I'm Still Not Sure What To Be When I Grow Up
July 02, 2013
Do you have so many different interests and passions that the concept of settling into one career always felt awful to you?
Have you ever said to yourself, "I'm not sure what to be when I grow up?"You are…
- Afraid you'll either have to settle into a career and stick with it for life (boring!). Or, pursue your many, unrelated passions that will leave you penniless and unable to support your family.
- Well beyond your college years but still clueless about what you want to be when you grow up. You feel like something is wrong with you.
- Often described as a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. You are quickly excited about many, completely unrelated topics, but you may lose interest just as quickly.
- Someone with a zest for life and a love of new experiences and learning for the sake of learning.
- Very successful in your field, but bored to death and looking to change directions - again. To the horror and disbelief of those around you.
Genetically Wired To Pursue Many Unrelated InterestsYou’re part of a group of people genetically wired to be interested in – and pursue – many completely unrelated topics. Barbara Sher calls us “scanners” in her book, Refuse to Choose and Margaret Lobenstine wrote Renaissance Souls about us. Whatever the name, we are multi-talented people trying to fit a million passions into one lifetime. If you recognize yourself in this personality type and this is the first time you hear about this concept, I’m sure you’ve got all sorts of thoughts and feelings running through you right now. It’s not uncommon for someone with this trait to go through life unaware of it, feeling misplaced in society and trying hard to fit in. The good news is it IS possible to live a life that integrates all of your passions – whether it pertains to careers or hobbies, or both. And it’s definitely a wonderful trait! It makes you a very versatile, flexible, and interesting person.
The Multi-Talented Personality’s Place In SocietyEven though our culture hasn’t heralded these “renaissance personalities” during the past six decades or so, there are many famous people throughout history who were. Probably the best-known example is Ben Franklin. If you’re not familiar with his multi-faceted life, just look him up online and you’ll be astounded. And no one in his time would have the audacity to call him a jack-of-all-trades, master of none! But times are changing again, and I believe we’re entering an era where this personality type is highly valuable. Think globalization and the need for workers to function across disciplines and cultures. Especially in downtimes when resources are scarcer.
3 Main Characteristics Of The Multi-TalentedAdapted from Margaret Lobenstine’s The Renaissance Soul, these are the three main characteristics of this multi-talented personality type:
- A preference for variety over a single-minded focus. This has nothing to do with the ability or inability to focus on what you’re doing at that moment. As you’ll see later on, it’s not ADHD in disguise. Variety comes in many forms: Some people may pursue many interests simultaneously, others on a rotating basis, or they do it one at a time, then move on.
- The multi-talented enjoy a work style that doesn’t follow a linear, predictable process. Their emphasis is on growth and evolution instead of rigid adherence to a plan. This is also why the traditional time management systems typically don’t work for them. What they need is flexible plans. With emphasis on flexible!
- A sense of success defined by challenges mastered instead of how far up the ladder they’ve climbed. Multi-talented people love the steep learning curve a new challenge or skill presents. Once they’ve mastered this or solved a problem, they’re done. This is why their definition of success and completion is very different from other people.