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How long does it ta?

How long does it take to be a professional

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


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Tawney’s Answer

Hi Princess!

Thank you for asking this question as I'm sure this thought crosses many minds. The safest and most realistic answer that can apply across the board is: it depends. The field of study or profession can be a determining factor, i.e., medicine vs singing/acting. Either way, I was leaning toward 3-5 years. A quick search revealed a useful measure in an post from May 2020, "As Gladwell tells it, the rule goes like this: it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials, like playing the violin or getting as good as Bill Gates at computer programming". They add that good teaching matters, not only practice. I'll share the link, if you'd like to read the full article.

Essentially, on the journey to becoming a professional, not only would you study/practice/hone your craft, you'll need to experience some lessons learned. Some might describe it as paying your dues (~ experiencing some difficulties before achieving success). As my dad often says, "you have to go through some things to be qualified to guide others." That is how professionals are viewed for the most part, as guides to others in fields others aren't familiar with (e.g., law, taxes, medical, etc.).

TL;DR: it depends on the field. Some estimates lean toward 3-5 years or 10,000 hours.

Best wishes!!