According to Ben Carpenter, a Wall Street veteran with a new career-development book, young people shouldn't necessarily be encouraged to "follow their dreams" or "feed their passion." Rather, they should be focusing more on what they're good at.
"I know it can be difficult to sacrifice your greatest passion for what's actually viable in the cold light of day," Mr. Carpenter said in a press release.
His new book, "The Bigs: The Secrets Nobody Tells Students and Young Professionals About How to Find a Great Job, Do a Great Job, Start a Business, and Live a Happy Life," advices young job seekers to ask themselves some hard questions: What are my talents and skills? What careers match up with them? In what fields might they be most in demand?
While "some people are lucky" in matching their passions with their careers, he recommends "pursuing a career path that you're reasonably sure will pay dividends, rather than placing a shaky bet on being able to beat the odds."
Mr. Carpenter argues that it's naturally easier to find a job that matches your skill set and also likely more fulfilling — though less "entertaining" — to have a long career doing a job well rather than finding "a long string of disappointments and unmet goals."
As far as passions, "work is work" and 40 hours a week at any job eventually becomes "drudgery." The "lucky" coveted jobs often lead to unpredictable hours, extreme pressure and unreasonable expectations.
"On the other hand, if your strategy is to match your skills to a job, you'll probably put more thought and research into your search, and your perspective will be more balanced," Mr. Carpenter wrote.
The book arrives as the NRF has rolled out its "This is Retail" campaign and other recruiting initiatives to overcome the perception that retail doesn't offer "richly rewarding and diverse career opportunities." Said Matthew Shay, CEO and president, of the launch of campaign last year, "Across the country, too many people still think retail is low-wage, low-tech, and low-talent. And if we don't start to dispel these myths, then we won't be able to compete for the high-quality talent our industry needs."
Should retailers position their companies as a more practical career choice for high school and college graduates?