for. It includes considerations like desired salary, job benefits, and work-life balance.
  7. Values and Goals: This final petal is about your personal values and life goals, aligning your career with your moral compass and long-term aspirations.

Each petal is equally important, and the final image should give you a holistic view of your career preferences and strengths. The objective of the Flower Petal Exercise is to help you understand yourself better, providing a clear vision of your career path and enabling you to make more informed decisions in your professional life.

It is important to remember that the exercise is not a one-time thing. Your ‘flower’ is expected to change and evolve as you grow, learn, and experience more in your life and career.

OK, now on to my results!

My Preferred Kinds of People to Work With

  1. Reliable and dependable
  2. Honest, people of integrity
  3. Looking for and open to ways of improving
  4. Have a sense of humor
  5. Flexible, limited but purposeful supervision

My “Holland Code”: I like to spend time and work with the following kinds of people:

  • Investigative
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional

(My personal Holland combination is Investigative, Artistic, and Social.)

My Favorite Working Conditions

  1. Quiet (and cool…not too hot!)
  2. My own dedicated workspace with space to store books, writing supplies, etc.
  3. Relatively casual, comfortable
  4. Has a window, natural light, view of trees/nature—with easy walking nearby
  5. Flexible hours

My Favorite Transferable Skills (What I Can Do and Love to Do)

  1. Use my brain
  2. Solve problems
  3. Develop, improve
  4. Follow through, get things done
  5. Research, examine, inspect, compare, see similarities and differences
  6. Study, observe
  7. Communicate well, in writing
  8. Communicate well, in person
  9. Initiate, lead, be a pioneer
  10. Instruct; Teach, tutor, or train

My Strongest Traits

  1. Competent
  2. Knowledgeable
  3. Versatile
  4. Innovative
  5. Resourceful
  6. Dependable, Reliable, and Responsible
  7. Deliberate
  8. Achievement-oriented
  9. Self-motivated, driven
  10. Effective

My Favorite Knowledges or Fields of Interest

  1. Learning, research, thinking
  2. Writing and editing
  3. Biblical and theological studies
  4. Habits and productivity
  5. Leadership

Responsibility & Salary

  • I’d like to work as the head of a team.
  • Salary Range: $60K-90K/year + healthcare, sick leave, vacation, and retirement/401K
  • Other rewards hoped for:
    • adventure,
    • leadership,
    • helping others,
    • influence

My Preferred Kinds of Places to Live

  1. Cool
  2. Quiet, low traffic
  3. Nature, walkable
  4. Diverse restaurants, coffee shops, craft beer, etc.
  5. Good schools
  6. Low crime

My Goal, Purpose, or Mission in Life

I want to serve the world by serving the church. I want to help everyone know and love God more so that we join God in making the world a better, more beautiful place.

(Note: To learn more about me, read my story and take a look at my C.V.)

Categorized as Personal

By joshuapsteele

The Rev. Dev. I solve problems with a pastor's heart for people and a programmer's eye for detail. Learn more at https://steele.omg.lol/

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