I understand that starting professions exist to give you something to build off of for the game and they often make the most sense if you have them right at the beginning of the game. However, upon looking through all the decks, I've found that there are some pretty amazing professions that would be really cool to start with as well. Just from scanning the "C" deck, there's things like...
-Fish cook: feasting with fish lets you take the fish and put them in your houses
-Treasurer: pay 3 coins to turn a little chest into a big one
-Sympathetic soul: on non-harvests, gain 1/2/3 silver for having 3/4/5 special tiles
And the "B" deck has things like...
-Weapons warden: when placing 2 vikings, you get a weapon before the action
-Warmonger: place 1/2 fewer vikings on plundering square with 3/4 longships
-Festive hunter: feast using a 2x3 red, get 1 hunting game action
-Antlers seller: succeeded hunting game, get 1 silver
-Maid: for each house that replaces exactly one bonus good, you can replace that good with a silverware
-Shepherd's boy: 2 silver for a sheep (jumpstarts breeding)
Many of these are huge build-around cards that allow you to do some pretty cool things if you get them early. In addition, they can dictate which islands you take, which ships you buy and which actions you take. I would love to start a game with one of these but instead we have to start with the starter professions. Don't get me wrong, a few of them are really cool and are easy to build around but I'm a bit bummed out that the designer didn't just scrap the idea of starters and have us pick up maybe two professions to start to compensate. My guess is that starter professions help balance the game better but it really sucks to see so many really cool professions that often just become either a source of VP or a one-time tiny bonus by being drawn so late.
The starter professions are also professions that might combo dangerously with each other.
But yeah, in general, professions are more useful the earlier you get them. Unless you're topdecking when you play 4 occupations, there are very few situations where a profession is more useful at the end of the game than at the beginning.