What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
Don’t try to find your passion.
Instead master some skill, interest, or knowledge that others find valuable. It almost doesn’t matter what it is at the start. You don’t have to love it, you just have to be the best at it.
Once you master it, you’ll be rewarded with new opportunities that will allow you to move away from tasks you dislike and toward those that you enjoy. If you continue to optimize your mastery, you’ll eventually arrive at your passion.