Gifted Adults and their CareersWritten by Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
"James is so restless and energetic. I wonder if he's hyperactive."
"Nancy seems to be all over place. She's got a dozen projects going at once!"
"Harley does things so fast! He put up a website in two weeks."
"Marlene is so intense. She needs to lighten up."
While it's possible that James is hyperactive, Nancy is scattered, Harley skates on thin ice and Marlene is depressed, it is also possible that each of these people wears label, "gifted adult."
Gifted children often lose interest in school because they're bored. They don't always get top grades because they think in unconventional patterns.
Gifted adults can be misunderstood. Those who read books like Jacobsen's The Gifted Adult often feel relieved: "Finally, someone understands where I'm coming from!"
Gifted adults often face unique career challenges. Job environments rarely reward creativity, a hallmark of gifted, and frequently punish anyone who threatens to color outside lines. Corporations often resemble football games, where players are rewarded for being in position to receive ball everyone wins by executing coach's play. Gifted people function better when their game resembles playground basketball, where you can scramble and make plays as you go.
"If you can't be happy where you are, maybe you need to move!" Written by Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Every time I give a talk about life transition, someone invariably calls to say, "I believe happiness is inside us. If you can't be happy here, you can't be happy anywhere."
I have to resist temptation to shout, "Aaargh!"
We all know people who never seem to be happy. They move from one town to another. Maybe they keep changing jobs. It's tempting to say something like, "People your age always have trouble when they move to a new community." Or, "Very few people enjoy their jobs -- get used to it!"
Both of those statements are true. However, some people really will be happier in New York City than in a small town in Iowa, and vice versa. Some people have managed to choose a career that clashes with their personalities, talents and needs. When they move, they're happier almost immediately.
But don't be too quick to tell yourself (or your friend), "So, move already! Stop complaining!"
If you've had several unhappy moves, identify underlying cause. You may simply be a restless person who needs a career and lifestyle that offers variety. You may be an outgoing, lively person, in a career or town that rewards quiet, reserved communication styles. You may be a morning person in a world that demands staying awake past midnight and sleeping till noon.