When people ask me what I do, I find it hard to give an answer. I wear multiple hats: Writer, editor, project manager, consultant, coach… I am both creative and analytical. I am equally happy writing about HR trends than I am covering lifestyle stories. Instead of denying my multi-passionate nature, I embraced it.
Here’s how it improved my career and how it could improve your career, too.
1. It Made Me Happier
When I was younger, I struggled with the idea of choosing one thing to do forever, say, becoming a lawyer or a pharmacist. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do. Quite the opposite: I found so many things interesting it was hard to narrow it down.
Journalism provided the perfect platform to launch my career because it allowed me to explore different topics, connect with people from all walks of life and continuously learn new things. When I stepped into a leadership role for the first time, I dove head first into bettering my ability to lead and support a team, which later resulted in a passion for all things leadership and management. When I worked for a startup, I was in my element – I dabbled in nearly every department of the quickly growing company. After I left my full-time media career and started freelancing, I reconnected with my love of writing and even wrote a book.
I stopped trying to pigeonhole myself a long time ago. And I’ve never been happier. Instead of carving it in a linear way, I found to improve your career means evolving with skills and interests. I know that all my experiences end up feeding into each other. Every day is different and I like it that way. I get to be my whole, multifaceted self while working, which has improved my emotional wellbeing.
2. It Made Me a Better Problem-Solver
“Jack of all trades, master of none.” While some people say that specializing is the only way you’ll ever be good at something, I see being multi-passionate as a strength. It has made me a better problem-solver because I approach problems from unique angles. I connect dots and ideas that don’t seem related at first glance but end up yielding useful solutions. For example, I helped a business owner friend solve an operational problem in his poultry processing plant. I know nothing about poultry, but I got inspired by the business model of a company in a completely unrelated industry to provide insights.
This ability is actually called lateral thinking, a term used to describe the process of solving a problem by seeing it in a new light instead of using a logical step-by-step approach. Having multiple areas of interest has definitely made me a better lateral thinker.
3. It made me more versatile
It has also made me more versatile. And in a rapidly evolving and uncertain world, this is an advantage. Embracing my multi-passionate nature opened professional doors for me. Employers appreciated my ability to support me in different areas. Taking on side projects at work led to advancement opportunities. Having a versatile skill set helped me succeed in different roles. As an entrepreneur, that versatility helps me attract clients and create results for them.
If you are anything like me, don’t let the world make you feel bad or scattered about your own multi-passionate nature. Own it, look at it as a superpower, and watch your career improve as a result.