How many times have you met someone that told you what they did for a living, and then said, “I actually went to school for ________. I’m doing nothing close to that.” Some of us, however, took the title straight from our degree and got a job in our field.
Both of these states are okay – because while exams and degrees are helpful in determining what you’re good at, they can’t measure your interest in future endeavors and spark for innovation.
So – what happens when you realize you don’t want to do just one thing for the rest of your life? For starters: don’t freak out. These next three points will both reassure you and leave you with actionable ways to move forward from here.
(Once you see why you don’t need to pick just one thing to do in your career, you may want to pop on over and check out our brand new e-course for a self-paced, five module plan to help you Find Purpose in Your Career if you’d like to dig a little deeper.).
Dive Deeper into Multipotentiality.
Ever heard of it? You might have experienced it without even knowing the name for it.
Multipotentiality is the state of having many talents or interests. People who experience multipotentiality are also referred to as polymaths or multipassionates, and believe they don’t just have “one true calling.”
Emilie Wapnick explained the multipotentialite’s struggle in her TED Talk:
“…I began to notice this pattern in myself where I would become interested in an area and I would dive in, become all-consumed, and I’d get to be pretty good at whatever it was, and then I would hit this point where I’d start to get bored. And usually I would try and persist anyway, because I had already devoted so much time and energy and sometimes money into this field. But eventually this sense of boredom, this feeling of, like, yeah, I got this, this isn’t challenging anymore — it would get to be too much. And I would have to let it go.
But then I would become interested in something else, something totally unrelated, and I would dive into that, and become all-consumed, and I’d be like, “Yes! I found my thing,” and then I would hit this point again where I’d start to get bored. And eventually, I would let it go. But then I would discover something new and totally different, and I would dive into that.”
Having multiple passions isn’t something to get anxious about. While having a steady job and climbing the corporate ladder seemed like an important apart of life in the past, our generation is focused on finding a role for your passion(s) to play in your life.
Find Short Contracts.
Fear of commitment in the job world is a very real feeling for many people who just don’t think they can pick one thing to do every day for the rest of their lives.
As the 8-5 job is slowly becoming less of a trend, more and more people are finding flexible jobs with short contracts. Don’t be afraid to hop on projects you know are not long-term – it might be good for you to explore it.
Freelancing is a simple way to find what you love through temporary contracts. Through sites like Guru, Upwork and many more, you have plenty of options to find temporary jobs, either virtually or in person.
Remember – Nothing is Permanent.
At a conference for job seekers, I heard from a speaker whose words really resonated with me. She talked about how many people found success in their career path by ditching the traditional route and creating their own opportunities.
Imagine what was around 40 years ago when your parents were being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My first guess would be that your parents probably didn’t say app developer, social media coordinator, digital marketer or UX programmer. The world is always changing; your dream job might not even exist yet. In fact, you might have to create it yourself. Don’t settle for a traditional job when what you want is just waiting to be built.
Some of us were meant to have one thing driving us in our lives and get really good at it. Some of us were not – and that’s okay.
Don’t freak out if you’re stuck in a role that’s working for you now, but can’t see yourself in forever. People are realizing that they can have more than one mid-life career crisis because of the expanding opportunities for online, inexpensive education, growth in new fields and generational changes in workplace culture.
You may not be able to fit ALL your dreams, interests and goals into one lifetime, but you sure don’t need to limit yourself to one.