The Art of Managing Multiple Career Interests
Some people have known exactly what they wanted to do for a living since they were a child. And then there are some of us who can’t seem to decide, who have many passions, and who have trouble managing our multiple career interests. We feel we have to give up one of our passions — or be forced to spend years searching for the one perfect job that encompasses them all.
Rebecca Thorman at the Brazen Careerist says we shouldn’t feel bad about our indecision. Instead, she offers some tips on “How to Succeed as a Multi-Passionate Careerist.” As someone who has lived through this, I found all of her advice to be helpful, especially this bit of insight and encouragement:
The chances that you’ll discover a dream job encompassing all your desired interests and skills for the rest of your life are slim. Careers aren’t linear these days. Instead, you’ll design a career in bits and pieces that, when looked at as a whole, will create something wonderful.
Isn’t that comforting? I look back on my career and in just four years I’ve earned a graduate degree, completed four internships, and worked in two broadcast newsrooms. While I’ve moved around quite a bit, it has given me an excellent, wide range of skills that most people don’t have. So how, exactly do we manage all of these interests?
One of Throman’s best tips is to “freely offer your time.” Volunteer to do the things you love and that aren’t offered at your current job. I’ve found this to be the best way to satisfy my many interests. While I was in school for writing and publishing, I did freelance jobs and internships that focused on video editing. This way, all of my skills were kept sharp, and I was happier knowing I was keeping up with all of my interests.
Thorman also suggests that you “schedule your focus in waves.” I used to struggle with this, but internships and classes helped me narrow my focus for short periods. I might focus on video editing for two or three months, then focus on a writing project for the following two or three months. If you keep jumping around on a daily basis, you might have trouble sticking to Thorman’s final tip:
“Make sure you finish what you start.” I’ve seen multi-passionate people trip up on this one big factor quite often: they don’t actually complete their projects. You can have a lot of great interests and talents, but if you never finish any of of your projects, what do you have to show for it? Suddenly your many talents and interests are a lot of flashy talk and no substance. So, make sure you finish what you start — and if you need help or aren’t sure how to do that, check out Rebecca Niziol’s great article here on CGN: “3 Tips to Help You Finish What You Start.” You’ll feel much better once you’ve completed something. Don’t be afraid, and just go for it! You have nothing to lose.
Check out the rest of Thorman’s tips here.