Where’s The Talent? Employers And Communities Need More Than Passion

What do you love to do?

It’s a question that drives career planning nationwide. That seemingly harmless probe is the assumption behind interest-only assessments, which have historically dominated career guidance efforts. However, these assessments are failing employers and students.

Too often, interest assessments make people believe, “If I do what I love, the money will follow” – a message that actually can make people less successful since it narrows one’s focus and suggests an easy path.

Interest assessment and “following your passion” can lead to tunnel vision and limit exploration. Asking what people do and don’t like involves subjective interpretations influenced by societal norms and exposure. For example, kids might mistakenly believe computer jobs are for nerds or think construction jobs are for men because of stereotypes on TV or in the movies.

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