Like every writer/human, I struggle with bouts of self doubt. One thing that triggers this doubt is the fear that my attention is too divided when it comes to my career. I’m doing blogging, magazine/newspaper writing, copywriting, radio, and podcasting. I love it all, but I stress about whether it’s normal to go after a few different passions instead of one sole focus.
This anxiety was heightened after someone asked me, “But what are you though? Are you a writer? Are you a podcaster? Are you in radio? Where’s your real focus?” It made me wonder if I was too scatterbrained about my career. Did I have a bad case of professional ADD?
Then one of my best friends, possibly using her Best Friend Sixth Sense abilities to hone in on my self-doubt, sent me this article from The Huffington Post. It talks about being multi-passionate in business, which is a phrase I’d never heard before. That’s when a lightbulb went off. I’m a multi-passionate professional, and so are a lot of other people. Read articles like this one and this one and you’ll see a reoccurring theme.
Multi-passionate professionals love a number of different things, and we’re finding ways to go after them all at once. We don’t want to wait until retirement to chase a dream. This may mean that our careers aren’t as aesthetically smooth and linear as the engineer who works in one area of expertise from college graduation to retirement. That’s okay. Our approach to our working life lets us feel fulfilled and energized, even if it may seem chaotic to outsiders. That’s not something to undervalue. Plus, if people like Salvador Dalí can do lots of different kinds of work over the course of a career, then there must be something smart about it, right?
Now that I’m approaching my career with the understanding that I’m multi-passionate instead of all over the place, I feel more confident in my ventures. I’ve also realized that the work I do on one project can inform and inspire the other types of work I do. It all complements each other. Even if my passions weren’t as directly connected as they happen to be, anything you do that makes you feel excited about life will only boost your professional productivity.
If you find yourself feeling like you should pick one thing and stick with it, know that it’s okay to embrace your multi-passionate approach to business. It’s cool to have a bunch of backslashes next to your title. The world needs more people who really, truly love what they do.