I saw two very good candidates today. Both very young (just out of University), both talented and with potential.
However, only one goes forward to get the job.
It is not the one who was ambitious, hard working, pursuing a passion and full of drive and energy.
It is the one who steps back, takes a good look at the big picture, and grasps it immediately. It’s the one who “gets it”.
I used to be fascinated by young people finding a passion in University, and then doing everything in their power to get there. I was one of them, I know.
But somewhere along the way I learned something.
That even the dreaded jobs – the ones that don’t seem to have much in common with what you like – are good for you. Because they’re out of the comfort zone. Because they bring lateral knowledge and thinking that you normally wouldn’t have found. Because they make you “well rounded”.
And right now, I see less need for young niche experts full of drive and energy. I see need for people who have the maturity to discern and to judge.
I’m not saying disregard what you like and go the opposite way. By all means, do what you love. Follow your yellow brick road. But remember to look to the sides of the road. Sometimes there might be a narrow, winding path down there. And it may lead to a place with a really nice view.