Throughout his or her school career, you’ve become accustomed to hearing about how gifted your child is. You’re proud and thrilled that these natural talents prepare your child for a highly successful career. But do they really? Research has shown that being brilliant and achieving a satisfying career are not necessarily one and the same thing. Here’s how you can help a child who falls into one of two distinct expressions of brilliance.
Multipotentiality: Your Child is Good at Everything and Interested in Everything
Guiding children who exhibit multipotentiality can be enormously challenging. They invariably keep changing their minds and developing new interests. Going Ivy College Admissions or a psychologist trained in assisting gifted children can help them to pinpoint a career – but don’t be surprised if they change their minds.
Since these youngsters are always interested in trying new things, career changes in adulthood are almost a given. A degree course that opens up a wide range of fields may be the best choice for these generalists.
Does your gifted child fall into this group? He or she will usually be gifted in two or more unrelated fields, be inclined to participate in a wide variety of extramural activities, and have difficulty in making choices between one interest area and another. It’s not a matter of lacking enthusiasm – your child is enthusiastic about many things and may be inclined to overtax themselves in pursuing their diverse interests. In vocational tests, they show aptitude across a wide range of possible careers and may either hesitate to make a choice or just choose a popular option on the spur of the moment.
When they grow up, these children are not well-suited to stereotypical careers or tasks that require routine and method. They may perform them well, but they will find them unsatisfying. They’re often happy in atypical careers where they have an opportunity to exercise a variety of talents and are less bound by routine.
Early Emergers: Your Child is Passionate About Something Very Specific and Sticks With It
Your child’s single-minded passions may seem strange to you, but resist the urge to quench it or play it down. Encourage your child in his or her passion without entering into their enthusiasm so much that you destroy their pleasure in it.
Although their specific talent may not lead to your ideal career choice, it’s important to remember that it will be their career, not yours. They will be very good at it and are likely to stick to it – unless you discourage them so much that they lose interest. Doing so could lead to a lifetime of being a “square peg in a round hole.”
Children with this degree of focus are easy to spot and quickly earn a reputation as the “computer whizz” destined for a career in tech industries, the “artist in the family” who is sure to thrive on creative pursuits, or the “history buff.” They will be inclined to devote far less attention to courses that don’t match their interest while performing outstandingly in areas that do.
Your child will have no hesitation in choosing a career or area of study, and the primary area where they will need guidance is in planning their careers rather than choosing them. Once again, third-party counselling and a well-chosen mentor will prove valuable.
Both Types of Gifted Children Stand a Good Chance of a Highly Successful Career
Although it may seem that early emergers stand the best chance of success, those with multiple skills and interests are just as likely to enjoy a productive and successful work life. In both instances, getting the right start will be key. Believe it or not, being gifted can actually be a “problem” if it isn’t handled with sensitivity. Since you can’t help being at least a little bit biassed about what they should and shouldn’t do, be sure to get professional help, advice, and guidance. Brilliance requires nurture in order to bloom.