When I was growing up I had a friend who wanted to be an electrician. For as long as I could remember, Rich talked about his goal. He wasn’t particularly gifted in school, but he knew what he wanted to do with his life. When he got out of school, he went to a vocational school, got his license and all these years later still works as an electrician. He loves his work. Even takes on side jobs on the evenings and weekend. He gets excited when he tells stories about his work! It is really a pleasure to be around someone that enjoys his work so much!
For a long time in my career, I envied Rich’s contentment. Rich would be the first to tell you that I got all the accolades for being a great student and he would even tell you that I probably have greater "skills" when it came to creating a successful career. So why wasn’t I happy at work? I was in enviable positions of leadership and the money was OK but eventually I realized that what I lacked was the direction and focus that Rich had – and I couldn’t seem to find it. My career was guiding me instead of me guiding my career! It was years into my career wanderings before I came to understand that people who are highly gifted academically often have more challenges in sustaining career focus and momentum and may need to approach their career differently.
I’m definitely no expert when it comes to this topic but I have found people who are. Check out articles on Career Development for Gifted Individuals. There are many different perspectives offered by this collection of career experts so you’re bound to find an article that speaks to you and offers some encouragement!