As I prepare for my upcoming seminar, I’ve been thinking about my audience, and how I can best serve them. My plan with this seminar is to go all old school, literally plaster the college campuses around Portland with flyers and see who shows up. Of course you are all welcome to come too!
I’m tailoring this seminar to college students and people who are a few years out of college, but haven’t quite found their “thing,” (and still believe that they need a thing—one thing).
There are two main takeaways that I want my audience to grasp:
- I want them to know what a multipotentialite is, and that, contrary to what they may have been told all their lives, there is nothing wrong with them for being unable to choose one path.
- I want them to come away with some action steps to help them design a career that is fueled by their multipotentialite
The second part of my seminar—the how to make it work part—is where I really want to hit it home. But the thing I’m realizing is that it’s really difficult to give general career advice to multipotentialites. There are so many different ways to make it work, that it really requires a personalized approach.
I can’t give you a list of multipod-friendly job titles because while
they a few may exist, it will be different for each person. We all have different passions and scanning modes. One multipotentialite might be perfectly happy as a journalist exploring many areas of life through their stories, while another needs much more variety in medium.
The alternative to a J-O-B
The other thing that I realized while working on this presentation, is that I don’t teach multipotentialites how to get jobs. That is not what I do. My specialty is making multipotentiality work through the use of lifestyle design principles.
I’m very passionate about helping multipotentialites turn their multiple talents and interests into income, it’s just that I don’t believe that you necessarily need a job to accomplish that. (Steve Pavlina has a great article about this.) Traditional employment can be a part of a multipotentialite’s career, assuming it’s inline with their goals or they’re using it as a stepping stone. However, I want people to know that there’s another way, that employment doesn’t have to be the default.
To many of you, this is not news. The Puttylike community tends to be pretty savvy in the area of Lifestyle Design and creative entrepreneurship. Most of you have probably already read books like these. But college students? The average person? Not so much.
Entrepreneurship is rarely presented as a viable career option to students. Most people don’t know what that word even means, and many artists have a knee-jerk reaction against anything related to business.
My strategy to deal with this need for a personalized, pro-active approach will be to use examples of multipotentialites who are making it work, and pull out some commonalities in the way that they structured their careers and some tools that they are using. I’ll also run them through some exercises to get them thinking about how their interests might come together and how they can tap into their diverse skills to bring value to the world. I basically need to introduce them to a new way of thinking about career and calling.
The dominant approach to career selection
The dominant approach to career selection tells us that there are a set number of pre-determined job titles out there, and that we must look at what careers are available, assess our strengths and then fit ourselves into one of these pre-existing positions. This is how those career placement tests work.
The alternative to this approach is thinking about what sort of life you want to create, and then figuring out how to make that happen. It’s what I refer to as Lifestyle Design, and it has a completely different starting point. Instead looking outside yourself at a limited number of available options, you are starting from a place of introspection and conscious design. With this approach, you can be whatever you want, even if that thing doesn’t quite exist yet. This is the reason that some of the most interesting people I know have a difficult time explaining what they do. They essentially invented their jobs.
So this is what I need to do with my seminar. I need to inspire multipotentialites to tap into their innate ability to innovate, and to use that super power to invent their own careers. I need to inspire pro-activity, and I need them to see that in this economy, creativity—and multipotentiality—is currency.
A lofty goal, but I think I’m up for it. 😉
As a college student or 20-something, what questions do you have/would you have had for me? What kind of information would be helpful?