The professional environment holds several challenges for the gifted:
- Due to their multiple potentials, they have difficulty choosing a career.
- There’s a risk of being perceived as uncomfortable or threatening.
- The possibilities and challenges of a job are easily exhausted and don’t provide new input.
- Their skills often remain unrecognized.
In my experience, this often leads to quitting and/or changing jobs, unemployment and acquiring or practicing several jobs.
- Phases of uncertainty, ambivalence and decision-making
- Financial straits
- A propensity for self-employment, consultancy, or emotionally challenging professions
The following things have proven helpful in my practice:
- Emphasize that there is no pathological reason for career changes
- Seek to find solutions that fulfill the gifted person’s needs long-term. If you simply look for the next job, you may be facing the same difficulties soon.
- Instead of having several jobs: Express and enrich your career through multiple qualifications (e.g. As a lawyer you can become a specialist for different areas of law and offer your clients to do research or write articles. As a psychologist you can be active in the clinical field as well as in the corporate world, study different therapeutic methods etc.). This will provide a basis and safety for further development.
- It might also be sufficient to find a profession that is particularly compatible with giftedness, for example in IT, as a physicist, musician etc., or to work in a particularly suitable environment for giftedness, for example at the university or in an independent research institute. Also, very challenging environments such as intensive-care medicine or complex businesses may provide enough stimulation.
- If someone is unable to find sufficient satisfaction in their profession, it makes sense to follow a twin-track strategy: A part-time job combined with a fulfilling hobby, studying, or participating in advanced, higher educational training (at flexible hours if necessary).
© Frauke Niehues