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1986
Blue Jay
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29 Nov 2018, 3:38 am

Reading this subforum for some time, I realise that I'm pretty well off despite my Asperger diagnosis. I managed to change countries twice (first to the UK, then to Japan), study at a top school and graduate with an award, and after less than two years working in Japan I'm already going on international travels to meet clients and give presentations. So, in a sense, I'm a high achiever who has achieved a lot already.

On the flip side, the job can be super stressful and demanding. I leave home at 7:30 everyday and often don't come home until after midnight. Working in teams (and supervising others) has also been a huge challenge for me, as previously I've been a kind of "loner" type who excels when he can do things the way he wants it, on his own. Still, I'm holding on and I generally have good social relations around me.

One problem I face too is that I'm starting to reach my "peak" level. Already at work I'm surrounded by very able, NT persons. They can rack up those hours, do an excellent job, and still have energy to socialise well. So at the moment, I feel like I'm in a top league, but kind of the worst player there ... I'm been thinking of quitting, but for now my decision is simply to keep grinding until I get better, little by little.

Are you a high achiever? What do you think about people who are high achievers job-wise? How do you react when you meet someone who is more able than you? Do you try to compete? Or do you run your own race? What happens if you're put to manage someone more able than you -- could/can you do it?

Thanks for the advice. :)



Trueno
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29 Nov 2018, 4:02 am

I wouldn't describe myself as a high achiever but I was constantly surprised by ny bosses' praise and them telling me how I set a standard. My job was 80% working on my own in a corner and 20% interacting with other people. The 20% part was really horrible and stressful. Eventually I had to tell my boss I really wasn't interested in promotion. I had physical problems as well as mental problems... I eventually worked part time and my last two years of work were hell... I just fell off a cliff. My belief is that you have to look after yourself... the money isn't everything as long as you have sufficient. Advice... take the money while you think you can but have an escape plan... preferably with a fixed time scale. Working less hours is great, but in high pressure environments that often signals that you're not made of the right stuff (I think the exact opposite, by the way).
Best of luck.


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BTDT
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29 Nov 2018, 9:04 am

I enjoy interacting with other high achievers. We typically have more ideas than we could possibly work on, so we don't have the need to keep stuff secret like normal people.



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30 Nov 2018, 6:16 am

As much as I complain on this forum about the horrors of my current job, I'm probably in the High Achievers club as well. Consistently get glowing reports from my boss (glowing enough that, while she throws in the inevitable stuff pressuring me to socialize more/better, my job remains secure...until I burn out and leave it...). I'm pretty sure I got the biggest bonus in my department. I'm ABD for a doctorate, won a national award for Best Abstract that usually goes to faculty and the paper is going into print in the #2 journal in my field, and when I was young I graduated summa cum laude from an Ivy, then went to Cambridge.

But the rat race has absolutely run me into the ground, self-esteem-wise and health-wise. I have never had much energy, and some days it takes so much of it remembering to perform all the social rituals correctly that I get no actual work done (my good record is mostly based on the fact that I work freakishly fast in hyperfocus, so I work 10-6 or 10-8 and do my real work after everyone else). I'm so, so sick of having to spend my whole life progressively learning more that my main "project" was going to be to learn how to hide all my "weird" behaviors (can I guess I didn't have a diagnosis until I was 36?)



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30 Nov 2018, 7:00 am

One idea about socializing more is that it may be like pruning shrubs. Exactly how you prune them isn't as important as pruning them to roughly the right size. The British rose society did a study and found no difference between carefully pruning them and using hedge clippers! In other words, interacting is more important than the fine details of the interaction.



Fern
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05 Dec 2018, 2:12 am

1986 wrote:
Are you a high achiever? What do you think about people who are high achievers job-wise? How do you react when you meet someone who is more able than you? Do you try to compete? Or do you run your own race? What happens if you're put to manage someone more able than you -- could/can you do it?


I have been accused of being an overachiever at work just this week actually. I'm an early career professional, between grad school and hopefully a tenure track position some day. It's ironic because I felt like I was the least competitive postdoc in my department last fall, so my goal for the first year was to simply catch up with everyone else in terms of publications. Well, a year later I have succeeded, increasing my CV from 6 to 12 peer-reviewed publications, with two more submitted, but not accepted yet. I somehow thought this would make me seem more like I belonged at my work place, but my colleagues' reaction when they found out (someone asked me at a party), was to give me a bit of a hard time about it. They called me things like "you over-achiever" or "show-off". It was said with a laugh, so I think it was meant in a complimentary way, maybe? Maybe not? I can't tell!

Anyway, in my line of work testable ideas are the currency we use to do business. I feel like if I am actually directly competing with someone's specific research ideas, then I'm not thinking enough outside of the box. I guess my motto is "don't hate the player, design your own game" :lol:


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Scorpius14
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05 Dec 2018, 10:23 pm

I could call myself i high achiever somewhat, even though i dropped out uni, but feel my skills are undervalued and not being tested at all and all that i've learned at college has gone to waste because i spent the last 4 years trying to get into work and taking on pointless courses and life skills that mean nothing in the real world.

In recent times i've been able to hold on to a job, but even though it is a repetitive job at times and demands one to focus on one task for several hours and change to a different one when asked which is good for me personally, the colleagues are always looking for conversation despite management emphasising on focusing more on work to meet targets. I'm always wondering if management prefer the talkative ones as i'm getting feedback from people saying i'm too quiet, i'd really like to respond with: "if you want to have a chat, go to a social club, work is for working". Managers like me for my work ethic but feel let down by my social skills and might prove to be my downfall when my contract expires.