Multipotentialite- Passionately Curious
I stumbled upon this blog by Good.Co this afternoon titled “Are you a Multipotentialite?”
The first sentence basically sold me.
“If you were to draw out your ideal career path, would it look more like a tree than a straight line?”
A tree…a jungle gym…a grapevine. I’m nodding vigorously at this point.
This is the Wiki definition of a Multipotentialite:
“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.”
I don’t think that I am “intellectually gifted” by any means, I’m more of a generalist than anything, but I do resonate with the nothin that I can be successful in many different professions unlimited to one lifetime.
Looking back, I don’t remember much from my academic career at NYU Stern. I can say coming out I had the yellow string on my grad cap, B.S. in Marketing and International Business/minor in Business of Media, Entertainment, and Technology. But what does all that even really mean or translate to? Affirmation that I will come out knowing more about myself and my career decisions in the business world? LOL.
If there is one thing that I enjoyed about my college career, I’d have to say it was going to my internships. When I wasn’t in school busting out 20 credits/semester worth of study time, I’d devote 20 hours/week to provide some sort of arbitrary value to a company. It was what I looked forward to.
I’ve worked for 11 companies the past 6 years. Dabbled in PR/Media Planning/Brand Management/Office Manager/Retail Marketing/Market Research/Digital Marketing/Product Development/Social Media/Operations/Project Management. I say dabbled in for a reason.
Here’s my resume
Someone in an interview last year had called me out for being a “generalist.”
I have now come to terms with that.
I LOVED the non-commitment temporary exposure, knowing that it was a “no hard feelings if I leave” “I’m going to get what I put in” sort of contract. Being labeled in the office as “the intern who had just biked in the rain to rush back to 6 PM class..that girl cray.” I would make myself remembered. But at the same time, it would be a “on to the next” sort of process for me.
During my last day on the job, I’d receive my praise/thank you’s from my colleagues/managers, would give the “thank you for xyz, exposure to kdz, keep in touch mkay?”. Meanwhile, I’d think to myself “WELL that was fun while it lasted…not sure if I would ever want to work their full-time…love the people, but I can’t envision that this is what I want to be doing for a looong time..”
Which makes me then think “What are people driven by? How can people just stick to one thing without thinking about the road not taken? What do I do when I want to do everything?”
Was I really caught up in that NYU Stern ratrace to find a good paying job at a reputable company so that I could prove to my friends and family that “I’M WORTHY”? Yes, in a way that was why I approached my first internship. But it was really because of boredom and this passionate curiosity to explore the infinite unknown that made me want to “go on to the next” without any consequence or acknowledgement to what it could mean for my past, present, future.
I didn’t come out post-grad knowing exactly what I wanted to do but at least I didn’t pigeon-hole myself into a career that I didn’t want in the first place either.
I just do things just to do them.
I’m going to end with the fact that the whole “What do you want to do 5 years” interview question is complete bullshit and everyone knows it.
NOBODY knows what they will be doing 5 years from now. And if they do, they’re lying to themselves. I could see myself in San Francisco being a LYFT driver, working in public relations at a nonprofit, being a personal trainer or SOULcycle instructor, teaching English in Japan, being a photographer and capture dynamics among generations in Taiwan, leading my own bike tourguide service in NYC, volunteering in South Africa, owning a small jazz cafe/bookstore/bikeshop in Denver, being this treeman and starting a movement to create genuine reaction. I want to integrate and connect people.
I’m a scanner. A generalist. A Plate spinner. A polymath. A Multipassionate.
It’s true. I refuse to specialize in, or subscribe the world’s view that one must commit to only one goal, one dream, one profession.
“But”.., Sher advises, “at some point, Scanners who never finish anything should sit down and look at what’s really going on,” “When a Scanner hits a certain wall, they stop. Often, it’s because they’ve lost interest. But sometimes, boredom is actually just a manifestation of subconscious fear. I tell people that they must, at least once a year, push through that anxiety and stick with a project until completion. They need to experience that discipline. And there’s a chance they’ll experience twice as much joy from experiencing that unfamiliar degree of depth.”
I’ll explore this further when the time comes, I’m just too excited that there is now a term to discuss what I am and have been feeling for years.
You have a new passion every week and you wonder what is wrong with you. Nothing is wrong.
The world needs people who can integrate and connect
Your unique mishmash of talents allows you to see what no else can see
Give yourself permission to do it all.
We are not mad, we are not lazy
We are not confused or aimless.
We are MULTIPOTENTIALITES