CAREER DEVELOPMENT / AUG. 16, 2014
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Why You Will Fail to Have A Great Career

In a TED talk that borders on an inspirational performance, Larry Smith talks about why professionals who make excuses will never have a great career, but instead will only have “good” or “interesting” careers.

Larry smith, a professor in economics at University of Waterloo in Canada, coaches students on finding a fulfilling career, starting businesses, and career development.

According to Smith, there are three reasons why you’ll never have a great career.

  • We make excuses about not being smart enough or outlandish enough. I’m not passionate or obsessive enough about my career to really pursue it. You “[damn] yourself” with the faintest of praise.
  • We settle for being interested in our jobs, but not really passionate about them. You settle for a “good” career that we hope will turn into a “great” career because we work really, really hard. Passion is not the same thing as interest—passion is the height of our existence and is the best expression of our talent.
  • You give up your career or your ambitions because of a relationship, effectively making the love of your life your “jailer”. You refuse to sacrifice your friends and your children on the “great altar of accomplishment.”

Smith’s entire talk is the boiling point of the frustration that is wasted talent. All of the reasons Smith brings to the table are a form of excuse that professionals make to avoid aiming for a “great” career rather than just a good one. The fear of failure as a concept is one that keeps us from trying to become the best of the best. But how do we overcome that fear? The “unless”.

The “unless” of each individual’s life comes down to one thing they could change to make themselves pursue their dreams and their passions without the fear of failure.

So, what’s your “unless”? 

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