Ask Jack: Skill vs. Love, Drunken Bosses, and Job of the Week

Portrait of a funny drunk businessman isolated on white background
AlamyHappy hour: more than an hour, covers emotions well beyond happiness.

An AOL Jobs reader asks...

I heard this advice during an interview with finance executive Ben Carpenter. He said, "Don't do what you love, but what you are good at." But aren't those the same thing? When are they not the same thing? What has been your experience?

Here's a classic example of someone not following his own advice: Ben Carpenter's entire family history dictates that he should be a carpenter, but noooooo, that's not what little Ben wants to do; he has to be a finance exec! Well, goody for you. Now, I'd argue that what you love and what you excel at aren't always the same thing. For example, I'm crazy about music but can't sing worth a lick. Still, I think life is all about pursuing your passions with the goal of personal satisfaction, not monetary gain. (Which is why you should totally check out my new album Unanswered Questions by Askin' Jackson & the Job Squad.) That's what gives life its flavor, despite our frequently dead-end work situations. But don't give up like a certain B. Carpenter did: Somewhere out there is something you truly love that you're really good at, and that someone will pay you to do. And that is the holy grail of careers.

Another reader wants to know...

Is it ever OK to get drunk with the boss?

Hey, I'm drunk right now! No, no, I'm kidding, I'm only buzzed. On this topic I'm likely to go in a different direction than most workplace gurus, and I don't even want to know what Ben Carpenter thinks. (What is it with that guy? Blah blah blah blah blah!) The truth is, those happy hours that last more than an hour and cover emotions well beyond happiness... they can be pretty revelatory. You and your coworkers -- and that can include the boss -- can see each other in an all-new light. (I'm suddenly remembering a trip abroad when, after many drinks, giant football dude Mark got suddenly pensive, looked squarely at one of our classmates and said, "Sean... I never knew." Decades later, Sean still wears that moment as a badge of honor.)

But first, it's very, very important to know how you behave under the influence. Are you belligerent? Wild? Does your conspiracy theory side come out? If so, overindulging with your supervisor is definitely not a good idea.

And of course, you don't have to drink a drop to get in good with the big cheese. Any out-of-the-office experience -- volunteering, business trips, softball teams, etc. -- can be an opportunity for bonding. In the end, It comes down to remembering that we're all just human beings, not just bosses and employees.

Click here for last week's questions

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

When coworkers go out to drink, sometimes the safest place to be is on the other side of the bar. And in Lexington, Kentucky, there's a job listing for bartenders right now on AOL Jobs! (And those hammered bosses can be excellent tippers.) This is just one of thousands of available jobs, in every field and at any skill level, that you can find on AOL Jobs. Do a search now in your city or state; it's completely free!

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