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In Praise of Unexpected Careers: A Message to Next-Gen Talent

Source |  |  BY:Emilly Cervino Cep , Vice president Fridelity  stock  plan services 

There is a stack of congratulatory cards on my counter, morning traffic is lightening up, and notes of “Pomp and Circumstance” accompany me when I’m out walking the dog. That can only mean one thing: It must be graduation season. Despite being many years removed from my own graduation, this time of year always makes me reflect. Students are closing one chapter and opening another. And particularly for college graduates, that new chapter can lead in so many different directions.

We have a graduation in our house this year. My 8th-grader is graduating from middle school and moving on to high school. At the farewell assembly, each 7th-grader read a prophecy for a graduating student. The prophecies invariably involved marrying a celebrity and having a glamorous career as a professional athlete, movie star, or CEO. Not surprisingly, no prophecy mentioned a future in equity compensation or a career in financial services. While I’m certain that celebrities, athletes, and CEOs have exciting careers, they certainly don’t hold exclusive rights.

Like most parents, I want my children to dream big and to follow their passions. But I also want to them to be open to opportunities they haven’t envisioned for themselves. A college major or preconceived expectation about a career shouldn’t limit the jobs a new graduate—or, quite frankly, any aspiring individual—should consider. During my college days, I never once considered a career in equity compensation. But because I was open to the idea, I learned that it’s possible to find your passion in a place you never expected to find yourself.


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