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    #249982 - 09/03/22 12:20 AM How do you choose a profession?
    giftedamateur Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/19/21
    Posts: 27
    As someone who is gifted, how do you choose a profession? On one hand, I think most of you can relate to the sentiment that getting a fairly well-paying job as say a programmer is something that virtually anyone who is above a relatively low threshold for intelligence (1-2 SD) could attain with some effort in the current world.

    So, given that it's probably not just financial constraints, what do you choose your profession based on? Do you purely decide to go based on your interests? What if that's impractical? I think even for most gifted people, making a living purely out of a passion is infeasible unless they're very fortunate about their choice of passion. So what is the equation that you use to find your profession?


    Edited by giftedamateur (09/03/22 12:21 AM)

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    #249983 - 09/03/22 10:09 AM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4954
    Great questions as usual, giftedamateur.

    In my observation and experience, those who are happiest, most satisfied, and fulfilled in their life find their career to be just one aspect of their overall schedule and self-concept.

    Sadly, for those looking for a formula or equation for efficiency and success in choosing a profession, there is not one. There are no guarantees. (Personally, I can think of nothing more dehumanizing than the "guarantee" of being assigned a career path based on a government school's impressions formed early on, in middle school or high school.)

    Involvement in hobbies, volunteerism, family life, friendships, and other activities such as home maintenance and repair add balance, challenge us, and provide occasions to develop supportive relationships with a broad variety of people.

    Some people thrive on risk or constant change. Others prefer variety tempered with stability. This may vary over time or be altered abruptly following an event such as an accident, loss of a loved one, or change in the economy (or any particular job sector of the economy).

    Keeping in mind that much of life is a reiterative process (live and learn), remaining resilient, open-minded, and appreciative of circumstances may be key to finding a suitable fit in a career or interim employment.

    Although some families may have many connections and strong persuasive abilities to help guide career choices and manifest myriad opportunities, for many/most people, it is not a matter of taking a straight, paved road to pre-determined goals but rather creating one's own winding path by exposing ourselves to experimenting with our different skills and abilities and the opportunities which we see within reach (especially those which may be a bit of a stretch).

    There are sources of information readily available to all, regardless of pedigree, such as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook - https://www.bls.gov/ooh/

    My suggestion is to embrace the freedom which currently exists to commit to a few different professions, careers, and levels of responsibility, throughout one's lifetime.

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    #249989 - 09/04/22 04:25 PM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    giftedamateur Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/19/21
    Posts: 27
    So my dad said I would do very well as a minstrel, but unfortunately for us those jobs don't exist anymore, lol.

    At least in me, I think giftedness has caused a bit of a paralysis -- like, if I want to study most subjects, I can crank out a graduate level text and academic papers and get up to speed, so it ends up being more about interest than about ability. I know traits associated with giftedness vary and that this is not universal, but I'm sure a fairly common experience. On the other extreme, some professions such as professional sports are obviously next to impossible for even the most gifted if they don't start early and with the right environment.

    I think perhaps a better question might be, what has been the relationship between the skill set acquired in childhood (e.g. advanced problem solving via Olympiads, competitive athletics, skill with language, etc.), skills acquired later in life, childhood interests and passions, vs adult interests and passions, and compromises linked to financial constraints or desired lifestyle?


    Edited by giftedamateur (09/04/22 04:26 PM)

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    #249993 - 09/04/22 07:43 PM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3987
    Not in direct response to your question, but on a related topic, it's also worthwhile considering the choice of a profession as a process with multiple solutions over the course of a lifetime. When one has many interests and many potentials, pursuing several of them, sequentially or simultaneously, not necessarily to the extreme of one's potential, but at least to a personally-satisfying and vocationally-useful degree of mastery, may be just as valid an approach as developing narrow expertise in a singular area of focus. And sometimes, in the process, one discovers or creates new professions that integrate these various interests and skills.

    Also, as far as I can tell, the niche historically filled by minstrels appears to be occupied mainly by late-night talk show hosts these days!
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #249995 - 09/05/22 05:48 AM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 173
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur
    So my dad said I would do very well as a minstrel, but unfortunately for us those jobs don't exist anymore, lol.

    At least in me, I think giftedness has caused a bit of a paralysis -- like, if I want to study most subjects, I can crank out a graduate level text and academic papers and get up to speed, so it ends up being more about interest than about ability.


    Was your father referring to your musical talents and perhaps also to your wandering spirit? Minstrels composed songs, from their observations and reflections. Your posts suggest that you have spent time similarly mentally engaged. As a musician, have you delved much into composition?

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    #249996 - 09/05/22 01:29 PM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    giftedamateur Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/19/21
    Posts: 27
    Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum
    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur
    So my dad said I would do very well as a minstrel, but unfortunately for us those jobs don't exist anymore, lol.

    At least in me, I think giftedness has caused a bit of a paralysis -- like, if I want to study most subjects, I can crank out a graduate level text and academic papers and get up to speed, so it ends up being more about interest than about ability.


    Was your father referring to your musical talents and perhaps also to your wandering spirit? Minstrels composed songs, from their observations and reflections. Your posts suggest that you have spent time similarly mentally engaged. As a musician, have you delved much into composition?

    I much prefer improvisation. I have thought about composition, but I find my ADHD-ish brain tends to like the instant gratification of improvising for long stretches of time. One of the main reasons I picked the piano was because I wanted a medium to communicate musical thought, and melodic instruments tend to be limiting in terms of how many things you can express at once. I want to be able to improvise like Art Tatum someday (I have this thing where I tend to set my sights impossibly high!). Or perhaps in the modern day, Gabriela Montero is someone I look up to who can improvise entire sonatas.

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    #249998 - 09/06/22 04:37 AM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4954
    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur
    ...my ADHD-ish brain tends to like the instant gratification of improvising for long stretches of time...
    While it may be a great form of relaxation to enjoy improvising when engaged in an activity as a hobby or leisure-time pursuit, one may find that few professions allow one to excel without developing executive function skills. This old post may be of interest: http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post249829

    At the risk of oversimplifying, pairing the above snippet from one post with the following snippet from another post upthread may provide a bit more context, a slightly larger view of the complete picture... ?
    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur
    ... giftedness has caused a bit of a paralysis -- like, if I want to study most subjects, I can crank out a graduate level text and academic papers and get up to speed, so it ends up being more about interest than about ability.
    While many gifted persons are pluripotent and autodidactic, in addition to interest and ability, other skills may be needed to grow from being a successful student to being successful in a profession. This old post briefly summarizes an iconic article highlighting a few of the necessary skills - http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post233062

    When viewed through a neural lens, a gifted brain is one with a high level of activity. Over time, it has been learned that a brain may have both "gifted" areas of high activity and also areas with less activity (whether this has occurred naturally or resulted from an accident, injury, or illness). Persons can be "gifted" and also have a learning disability or learning difference; this is often called twice-exceptional or 2e. The good news is that the brain is very "plastic" and with effort the brain's functioning can be developed. The information at these external links may also be of interest:
    1. 2e - https://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources-parents/twice-exceptional-students
    2. neuorplasticity - https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-brain-plasticity-2794886

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    #250010 - 09/16/22 04:51 AM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    I thought I would give an update and input on this question. One, I took engineering since I was in that age of post war parents. Our whole neighborhood seemed to be engineers that got educated as former soldiers in WW2. Having a professional degree was critical. Stem was the focus. I never worked as an engineer, going right into a junior analyst job at Merrill Lynch. It was unusual and couldn't be done now. No MBA, I just interviewed well. Learned on the job. Now students do what I had to learn in DECA courses. But I always knew I wanted to live in NYC and be an "executive" from a young age. Somehow I got there.
    Now, I asked my daughter when she was in 9th grade, what she wanted, since you have to design a college application around it. She wanted deep ocean ecosystems research. Never waivered. Although our college plans were one way, her professional goals went another. And we talk a lot here about what colleges, graduated schools. I am seeing that her choices are critical for her path. She is at USC, got into second year, with 8 AP credits for first year. She got a work/study job at the museum uploading marine specimens for some national classification project. So has research job paying $16 an hour. Her oceanography prof is helping her get into the right labs. She wanted this one lab, prestigious and he told her the guy was nasty to his staff and directed to another, where the lead got her PhD in the MIT/Woods Hole program that my daughter aspires to. She is in a small group of ocean science where the profs want to promote the program. They have a 10 week diving/research program in the summer and have already told her that they can get her on the Antarctic research boat the following summer. Critical for her studies. She has to push the research as she loses a year of freshmen research with the AP credits, but the profs are helping. I would never have thought a year ago that this school was the best option for her, now I have to admit, this is probably the best option. On so many levels she would not have these opportunities. But my kid wanted a specific field. Knew all along. How did she figured it out? By trying everything.
    She was considered gifted at piano, we are talking at 3 they were pushing her when we were just trying to get her in group piano. So we pushed for a few years, but she didn't love it. She did ballet but in puberty, her body development said, I don't think so. She was hurting herself trying to turn out her closed hips. She has a 2nd level in horseback riding. She learned to swim early since we spent summers on the ocean. She played tennis and became a high performance laser sailor. She was a semifinalist in a global tech competition and created and taught web dev java classes during covid. She wrote her essay about teaching a 65 year old woman who was not tech savvy, and the resulting amusing stories. She also travelled to 7 continents and 45 countries by the time she was 15. She snorkled on the great barrier reef and in the carribean and Hawaii. She skiied on the school ski team and learned what it was like to be above the tree line and see the world. What it was like to climb stairs in the Potala palace with low oxygen. All kinds of little experiences that all add up to seeing the world more clearly.
    She says her dorm friends comment how independent and driven she is about creating opportunities for herself. So I think if you show your child how to take opportunities and explore options, they will learn to find their way.

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    #250012 - 09/17/22 02:28 PM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    empleat Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/18/22
    Posts: 7
    This provides compherensive guide how to choose career to make impact (non-profit): https://80000hours.org/start-here/?int_campaign=2021-12--primary-navigation__start-here

    You should probably try reading about multiple things and listening to people in profession. And learn how to know what you are good at!

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    #250018 - 09/22/22 08:07 PM Re: How do you choose a profession? [Re: giftedamateur]
    millersb02 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/16/19
    Posts: 24
    I recommend reading the book “Finding your own North Star” by Martha Beck. I think it will be particularly helpful for those navigating big life decisions who have high ability and personal identity tied to achievement.

    I wish I would’ve thought about these two things when approaching a career choice: what will my life and lifestyle be like with this career choice and how will this career choice grow with me… will I always be learning?, do I want to do this when I’m 40? Etc.

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