What would you consider to be ‘elite’ careers?

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Mandem67
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Common characteristics of these careers are high pay, competitive employees from top institutions with top grades and skills, a sense of prestige, fast pace, responsibility, etc.

I would say medicine, corporate law and investment banking (and the associated exit opportunities) are definitely on that list, but what others are there? I guess the top tech firms, too, although I don’t know much about that industry.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Mandem67)
Common characteristics of these careers are high pay, competitive employees from top institutions with top grades and skills, a sense of prestige, fast pace, responsibility, etc.

I would say medicine, corporate law and investment banking (and the associated exit opportunities) are definitely on that list, but what others are there? I guess the top tech firms, too, although I don’t know much about that industry.
People seem obsessed with prestige? is it important to you?

Astronaut.
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Mandem67
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(Original post by 999tigger)
People seem obsessed with prestige? is it important to you?

Astronaut.
No, I just find it interesting that some careers attract a sort of elite, super competitive candidate more than others. I wouldn’t say that astronauts are typically this sort of elite employee. They are very smart and accomplished, sure, but unlike doctors, bankers, lawyers they don’t seem to have that level of ‘polish’ for some reason.
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username738914
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there exist "soft" elite careers and "hard" elite careers

soft elite careers are just careers that sample for traits and experiences mostly held by those from the upper middle class or above. confidence, eloquence, conscientiousness, schmoozing skills, strong educational foundations (in terms of numeracy, literacy, good grades, and being well read), well-roundedness from sports and enrichment programs as kids, brand names, having connections in powerful places, being mentored etc

it's nothing particularly special once you're part of that crowd. and you certainly don't *feel* elite, it's just your new normal..

the bulk of successful entrepreneurs, top executives, top professional services professionals, healthcare professionals, financiers, legislators/policymakers, officers in the military, etc are drawn from this pool

hard elite careers sample for raw brainpower and talent. more often than not drawing from scrappy extremely intelligent childs of immigrants or just immigrants or kids that had their interests in whatever subjects nurtured.

these are the software engineers at Google, FB. the quants at DE Shaw, Citadel etc. the research scientists working at leading institutions. the engineers at big oil firms. top tier designers. elite sports people. elite actors. so on and so forth

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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Princepieman)

soft elite careers are just careers that sample for traits and experiences mostly held by those from the upper middle class or above. confidence, eloquence, conscientiousness, schmoozing skills, strong educational foundations (in terms of numeracy, literacy, good grades, and being well read), well-roundedness from sports and enrichment programs as kids, brand names, having connections in powerful places, being mentored etc

it's nothing particularly special once you're part of that crowd. and you certainly don't *feel* elite, it's just your new normal..

the bulk of successful .... officers in the military, etc are drawn from this pool
Actually, in the RAF, this is a myth brought about by the 1940's/50's preference for actors with received pronunciation starring in all the war movies. The RAF officer cadre has always been a place people could 'make themselves', regardless of background. Being much more academically/technologically inclined across all branches, and particularly 'the sharp end', the RAF has always been much more meritocratic in terms of officer entry. It's really the Kenneth Moore/Michael Redgrave/Richard Todd factor in the films that generated the idea that the RAF officer was generally upper middle class. They are and always have been, recruited on merit, regardless of background/accent. The training in how to adapt to a new normal, which might mean dining with royalty, speaking in public, leading etc is then inculcated during officer training.
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gjd800
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Philosopher King.
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username738914
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Actually, in the RAF, this is a myth brought about by the 1940's/50's preference for actors with received pronunciation starring in all the war movies. The RAF officer cadre has always been a place people could 'make themselves', regardless of background. Being much more academically/technologically inclined across all branches, and particularly 'the sharp end', the RAF has always been much more meritocratic in terms of officer entry. It's really the Kenneth Moore/Michael Redgrave/Richard Todd factor in the films that generated the idea that the RAF officer was generally upper middle class. They are and always have been, recruited on merit, regardless of background/accent. The training in how to adapt to a new normal, which might mean dining with royalty, speaking in public, leading etc is then inculcated during officer training.
Fair enough, learn something new everyday!
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AnharM
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(Original post by ltsmith)
medicine
law
dentistry
banking
accounting
tech
veterinary medicine
Entrepreneurship over everything.
There's no way you can tell me you'd rather be slaving away 12 hours a day sometimes, in your office, or being called in at 3am for a life-or-death situation and you're the top surgeon, than being Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates or Richard Branson.

I know I just named four billionaires, but the same applies to people who earn much less than them.
Of course it depends by what you own, a person who owns 5 well-managed restaurants, in a fancy area like Kensington, London, has a lot more prestige and is making a lot more money than a person who owns their own barber shop, or café.

I just think entrepreneurs have amazing lives. They are their own bosses, they have ownership of their lives. They are doing what they want to be doing. I wish I was as brave as these people, because I always fear the worst. I fear what if I don't make a profit? What if I just make £20,000 profit for the year?
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AnharM
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(Original post by ltsmith)
To some extent, this is true. But there are some preconditions you've overlooked.

You need knowledge to be a successful enterpreneur. You can't just be an ideas-guy with no education and resources, "hey bro i got this sick new idea for a new app,... i just need someone to program it and finance it." You ever seen the facebook page, "I can handle the business side"?

People like Zuckerberg were incredibly smart geeks with rich parents. Zuckerberg turned down a 1 million dollar offer from Microsoft in high school. They already had the knowledge and money. Most have neither. Having a successful career is the path to entrepreneurship.
I didn't overlook how smart they are, where did I?

Some definitely have the brains (the likes of Zuckerberg do) but then there are a lot of self-sustaining entrepreneurs who don't (my cousin owns 4 or 5 shops now and he dropped out of sixth form).

What I'm saying is, great entrepreneurs don't necessarily need to be book smart, they don't necessarily need to be a genius. But what they all have is a sheer persistence that their idea will succeed. All successful entrepreneurs have this trait.

You don't necessarily need to be a billionaire to be a great entrepreneur, nor a millionaire. If you'd ask me what would you rather be: a surgeon who earns £150k a year or an entrepreneur who earns £100k/year, I'd easily pick the latter.
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ecolier
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Being a TSR volunteer
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AnharM
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(Original post by ltsmith)
i would pick the former because there's no guarantee this hypothetical's entrepreneur's income is stable over the long-term. surgeons have recession-proof careers and are always in demand. but if the entrepreneur is a doctor, accountant or software developer with his own clinic or business, then i'd pick the latter anyday.
I don't know if this happens for most entrepreneur's but my cousin doesn't have to work most days, all he has to do is manage the books (according to my sister). A surgeon actually has to physically be there and do his job.

Job satisfaction is what you're not fully considering. Entrepreneur's open up businesses that they feel passionate about, and they are willing to put a lot of time in. A lot of surgeons love their jobs, but I know there are a lot who don't. This isn't just a case for surgeons too, this works for investment bankers too, who do 12 hour shifts, try to find a way to exit their company and fail to do so, because the bank just offers them a raise (or a big bonus).
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username738914
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(Original post by AnharM)
I didn't overlook how smart they are, where did I?

Some definitely have the brains (the likes of Zuckerberg do) but then there are a lot of self-sustaining entrepreneurs who don't (my cousin owns 4 or 5 shops now and he dropped out of sixth form).

What I'm saying is, great entrepreneurs don't necessarily need to be book smart, they don't necessarily need to be a genius. But what they all have is a sheer persistence that their idea will succeed. All successful entrepreneurs have this trait.

You don't necessarily need to be a billionaire to be a great entrepreneur, nor a millionaire. If you'd ask me what would you rather be: a surgeon who earns £150k a year or an entrepreneur who earns £100k/year, I'd easily pick the latter.
owning and operating small businesses is not entrepreneurship

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tomahawker314
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(Original post by AnharM)
You don't necessarily need to be a billionaire to be a great entrepreneur, nor a millionaire. If you'd ask me what would you rather be: a surgeon who earns £150k a year or an entrepreneur who earns £100k/year, I'd easily pick the latter.
I think you massively glamorize the experience of being an entrepeneur. They will have worked truly insane hours in the beginning to get to the fairly modest point they are at now in the example you gave. The daily stress is definitely more than you expect as all decisions are in essence yours.
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TimmonaPortella
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(Original post by Princepieman)
and you certainly don't *feel* elite, it's just your new normal..
In my experience this is true of pretty much anything you can do. There must be very, very few people who walk around thinking, 'gosh, I feel so terribly elite right now'.
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Gent2324
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i think the elite careers are one which people work for themselves rather than following a set path. ie entrepeneurs, ceo's etc, they are the ones that really stand out. most others are based on revising 5 hours a day
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Skyrim
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(Original post by Princepieman)
owning and operating small businesses is not entrepreneurship

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By definition it is.
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/entrepreneur
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username2281157
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(Original post by ltsmith)
medicine
law
dentistry
banking
accounting
tech
veterinary medicine
How did accounting get there... far too uninspiring imo and anyone can become one.
If I had to pick, it would be undercover for the MI6. But not that anyone would know of course.
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Kernel_Coder
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(Original post by AnharM)
Entrepreneurship over everything.
This 100% (also a self-employed person will pay FAR less tax than an employee).

Reposting from my other thread on "what is a good salary?" because the same information applies here:

I would say a good salary is one which you pay yourself, where the pay increases at a faster rate than if you worked for someone else.

If you are motivated to make money, it should really only be a matter of time before you arrive at self-employment.

Taxation/cost of living can potentially be much lower if your're self-employed.

It's not necessarily what you earn, but what you invest. Some are on comparatively enormous salaries, but for whatever reason (poor impulse control, short-term thinking etc...) don't save/invest as much as those on lower salaries.

Becoming wealthy IMO is primarily about behaviour above all else.

One of my favourite stack-exchange posts: https://money.stackexchange.com/ques...everybody-rich
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Kernel_Coder
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In addition to my previous point, a highly skilled employee (with the exception of some extremely rare cases) will hit a pay ceiling at some point throughout their career, for some professions this can be as early as your 30's...

A successful self-employed person should have a mechanism for increasing yearly/monthly earnings, if scaled correctly, this won't lead to a pay ceiling and given enough time, your earnings will surpass the overwhelming majority of employed persons (including those in 'elite' careers)

Money and prestige are not really the same thing, it's quite rare to meet someone who truly, and I mean truly just wants money. Many people with 'elite' careers live in high cost of living areas, go out to eat frequently (including consuming expensive drinks), start families, buy sports cars/expensive watches etc... They don't plan for the future, and have fairly mediocre savings/portfolios.

Others (including some with 'elite' careers) run their entire life like a business, saving and investing anything they can.

I've worked in finance and the overwhelming majority of people (easily 90%+) fall into the first group, you have countless examples, just look at anyone 40-50+ in a highly paid career but not self-employed, they are still owned by their employer.
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username738914
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it's absolutely not.

there's very little risk involved in owning a small business with a known business model and a local footprint.

entrepreneurs start businesses that SCALE and INNOVATE, not businesses that self-sustain in a hyper local way through a known business model as SMEs owners do. small business owners are small business owners, entrepreneurs are a different breed.

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