Folks, the art world and publishing world are fiercely competitive even in the very best of times, so you’re going to need a backup career just in case things don’t work out. This also applies to those who aspire to fame and fortune in journalism, professional athletics, the music industry, most of the entertainment industry, and most of the jobs that the world covets. You’ve got to be really talented, and really hard-working. And yes, lucky. I realize I’m very, very, very, very lucky to have a job that I (usually) enjoy and that allows me to make a living. Of course, I suspect those outside those fields overestimate the role of luck. My buddy Cam – now on the Sportsman Channel! – will periodically hear from someone, “boy, you’re really lucky to find a job where you get to host a radio show!” and he has to bite his tongue and refrain from mentioning all the years he worked as reporter and assistant news director, driving all over the state of Oklahoma on any assignment he could get, long hours, lousy pay, and so on.

Nobody just hands you a plum job in journalism. Okay, unless you’re Chelsea Clinton, nobody just hands you a plum job in journalism.

Perhaps most unnervingly, perhaps a significant chunk of our younger workforce isn’t really well-prepared to do much of anything.