Multipotentiality, the ability to do well in two or more diverse fields as well as to maintain a number of disparate interests, sneaks up unannounced. Taking off on a career tangent can be richly rewarding, while to outsiders, it often looks like instability.
People who specialise often don’t understand how multipotentiality works.
What people say
People who don’t understand give plenty of sensible advice.
‘This week you want to be a vet, and last week you wanted to study drama. Last month it was nursing, before that geology. Just make up your mind! You need to choose one and stick to it. You must study the right subjects to get into university,’ they say to children.
Later, they say,
‘If you don’t settle down at one job (profession, career) you will become unemployable.
And later still,
‘It’s a pity she or he never settled down. Theycould have made a good career if only they’d stuck at something.
Although a practitioner for years, I recently discovered the words multipotentiality and multipotentialite. You can read what I wrote here. The ideas excite me, as have so many other concepts. I want to know more about them. I might have embraced the curiosity that impels me. Instead of being embarrassed by my career path with its many twists and turns, I’d be prouder.
Pros of multipotentiality
- So many ideas, occupations and pursuits beckon and dispel boredom.
- Disparate ideas from different areas fit into each other logically.
- Conceptual leaps across disciplines make sense.
- New career paths appear without the need to think about them.
- Many multipotentialites create new job opportunities.
- Multipotentialites generate ideas in each area when they work on several (or many) diverse projects at once
- Learning increases exponentially when a person has a broader framework into which ideas fit
Cons of multipotentiality
- Not enough time to do it all.
- Too many fascinating new rabbits disappear into holes, demanding to be followed.
- The ever-present danger of being mansplained to across a range of subjects.
- An academic record with random accomplishments.
- A resume that looks as if you made it up.
- The difficulty of explaining how you gained information, knowledge and skills.
- Employers, on the whole, prefer to employ specialists rather than generalists.
Multipotentialty goes on. Seizing the gift means agreeing experience new ideas, new interests and perhaps even new career paths so that my lovely life as a multipotentialite shows no sign of abating.
I’d love to read your comments. Please share your thoughts.