How to Find What Connects All Your Passions

Being a multipotentialite can make you feel paralyzed at times. The ability to do many different things, the passion for a variety of subjects and the fear of missing out can all act as detractors to your genius. Integrating your different passions and interests into a meaningful career path can seem like an impossible task.

If you’re like any other multi-passionate creative, the following scenario should be familiar. You start a project and get really excited about it. Then you think of a few other things and start to feel overwhelmed because you don’t know how to distribute your time or what’s even worth allocating time to. Analysis paralysis sets in and you start to wish you weren’t so different.

Being a multipotentialite is nothing to feel guilty about. On one hand you will always have options, but on the other, you might feel like you’re not effectively using your potential because you’re interested in almost everything. But believe it or not, there’s an overarching theme in all your passions. Finding that point of intersection can help bring everything together and give you a better sense of direction.
Here are three questions to ask yourself in order to figure out where all your passions connect:

How do I want to impact the world?

You can think about this in different ways. What causes do you care about? Alleviating poverty? Increasing literacy? Protecting the environment? At the end of your life, how would you want to be remembered? How can you use your skills to get to that point?
There are two types of multipotentialites: the ones who can do different things within a particular field and the ones who juggle projects in unrelated domains.
Suppose you’re a psychotherapist who helps young adults face the hurdles of growing up. On top of your full-time job, you have a podcast, blog and YouTube channel, and also host workshops where you share what you know in a digestible way. If we take a closer look at all your gigs, the overarching theme is helping people. How are you doing that? Mostly through education. This tells us how you want to be remembered. As someone who positively impacted people’s lives. Keeping the end in mind helps make sense of the process.
Now, imagine you’re an architect, guitar player and standup comedian. Harder to figure out what connects these interests right? The overarching theme could be that you’re most passionate about delighting people. Whether you give aesthetic pleasure through your architectural designs, stimulate the brain through your compositions and making people laugh with your jokes.
As long as your activities are connected to your overarching goal, they don’t have to make sense to people. The important thing is to do some soul searching and really figure out what matters to you. Don’t worry about people not understanding your dreams or naysayers discrediting your process. You owe it to yourself to pursue everything that gets you fired up.

What can I not live without doing?

For me, the answer is reading and writing. When I read, I’m inspired to keep producing. Even when I was taking science classes in college, I always made sure to add a creative writing class to stimulate that other side of me.
Being aware of what you can’t do without is important in prioritizing. It also allows you to incorporate that into everything you do. Whether I’m taking pictures or producing videos, I know I’m still telling stories. It might be my overarching theme, but it’s what brings everything together for me.
Think about activities that always somehow find their way into your day to day. They may be things you do on your free time and that you also do to some extent at work or for your side hustles. They will tell you more about who you are than anything else.

Will this bring me closer to my long-term vision in a few years?

You only have so many hours in the day, so it’s important to get the most out of all them. Over time, I’ve learned to be selective with the responsibilities I take on. I’d say passion is the most deciding factor, but there’s also the question of what’s in it for me. If a job will not contribute to my life in any other way than monetary, I’ll usually go for something more meaningful. Similarly, I get a lot of ideas but I can’t physically pursue all of them because I’ll only be interested in some for a very short time.
If your big goal is to become the editor-in-chief of a digital magazine, the following are all things that can take you closer to it over time:
a. Starting a blog (because you’ll get the hands-on experience of creating content, managing a team of writers etc.)
b. Work at a magazine (because you’ll see the ins and outs of what that’s really like)
c. Freelance write for digital publications (for the network and skill set)
d. Take a coding class (because some technical knowledge can never hurt)
I could go on, but the point is to become more intentional about the things you allocate your time to. Ask yourself how important it is and if it’ll continue to matter then go full throttle in the direction of your goals.
Being multi-passionate isn’t always easy to manage. You’re constantly reinventing yourself or learning more about what’s really important to you. But some regular soul searching should make the journey easier.

What’s the overarching theme behind all your passions? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Things Multipotentialites Should Look For in a Job

Finding a job is hard. Finding a job you love is even harder, especially if you’re someone who can do many things and have different interests and passions. It’s no wonder millennials switch jobs more often than previous generations. In fact, 42% of us change jobs every two to three years with 60% of us constantly open to new opportunities. This might have to do with the fact that only 29% of millennials reported being engaged at work, according to a Gallup study. Yet, our expectations aren’t very different from those of older workers.

I would imagine multipotentialites account for a big portion of the remaining 71% of millennials who aren’t engaged at work. It’s harder for us to be satisfied with our job mainly because we can’t picture ourselves doing one thing forever. So it’s not uncommon to find ourselves in Steve Jobs’ shoes when he said, “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Whether you’re gearing up for a career change or looking to move up the corporate ladder, here are five important things to look for in a job that will nurture your mutlipotentiality and lead to your growth and satisfaction:

Related: 3 Actionable Tips to Leverage Being a Jack of All Trades and Land More Gigs

You have the opportunity to wear different hats

A cross-functional role will allow you to exercise your multidimensional personality and develop a wide range of skills. It will challenge you to stretch your potential and discover new options. The startup I worked at in 2015 had a rotation program which gave interns the choice to work in different departments after each quarter. I first joined their Operations team, switched to sales then settled in the marketing department. Yet, we still had a multidisciplinary approach when it came to problem solving. It was very challenging, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and think outside of the box.

Startups or small companies tend to foster a more collaborative environment. Say you work as a social media manager of a digital media company. Maybe you can take the initiative to work with the editorial team on certain projects? If your day to day slots you into a routine, it’s up to you to be proactive and expand your portfolio. You will also become more marketable as a result.

You fit the culture

When it comes to your career, it is not enough to love what you do. It’s crucial to be in the right environment, surrounded by people you can learn from and contribute to. The best companies don’t just have employees. They have mentors and coaches, people who are genuinely there to support each other. And they can only do that if the owners share these principles. Culture is the personality of a company. It’s what keeps employees engaged and gives them a reason to brag about their job.

Tech startups are known to have a very laid-back culture: casual dress code, cross-functional roles, beer parties on Fridays or exclusive concerts, nap rooms and ping pong tables…you name it. It’s no surprise these jobs are so competitive! Still, it’s not for everyone. You could be doing what you love and getting paid all the money in the world, but if you’re not comfortable in that kind of workplace, you will not be happy. So it’s all about identifying what you’re a fit for. At interviews, ask questions that pertain to the office culture. What is your boss’s managerial style? What are the people like? Do they work together? If you could get a tour of the office or chat with different employees, that’s cherry on top of the cake!

Here are key characteristics to keep in mind:

a. A spirit of innovation and an openness to ideas

As multipotentialites, we have a lot of ideas. We are constantly challenging ourselves to think creatively and merge our interests. So it’s important to be in a working environment that embraces new ideas and encourages employees to take initiatives.

Ever heard of intrapreneurs? Investopedia defines them as inside entrepreneurs. In other words, they are “employees within a company who are assigned to work on a special idea or project, and they are instructed to develop the project like an entrepreneur would.” If a company trusts you to the point where they invest in you like that, you have a golden opportunity to carve your own path – without the risks associated with going out on your own.

b. Flexible working conditions

Does the company put their employees first? Then their policy will reflect that. Sometimes, you’ll want to work from home and other days you’ll feel like going to the office. Can they accommodate that? When you’re juggling multiple projects, having the flexibility to work from anywhere is a huge help. You’ll likely be more efficient since you’ll save time on commuting.

c. Talented and supportive team – aka “friends”

Humans thrive on social connections, so naturally, we gravitate towards the people around us – classmates, colleagues, teachers etc. There’s nothing like having friends at work! How many times have you heard someone say that getting to work with some people is the best part of their job?  When you’re part of an awesome team, it affects your engagement, productivity and overall happiness. In fact, in a LinkedIn study,  57% of 18-24 year-olds reported being more happy when they have friends at work. 50% of them said it makes them feel more motivated and 39% of them felt more productive as a result. This shows that career happiness is linked to the relationships you have at work.

 They invest in your education

Suppose you struggle with a particular area of your role and would like to improve, you would benefit from your company putting in place a library of resources to help you hone that skill.  Whether it be online courses, tuition reimbursement, paid off-site seminars and workshops or training sessions, educational opportunities at your job will help you excel in your career. They also pave the way for horizontal mobility, which is intrinsic to professional development. My old startup used to host bimonthly lectures on a topic that was relevant to the industry. They had also purchased a library of courses for us to use if we wanted to master a particular skill. Their prioritization of employee success made me feel even more connected to the company.

Don’t trade your time for just dollars. Cultivate experiences, grow as much as you can and build valuable relationships. A job is what you make of it. As Earl Nightingale said, “Jobs are owned by a company. You own your career!”

When considering your next job offer, remember this from Brian Tracy, “If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.”

Do you have advice on other things to look for in a job? Let me know in the comments!

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How to Make Time For All Your Gigs

Whether it’s to actualize a passion, make extra money or explore an  interest, millennials are consistently taking on side gigs. More than other age groups, we are pushing the boundaries of what we can do and concretizing our full potential.

In a study, Career Builder showed that nearly 39% of those 18-24 and 29% of those 35-44 reported making money on the side. We are effectively leveraging our ability to do different things to add to our skill set and make more money. This can only work to our advantage as it also makes us more marketable. As Career Builder’s Chief Human Resources Officer said, “Side hustles not only provide financial benefits to workers, but they make them more attractive candidates to employers, especially in a competitive job market.”

Multipotentialites exist in greater numbers than we think. I’m willing to bet most people you know have at least one other thing going on. Know that classmate who now works in advertising? Chances are, she does photography on weekends. Remember your old chemistry professor? She probably takes ballet classes after work.

I currently freelance as a social media strategist for a startup and write for 4 different publications each week. Somehow, I still find time to manage my blog and YouTube channel, explore New York City for inspiration and hang out with friends every now and then. When I share everything I do with people, I often get a “Wow” in disbelief. Their eyes open in amazement as if I was a superhuman. The truth is, I’ve just been figuring out how to effectively spend my time. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. I still procrastinate like everyone else, but I’ve been better at making every day count.

When handling different projects, time management is key. It’s good to have endeavors that don’t relate to each other, but if you don’t cultivate discipline, you will not be able to sustain them. Here’s how I integrate everything I love into what I do:

I Work From Home

Let me preface this by saying that I only work from home because I freelance full-time. I sometimes miss the social aspect of being in an office, but working from home has its perks.

Commuting used to take 2-3 hours each day. It’s a good chunk of time that I now use to either sleep more, do some exercise or mentally prepare myself in the morning. When you don’t have to rush to work or overdose on coffee, you tend to have a better start to your day. Doing that naturally predisposes me to being more productive.

If you have the option to work from home, you should try it. It’s not for everyone, but I can say I get more done when I’m in my natural habitat. And not just for my main job, but for my side projects as well. I still follow a regular 9 to 5 schedule and I use my lunch break to either write a blog post, update my social media pages or work on a new video.

I Apply What I Learn From One Endeavor to Another

My endeavors complement each other. From doing social media strategy for startups and small business owners, I learn tactics that I can apply directly to my own social media platforms. For example, I recently learned how to optimize Facebook ads for maximum conversion by running a few campaigns for a client. This is a skill that I won’t have to learn when I decide to run ads for my own blog.

Even if your endeavors don’t relate to each other, they can teach you a transferable skill or give you access to a network that can advance your career. A financial analyst can leverage his attention to detail and the data-driven side of his brain to, say, conduct lab experiments. A real-estate broker can possibly use his selling capabilities to create marketing campaigns.

If you look beyond the surface, you will most likely find an underlying theme behind everything you do. Make your jobs and side gigs work for you!

I Spend My Leisure Time Productively

If you tell me that my leisure time is meant exclusively for leisure, I’ll agree with you. But I can’t help it. When I take a break, I usually do something that helps me get better at my side gigs. For example, I listen to blogging podcasts when I can’t bring myself to write a blog post, browse articles online or read a book when I’m experiencing writers’ block or go explore a random part of the city to take pictures for Instagram or create content for Snapchat. These are all considered my leisure activities, yet they stimulate my brain.

I still struggle with unplugging completely and this is why this technique works for me. So I don’t recommend it to everyone. I believe your leisure time is yours to use as you please and that not doing something productive in that timeframe will not necessarily delay the process of achieving your goals. Because my gigs naturally fit into what I do, it’s harder for me to find a balance, but I’m working on it.

My Sister Holds Me Accountable For Getting Things Done

It’s good to have someone to remind you of what you should be doing and keep you on track. That’s who my sister is to me. We run the YouTube channel together and it’s a great way to hold each other accountable for maintaining it. I often joke that she’s an obnoxious alarm clock that comes without a “snooze” button. One needs people like this in their lives. It may add pressure to complete tasks, but you can channel that into being more productive.

For multipotentialites, it’s important to strive for great time management. It’s what will ultimately allow us to make a living and be fulfilled by the things we do. There is no “one size fits all” guide to spending your time effectively, but I hope you can learn from my experience.

How do you juggle multiple projects at a time? Share that with me in the comments!

Related: The Best Time Management Techniques From 4 Busy Millennials

                 How To Maximize Your Time and Be More Productive

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