This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

When It No Longer Pays to Follow Your Dreams

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --

"Think outside the box..."

"Follow your heart and pursue your passions..."

"Don't be afraid to roll the dice..."

Wonderful bromides: they're the staple of every haughty high school and elite university commencement address. "Graduation Bingo" smart phone apps now allow ADD-addled grads to track the beneficent buzzwords as they flow from the august speaker's silvery tongues.

The only problem: it's all a bunch of baloney!

For every hedge fund millionaire and Silicon Alley billionaire pontificating from the podium, there are thousands -- no, tens of thousands -- of talented individuals who follow the be-an-iconoclast advice, roll the dice, and come up snake eyes.

This template is especially treacherous when applied to middle-aged professionals trying to recalibrate their careers in the post-recession, "new-normal" environment. To wit, a displaced corporate lender with twenty years experience at a money center bank has almost no realistic chance of reinventing herself as an entrepreneur or, worse yet, an independent consultant.

Yet the start-a-business "arrow" is the first that traditional career counselors pull from their quivers. And why not; it's easy advice to both give and receive. Who doesn't want to be told to dream their dream? Sadly, the only people who profit from such advice are the printers who create the cringe-making business cards that read something like "Joe Bloggs; CEO, JB Consulting, LLC" followed by a mobile phone number and a suburban address that clearly represents Joe's dining room table.

In short, the bored insurance salesman who wants to open a bar; the under-employed Mom who dreams of launching an event planning business; and the down-sized executive who's determined to invest his severance in a fast food franchise would all be better off to spend their money on an low-glamour -- but low-beta -- effort like completing a certificate program in forensic accounting, or compliance, or tax planning.

Graduation speeches are over; real life prevails. The die that you roll when you think about chucking it all and starting a business is not six sided -- it's 100-sided. Now is a time when mid-career professionals would be well-served to think inside the box.

THE CAREER ICONOCLAST'S WEEKLY ACTION ITEMS:

1.) Listen to David McCullough "You Are Not Special" Wellesley High School 2012 commencement address -- the quintessential speech of the "new normal."

2.) During your next brain-numbing conference call, refer to your employer's "Careers" web page. Spend at least 30 minutes to determine the following: which departments are hiring aggressively; what skills do these jobs require; which of these skills do you possess; and how could you obtain the skills needed to qualify for these in-demand jobs?

3.) Bookmark this post and forward it to the next person who bloviates about founding the next Facebook or KKR.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $126.44 0.00%
FB $87.28 0.00%
GOOG $523.40 0.00%
TSLA $280.02 0.00%
YHOO $39.38 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs