I love the idea of reclaiming normal conventions and flipping them to the multipotentialite advantage. Take the world of work for example, how could we adapt current work cultures to embrace the talents of pluralists?
Just because something is currently beyond the realms of the norm or the possible it doesn’t mean it will always be so. In this digital era, more than any other time in history, work practices and career options are evolving at an incredible pace.
Even 20 years ago few of us would have believed we would have computers in our homes and be spending a high proportion of our work time linked up to this thing called the internet.
Consider some of the career choices too that have only appeared in last 10 years or so: you can now be an internet entrepreneur, digital nomad, self-published author, or an independent musician without the need for a record company contract.
Gone are many of the conventions which our parents and grandparents had grown up with, like the “job for life.” Most of us will change career at least once, if not considerably more, in our working lives.
Could these more frequent changes of career among the mainstream population, herald the increased acceptance of the multipotentialite plural-career? It’s becoming more and more usual for people to retrain, and take the leap from one industry to another.
Just as the growth of manufacturing led to the industrial revolution in the later part of the 18th century, could the rise of the megabyte lead to another full-blown revolution, rather than just a temporary adjustment to working patterns?
Emilie’s discussion about how parents can nurture their children’s multipotentiality, is a conversation we wouldn’t have had even a few years ago. Back then, we probably wouldn’t have recognized it was a realistic option to build a life and career as a pluralist.
It made me wonder what changes would benefit the working multipotentialite most, and how we could help to bring about a greater understanding and acceptance of our career paths. Here are some ideas I’d like to throw out there for consideration.
1) Multiple job titles
Just think, instead of being a “Web Designer” or a “Marine Biologist” you could officially be a “Web Designer & Marine Biologist”. Imagine how that would look on your business card! It would certainly distinguish your services from those of the bog-standard specialist, eh?
Filling in forms would become much more amusing when it came to selecting your “job title” from a drop down list.
2) One job, two or more roles
Imagine if instead of the normal convention of having a full time job with just the one role, it became quite usual to take on two or more roles. I’m not talking about the need to take on several part-time jobs to make ends meet, but a genuine desire on behalf of both you, and your employer, to utilize your full range of skills.
Maybe you’re great at analyzing spreadsheets, as well as being a real people-person. No longer would you have to choose one or the other, because in the one-job-two-roles model you could explore several facets of your skill-set in the same job.
Rather than keeping it a secret, or glossing over your diverse career history, it might even become advantageous to tell your boss about your multipotentiality.
3) Portfolio working
More and more of us are developing a combination of employment, freelance work and our own businesses, often at the same time in a portfolio style of working.
Anyone’s who done this for a while will be familiar with the confused expression on other people’s faces, as they try to comprehend not only the concept of portfolio working, but also the diversity of the typical multipotentialite.
Could we ever reach the stage where it was expected that everyone had a job or business plus several other side projects? I’m imagining a world where small talk would include questions not just about the weather, but also about your latest entrepreneurial start-up.
4) No more stress over the question “What do you do?”
Imagine no longer feeling stressed over answering the ‘What do you do?” question, as reeling off a long list would be the accepted norm. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
Over to you!
Do you think the idea of a multipotentialite-friendly work culture is a future reality or just a pipe dream? What changes would you like to see to make the working world more multipotentialite friendly?
Bev is an artist, creativity coach and founder of Kickass Creatives, a website offering practical support to frustrated creatives. She’s over 20 years of working in the arts: experimenting with everything from performing in a fire circus and managing a hiphop dance company, through to web consultancy and jewellery design. Bev is passionate about using her experience to enable others to fully develop (rather than hide) their multitude of talents too. Connect with her on Twitter @creativekickass.