Consoled By Poetry: Career Twists and Turns

Johanna Shapiro PhD

Some people are fortunate enough to know, by the time they are sixteen (or sometimes six), what it is they want to do with the rest of their lives. Their career path is set – mathematician, teacher, physician – and a direct line appears to exist between the point of aspiration and the point of achievement. For others, a process that has been described as an organic unfolding occurs – one’s abilities and inclinations lead to certain work, which in turn provides the foundation for other, related work, and in this fashion an interesting, although not always predictable, career is built. Regardless of the type of career one has evolved – whether “directed” or “organic” – it is likely that within that career there may be various shifts of emphases as new interests and challenges develop, and other aspects of work become excessively familiar and well-worn.

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