They want to find work they're passionate about. Offering benefits and incentives are mere compromises. Educating people is important but not enough. We need to encourage people to find their sweet spot. Productivity explodes when people love what they do. We're sitting on a huge potential boom in productivity, which we could tap into if we got all the square pegs in the square holes and the round pegs in the round holes. It's a great natural resource we're ignoring.

The tone in the room shifted. One by one, CEOs stood up and shared anecdotes. The value in their companies came from the employees who were passionate about being there. The extra effort came from them. The new ideas came from them. Often these dedicated people weren't executives. They could be at any level of the company. Every CEO wanted more of this kind of employee - if only there were a magical way to recruit them. Vague? Yes. Impractical? Not at all.

So it's time to define the new era. Growth will come one company at a time from companies that focus on what they do, and doing it better. In the same way, individual success will not be attained by migrating to a particular "hot" industry or by adopting a particular career-
guiding mantra; instead, the individuals that thrive will do so because they focused on the question of who they really are and found work they truly love, and in so doing unleashed a productive and crea-tive power they never imagined.
Eight Second-Career Steps
No, it's not impossible to go from call-center clerk to rocket scientist. But it's not easy - and for people who don't spend adequate time thinking and preparing for the career-change challenge, that kind of dramatic switch can be a disaster.

"They make the change too quickly," says C. David Stroud of Lee Hecht Harrison, the employment and human-relations consultancy. "They make a knee-jerk reaction based on their level of frustration. Instead, they should look long and hard at where they want to land."

In other words, don't let frustration with your old career send you off half-cocked into a new one that doesn't fit, either. How can you be sure? Take these eight expert-recommended steps.