"James is so restless and energetic. I wonder if he's hyperactive."
"Nancy seems to be all over the 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's also possible that each of these people wears the label, "gifted adult," often unaware.

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 the gifted, and frequently punish anyone who threatens to color outside the lines. Corporations often resemble football games, where players are rewarded for being in position to receive the ball everyone wins by executing the coach's play. Gifted people function better when their game resembles playground basketball, where you can scramble and make plays as you go.

And when gifted adults seek career guidance, they must filter feedback they receive from friends and consultants who are not familiar with their situation.

"Whoa! You're trying to be a jack-of-all trades and you'll end up a master of none."
"Wow! I've never seen anyone move as fast as you do. I'm sure you're going to be a success."
"You need to slow down."
"Focus on one thing at a time."
"I can't understand -- you need to focus."
"Boy, you're catching on fast! You must be well-suited to this field."

If you're gifted, you probably already have some idea that you're "different." Read a few books and articles. Browse websites.

Understanding how you operate can help you avoid, "Why is this happening" questions and reach success on your own terms.

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career and business coach. She works with midcareer professionals who are ready to make their next move.Website:
Weekly "Your Next Move" Ezine: