Navigating the Twenties: Being a Jack of more trades and Multipotentialite in Corporate

I am on a journey of growing into the best version of myself and I am learning that growing up is not finite, you will never reach a point where you become something and that’s the end.

Dear Navigators,

I am on a journey of growing into the best version of myself and I am learning that growing up is not finite, you will never reach a point where you become something and that’s the end. Instead, as Michelle Obama put it, “Growing up is forward motion, a means of evolving to reach a better self.” That journey never ends.

So, the question to be asked is: Where does this journey begin? I can think back to my childhood when I was often asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When I was younger, I didn’t realize how limiting this question was and how fundamentally problematic it was. This question assumes that growing up is a finite event, as if at some point you become something and that’s the end. 

Growing up, I grappled with this question because I never seemed to have just one answer. I could not simply say I wanted to be an attorney and that was it – I’ve always felt like there was room for more. 

A quote that often resonates with me by Anais Nin is, “How can I accept a limited definable self when I feel, in me, all possibilities… I never feel the four walls around the substance of the self, the core. I feel only space. Illimitable space.”

When I started career as an Candidate Attorney, I found that I deeply identified with the title of being a multipotentialite. For me, being a multipotentialite means that I have the ability to thrive in many disciplines and that there isn’t one area that I am predestined to excel in. Simply put, I have no “one true calling” the way specialists do because my potential is broad, and it is not confined to a specific discipline. I often have many paths and I want to pursue them all either sequentially or simultaneously.

I have often grappled with the idea that my career must be confined to one discipline and that for someone to thrive in a profession they must be a specialist. The difficulty with being a multipotentionalite is that I have often being misunderstood as a person who is not focused or someone who spreads themselves too thin. However, I strongly believe that organisations who allow themselves to lean into the idea will see that multipotentialites bring value to organizations through idea synthesis from different disciplines, rapid learning and adaptability.

Are you someone who has been described as having a wide range of interests and talents? Do you find yourself drawn to various career paths and constantly seeking new challenges? If so, then you might just be a multipotentialite—a person with diverse passions and skills. Today, we’re here to celebrate and explore the unique journey of being a multipotentialite in the corporate world.

In a society that often praises specialization, being a multipotentialite can sometimes feel like swimming against the current. However, I believe that your diverse talents are not something to be tamed, but rather unleashed for great success. Let’s dive into the challenges and benefits of embracing your multipotentiality in the corporate realm.

Challenges Faced by Corporate Multipotentialites:

1. The Pressure to Specialize: Many traditional career paths emphasize the need to specialize in a single area. As a multipotentialite, you might find it challenging to adhere to this notion, as your curiosity leads you to explore multiple domains.

2. The Fear of Being Spread Thin: With a myriad of interests, it’s natural to worry about spreading your focus too thin. The fear of not excelling in any one area can sometimes hold you back from fully embracing your multipotentiality.

3. Navigating Career Transitions: Multipotentialites often find themselves transitioning between industries, roles, or projects, which can be both exhilarating and daunting. The uncertainty that accompanies such transitions can be a challenge to manage.

Benefits of Being a Corporate Multipotentialite:

1. Adaptability and Versatility: Your ability to adapt quickly to new environments and learn diverse skills sets you apart. In a rapidly changing corporate landscape, your versatility can be a valuable asset, allowing you to tackle various challenges with ease.

2. Cross-Pollination of Ideas: As a multipotentialite, your diverse knowledge and experiences can lead to innovative solutions. Drawing from different fields, you have the capacity to connect dots that others might overlook, bringing fresh perspectives to the table.

3. Rapid Skill Acquisition: Being a multipotentialite means you possess the ability to quickly acquire new skills. This can be advantageous in the corporate world, where the ability to learn and adapt is highly valued.

Tips for Thriving as a Corporate Multipotentialite:

1. Embrace Your Uniqueness: Recognize that your multipotentiality is not a weakness but a strength. Embrace your diverse passions and talents, and view them as complementary rather than conflicting.

2. Seek Hybrid Roles: Look for positions that allow you to combine multiple interests or work on cross-functional projects. Seek out companies that appreciate and encourage multidisciplinary approaches.

3. Continuous Learning: Feed your intellectual curiosity by continuously learning and staying updated on various subjects. This will not only keep you engaged but also enhance your ability to connect ideas across different domains.

4. Network with Fellow Multipotentialites: Connect with others who share your multipotentiality. Join communities, attend conferences, and engage in conversations that celebrate diverse talents. These connections can provide support and inspiration throughout your journey.

Remember, being a multipotentialite in the corporate world is an opportunity to create your own unique path, leveraging the breadth of your interests and skills. Embrace the challenges, leverage the benefits, and celebrate the richness that comes with being a multipotentialite.

I hope this newsletter has inspired you to fully embrace your multipotentiality and thrive in the corporate realm. Share your stories and insights in the comments below, and let’s build a vibrant community that celebrates the power of diverse talents.

Wishing you a fulfilling and exciting journey ahead!

Best regards,

Zinhle

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