What Are Some Interdisciplinary/Multipod-Friendly Fields?
Photo courtesy of Matt Neale.

What Are Some Interdisciplinary/Multipod-Friendly Fields?

Written by Emilie

Topics: The Book, Updates

Hey multipotentialite friends,

I hope you had a delightful holiday season, filled with cheer, and not too much stress!

I could use your help today. As you may know, I’m writing a book about how to make a living as a multipotentialite. There’s a section in the book about interdisciplinary fields, which is one way in which some multipotentialites find variety in their careers.

I’m putting together a long list of interdisciplinary fields that multipotentialites might be happy working in. Here are a few fields I came up with:

  • architecture
  • art therapy
  • integrative medicine
  • environmental policy
  • robotics
  • filmmaking
  • video game design
  • bioethics
  • city planning
  • teaching
  • counseling

Each of these fields is a blend of several areas: architecture is a combination of art, science, technology, and environment. Bioethics is life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy. Filmmaking involves storytelling, photography, sound, production/business, interior design, editing, etc.

I would like to provide an even longer list of interdisciplinary fields in the book.

Do you know of, or work in, an interdisciplinary field that allows you to do many different things?

If so, I would love to hear about it via this super short survey.

Thanks so much. I really appreciate your insight.

Your pal and fellow multipotentialite,

Emilie

em_bioEmilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.

26 Comments

  1. Maryske says:

    Teaching sure has its merits for multipotentialites, but doing it fulltime also comes with a major downside: it’s so incredibly energy draining that you rarely get around to follow your own dreams by the side.

    I do enjoy many parts of it, that’s true. Especially inquiry based learning/teaching is perfect for multipotentialites, with it being based on the students’ own questions (which means you often have to learn new things right along with them!). But still… I’d be ever so happy to take that necessary pay-cut if I could find a school where they’d be open to letting me teach primary part time instead of the standard full time requirement. Leaving me the energy to explore all those other things I always want to do and never get around to. To the point that I’ve seriously been looking at getting out of the schoolworld altogether.
    The question remains though: what else should I do? Classic multipotentialite dilemma: there is so much I would want to do, that I don’t know where to start… or start half-heartedly on many different tracks at the same time.

    • Maryske says:

      I can’t seem to get into that survey, so here my two cents:

      I studied human geography – it’s a great study, very broad, that allows you many different directions (among others the city planning and environmental policy from your list). Possible careers are supposed to be numerous, but hey, I’m a multipotentialite :-D After 5 years of geography with a degree to prove my knowledge, I felt I knew what I wanted to know about the subject, and switched to a totally different field (primary teaching) without ever even *looking* for a geography based job…

  2. Silvina says:

    After many years I found out that the perfect job for me is to be an executive assistant. Depending on your boss and the company you work for, there are a wide variety of tasks to perform:
    -Writing/proof-reading
    -Translating
    -Designing (PowerPoint presentations et al)
    -Organizing events/trips/meetings
    -Helping people
    -Dealing with money/budgets/bank accounts/tax issues
    -Being creative to solve asap any problem that may arise.
    And these are just the basics, there are many others specific to every type of industry.
    I hope this helps!

  3. Glamoliver says:

    Hello.
    I thought about my own experience.
    Computing and diy (do it yourself).
    My job is to work over computers and this is a really big world !
    Because our civilisation is really computed and connected, I can access every piece of it, computers but not only : photography, drones, gps navigation in air, sea and sand, TV, survey, access control, databases, stocking exchanges, driving…
    The possibilities are so incredibles !
    Some weeks ago I’ve learned electronicsp to access this world through computers and have a tunnel to and from reality.
    I’m learning programming too to expand applications in the real life.
    DIY : in French that’s called ‘bricolage’and that’s more than an occupation. If you do by yourself, you do exactly what you want and it’s more cheap than a final product.
    I like it. I can do lot of things by myself everywhere I live or go. Electricity, concrete wall, decoration, wood, paint, repair lot of things… You touch all things in real life again.
    Want more examples ?

  4. Karen says:

    Sign language users and certified translators might have an interesting time of it. I believe there are certifications available for supporting D/deaf people through school and college, either right the way through the process or for specific years or courses; providing real-time translations at theatres (plays and concerts), conferences, and meetings; teaching or leading activities that aren’t usually accessible to D/deaf people simply because of a lack of sign language users (I’m thinking of every day activities like kayaking, yoga, scuba, etc.); acting as support for people who are undergoing medical procedures; helping people who are victims of crime through the process of reporting, giving statements, understanding legal advice, etc.; being part of making emotional and practical support available to local communities through local government or charitable organisations such as food banks, social work case support, crisis centres, disability rights groups, and more.

    I mean, people with disabilities’ main problem usually isn’t their disability/ies, it’s society’s refusal to include them. Simply being able to communicate with sign language means you might be able to take on interesting short term projects while simultaneously building an impressive CV and reputation in a too-small pool of resources.

    * * *

    What does it take to be a ghost writer, do you think? It could be really interesting to get other people to tell you all about their lives and help them find their voices. It’s not just famous people who write memoirs – it’s vital to hear the stories of people from all social groups. Strangers on public transport are often fascinating. I’m an Elderly Persons’ Life Story Magnet, myself.

    • Julia says:

      Hi all fellow multipods! I am new in the community, I was delighted by Emily’s TED presentation! It was an epiphany for me since I have beem struggling with a ”purpose” crisis lately! Now things make much more sense! I loved the sign language post – that way one can combine 2-3-4 or more different disciplines! I will consider learning it! I studied Agro-scienses, it seems to be a great pathway for scanners as well due to the variety of fields one can specialize in an under and post graduate level. For example I studied plant production (undergraduate), soon my interest went off when I descovered the related field of insect sciense (post)… THen I wanted to produce insects.. So I worked in the field.. But wait produce them? So maybe I could cook them too? So, cooking classes? WOW it always goes like that! But I am an artist too, a climber and I also love to learn languages,tried to learned 4 of them at the same time -don’t try it at home hahaha- but managed to keep up fluently with 3 of them.I’M kind of deciding my next move- I was thinking of cooking lessons but now Im kind of excited with the sign language thing! I feel comfused as always! Thank you for sharing your stories it felt really good to know that I am not alone or nothing is wrong with me anyway!I just like to learn!

  5. Caitlin says:

    One thing I really miss doing was volunteering as a staff member for an annual, multi-cultural event of sorts back when I still lived in Alaska. Yes, I know, you cannot make a living off of volunteering. But I assumed many different roles as I volunteered for this organization and it is still one of the better decisions I made as a young adult.

    While volunteering with this organization, I:
    managed social media accounts and generated content
    recruited and managed volunteers
    helped acquire sponsorship
    took meeting minutes
    acted as an editor
    conducted public outreach (in person, not just through social media)

    All of the above I did ahead of time in order to prepare our annual event. When the event actually happened, I also ran my own small events in addition to managing our volunteers.

  6. Ryan says:

    +1 for robotics. A melting pot of electrical, mechanical, software principles with endless applications and great career potential.

  7. Tracy Matzinger says:

    So…I am a person that has majored in just about everything…I wanted to be a vet, but found out I like working with animals and not on them….but still liked the medical field…so I am a registered nurse, a dog trainer, and now going for my nurse practitioner. But now I also have become interested in alternative medicine. So I am now certified in alternative medicine…so my plan is integrating a place for holistic health for people and pets!

    Hmmm…also almost had a minor in psychology and math.

  8. Anna says:

    1. Entrepreneurship. Sell something somewhere new or with a new feature, spread the word on your own website, dive into marketing, with all the blog writing, corporate identity and film making … You missed the stuff YOU do, Emilie :D It falls under the cateory entrepreneurship.

    2. Making / repairing things you like. If it’s crafting furniture, repairing old barns, build computers into old radios or tinkering with any gadget you might think of. It brings together practical, historical, technical and design issues to solve.

  9. George says:

    I do foresight — creating possible scenarios for the future for organizations large (UN) and small (company) to better prepare for a changing world (or change the world themselves).
    It’s an emerging field that many companies are beginning to realize that they are in dire need of.

    To be good at it you Must be a multipotentialite because the world 20 years from now is not the present world extrapolated into the future.. but TRANSFORMED by the confluence of transformations in demographics, culture, technology, and economy. To come up with both provocative yet plausible scenarios you MUST have a solid grasp on how the world works — how all the forces aforementioned INTERSECT (yes I know you guys love that word).

    Find me on linkedIn if you wanna chat more. https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgewang89

  10. Michelle says:

    Hi there, I’ve just completed your survey & would love a copy. Didn’t think to take a screen shot before hitting send, dang. Any way to do this please?

    Love what you’re saying, doing and putting your energy into Emilie, keep going – for as long as it interests you naturally.
    Thanks,
    Michelle

  11. Kristiina says:

    Hey! I’m also in Futures Studies which is a multidisciplinary field and perfect for a multipotentialite.

  12. Peter Lukaszyk says:

    Im still looking for my perfect job haha thats one of our problems isn’t it. But im still young(46)haha.after countless jobs I have done over a years I can say what feels right. Its working with wood.so at one point im gonna stop to be a builder and housing maintenance guy I know I never stop to be boat builder.never im gonna die with carpenter’s plane in my hand.

  13. Ash says:

    Hi everyone!!! I am so glad to have found out about Puttylike!! (Thank you, TEDx!!!)

    Personally, my multipotentiality has somehow been my struggle for the past three years that I’ve been in college. Back in high school, it was a bit easier to be interested in several fields. But now, because I grew to be much more passionate about these different fields that when it comes to the battle of science versus the arts, I feel that I am “torn between two lovers”, if you may (Haha!), having to choose between following one or the other.

    For now, I’m just trying to graduate with my degree (Behavioral Sciences), which I think would be very helpful as a potential entrepreneur, as a multipotentialite, or even simply as me. :)

    I would also like to ask you all for some help though! :D I am currently trying to focus my study towards this phenomenon of multipotentiality. Would anyone here know of any studies, journal articles, books, etc regarding multipotentiality that I could read about? I can’t seem to find any on the internet. :( At least, not much of what my school has available. Not much open-access journals that I saw either. (And I can’t afford most of the journals I’ve been seeing. :( ) I’m also trying to read about somehow related topics like career development, job specialization, etc.

    Any information you could share would be great! Thank you everyone, and have a great day! <3

  14. Mark says:

    What helped me a lot over the years was understanding that I am a freelancer at heart. Freelancing as a journalist, as a designer and as a coach / sparring partner gave me the freedom to change at random while not giving up entirely the ‘other’ persuit.

  15. This is the first time I’m writing something, so yay!
    I’ll keep it short and authentic by sticking to what I’ve personally done:
    1) Biomedical Engineering: where I come from you have two major options for academics: engineering and natural sciences. Electrical engineering was agonizing and boring until I came across bioengineering which united both fields. You get to learn how to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct like an engineer whilst exploring the wonders of biology, nature and the human body.

    2) Network/Multilevel Marketing: although many people oppose it, I’ve found this line of work to go way beyond being an overly-insistent salesperson. If done right, a new recruit must be trained, sent out into the field to put what he/she’s learned into practice and enlist others to do the same. Achieving success requires studying many different topics (sales, marketing, economics, effective communication,…), working well in a team and leading others in their pursuit as well.

    3) Tour Guide/Organizer: think of a good guide and you’ll envision him/her as knowledgeable, resourceful and skilled at travel. Right! But guide’s who handle groups also need social skills to bond with them, lead them and handle any (reasonable) request that they might have. Not to mention they have to deal with all sorts of people who aren’t their clients: drivers, hotel staff, administrative staff, etc.

    • Maryske says:

      Tour organizer and guide – yes, that is still on my list of potentially highly interesting jobs that I would love to try, too!
      Add to the list of what you need for that: languages :-) and culture-sensitive communication skills.

  16. David Chang says:

    Research commercialization (also found as tech transfer or innovation management) requires multipotentiality to deep dive into science, then come out to brainstorm ideas for new products or services applying that research as a core.
    It’s really hard to get a job in a company/TTO that actually deals with bleeding-edge high quality research to avoid getting bored, but I found they exist, mainly in Silicon Valley and Australia.
    On the side, it’s easy to link up with entrepreneurs to bring in as project champions, and coaching and helping them is also fun.

  17. Muhammed Abdul-Ghaffar says:

    I just love the inter-connectivity of things, and its even more reassuring when sacred geometry backs up the fact that all things are connected. I’m 19 in college and I always think of fields that I could combine to form a business. These are the fields that I want to integrate right now:

    -Game design (Virtual & Non-Virtual)

    -Illustration

    -Animation (Specifically anime)

    -Journalism

    -Technology

    -Social innovation

  18. Holly DeWolf says:

    User Researcher (at an agency or contract/freelance)

    My job is to understand the people who use software products so that the developers can make a better product. If you do this at an agency that has multiple clients, or as a freelancer you get to learn all about how other people think and view the world.

    Could be just enough variety for the right multipotentialite. Unfortunately, I’m the type of multipod who’s ready to change things drastically every 2 years or so, so I’m getting a bit bored of it myself. Thinking of taking up spin class instruction next…

  19. Jujubee says:

    Oh heavens, I’m so glad I remembered this place! I haven’t been here for a few years (busy doing all manner of things, of course!). I’ve been agonizing over a new direction for my business, and feeling quite depressed about it, really. After reading a few articles, I was reminded of who I am, and that multipotential is a perfectly natural way to be. Thank you, thank you! I feel inspired now, and encouraged to gather my talents together into a warm (and hopefully lucrative) group hug. :)

  20. I left a response! I hope that you find it useful! :)
    I recently learned about you after watching a talk you gave on a Tedx platform on YouTube. I have to say, your talk really helped me out. I always worried that I won’t amount to anything because I am never able to focus on one thing for too long.
    I’m still 18, and am finding my way. Hearing you talk has helped me move forward in embracing myself for who I am. Thank you so much!

  21. Hi Emilie, after being unemployed for so long I started searching what was wrong with me.
    I saw your prevention in TEDx, and it was like you were talking about me. So today I tried to organise my life. When people asked me “what you want to be when you grow up?” My answers were always changing: teacher, nurse, scientist, artist, archeologist, biologist and architecture.
    When I enter to high school I really wanted to go for arts and follow architecture, my parents denied me saying that arts are not profit/not a real job. So I went to science, and after that I felt it was too late to go for a degree in architecture. Back to that time I remember to think that I would never be a nurse or teacher bc there are too much of them unemployed (well at least in Portugal). So I wanted something to have the freedom to make my path and change whenever I want – phytopharmacy – which combines agronomics and pharmacy. After finishing my bachelor I didn’t want a master bc I wanted to see where I would fit in instead of the master course decide for me. I worked in germany, but I felt so wasted in that company that I quit. I started to prpduce natural products (soap, creams, gel scrubs) and I loved it. But after awhile I stopped. I look around my life and made a list of what I love:
    – cooking is one of my favorite “hobbies”;
    – help people/ heal /nursing, I have been always into helping people and my volunteer in a children’s institution is prove of that.
    – travel, the feeling of freedom combined with knowledge;
    – architecture, this will be always part of me and what I love;
    – massages, I started a course with this, I loved it! The problem is I can’t do the same thing everyday..
    – 3D animation, this is growing and growing inside of me, and I can’t wait to have my PC fixed to start exploring this area.
    And I have a website/blog which by the dates of the posts is very easy to see when I get bored or enthusiastic for it.

    When I made this list I noticed something, my type of job would give me instant results (e.g. soap done and decorated, healed person…), allow me to share ideas, travel and explore my creativity, and give me the freedom to try different things frequently bc I get bored as soon as I learn/master a subject.
    And the anxiety that you told about, being afraid of own success or failure sometimes make me grey and “hide” from everything and everybody – after that I feel even more anxious or frustrated bc I am wasting myself, which leads me to apply to every single job available and letting life deciding my path instead of taking control of it.
    I can totally review myself as a multipotentialite but I don’t know how to start and drive my professional career..

  22. Hila says:

    I do science communication/outreach, which requires a multidisciplinary background like mine – scientific research, teaching, instructional design, project management, public speaking etc. I love my job and am willing to keep doing it for at least a few more years – that’s the longest professional commitment you’ll get from me anyway :)
    Emillie, I wasn’t able to answer your survey for some reason. Hope this helps.

  23. Amrit Beck says:

    Hi Emilie ,sorry for putting it here but can i get the answer to Margarida Cunha post