You’ve heard the conventional career advice. But Wall Street veteran Ben Carpenter insists that to get ahead now means knowing the unvarnished truth about the real (and real tough) work world. Here, excerpted from his new book, are some inconvenient truths for new grads, young professionals, and everyone else.


Carpenter, author of the 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” shares bite-sized pieces of advice that will help any employee, regardless of age, experience level, or industry, survive (and even have fun) in the big leagues."


Do what you’re good at, not what you love. Much of the career advice that’s doled out these days encourages young people to “follow their dreams” and “feed their passion.” Doing what makes you happy is all well and good, says Carpenter, but first and foremost you should seek out a career that you’re good at.


“Choosing a career you can do well, rather than one that seems fun and exciting, might sound unappealing—but it isn’t,” he states. “The satisfaction you get from doing your job well will far outweigh how entertaining it is. Plus, think about how unhappy you’d be if your heart’s desire failed to pay the bills. From personal experience, as well as from observing family, friends, and coworkers, I can state that most professionals are happiest doing what they are good at, while pursuing other passions—that their careers give them the means to finance—on the side.”