There are heaps of reasons why more of us (me included) are swapping single day jobs for portfolio careers. Some of us need more variety. We need flexibility to pursue more of the things that absorb and move us. Sometimes we simply need to reshape how we work in a longstanding career we still love.
Yet despite growing numbers of portfolio careers ‘doing more than one thing at once’ is still less valued than specialising in ‘that one thing you’re good at’. Although its power is waning, the ‘single passion myth’ (see first video in my list) continues to shape the way we view career success.
Millions of deeply satisfying careers are built on pursuing a single passion. However lots of us struggle to find or to stick to a single path. Some of my clients have outgrown a career they’d pursued reasonably contentedly for years. Others have inexplicably lost their passion and sense of purpose. Some have a headful of exciting alternatives, whilst others are stuck for inspiration and direction.
Are you a multipod?
If you’ve got lots of ideas and interests, maybe you’re a multipod. This cute short form stands for multipotentialite. Multipods or scanners are hardwired ultra curious people who are likely to be happiest and most fulfilled by serial or simultaneous careers.
If you suspect you’re a multipod this quiz may help you decide. Watch Emilie Wapnick’s TED Talk on why some of us don’t have one true calling and how multipods are using their fresh thinking superpowers to do amazing things.
If you feel as if you might have fifty callings and can’t face the prospect of exploring just five of them, Barbara Sher’s ‘Refuse to Choose‘ has loads of insight and practical advice on how to manage a multifocal life.
4 multipod career paths
Being a multipod doesn’t mean constantly changing jobs. Wapnick’s research found that most multipods met their need for variety and change in one of the following ways:
A single job where they had multiple roles and responsibilities
A portfolio career combining multiple work styles (such as part time and freelance) and different skills
A stable day job that paid the bills but leaves time and energy for creative projects
A sequence of absorbing careers lasting long enough to exhaust enthusiasm for a subject before moving into a new field before boredom set in
She details these options in the three things she didn’t have time to say in her TED talk.
According to my quiz results I’m a sequential multipod. I prefer pursuing my multiple interests in a series of careers rather than juggling heaps of simultaneous passions. As career changers, sequential multipods can spend years between switches before we exhaust our interest in a chosen field. However, when it’s time to change we can have the phoenix touch. We look as though we’ve burned one life to the ground before we re-emerge in a completely new career. Which explains the looks on excolleagues’ faces when I’ve done a 180 degree career change!
Having just completed six successful months in my first portfolio career, I can confidently say, this description fits me well.
Keen to explore multipod careers? I can help.
By Jo Green, Career Coach
I know how it feels to be lost in your career. That’s why I coach, to create learnings, action and help others get stuff done! Career transitioning can be lonely and confusing. I walk alongside my coaching clients to support them, be their cheerleader and challenge them to make the changes they want in their life.
Drop me a note to organise a free 20 minute consultation to chat about your career change and how coaching could help.