“A career is only a job that you’ve had for too long,” I said jokingly in a corporate meeting. The room fell dead silent. It was one of those moments you wish you could take back.
Finding Your Passion(s)
Many of us have been socialized to believe that “growing up” meant we had to pick something we liked to do and create a lifelong career out of it. “Finding your passion,” on the other hand, seems to be the most fashionable mantra of self-help gurus.
But what if you don’t have one passion? What if you have multiple passions?
If you are like me, I find something I am interested in, I dive into it deeply and, when I feel like I’ve gotten where I need to be, I move on. I move on to the next thing, idea, concept that I find interesting. I may stay with something for several years or it may only last a few months.
I am certainly a career hopper. I never believed there was any future in growing up, selecting a career path, and retiring. I mean, how many people really know what they want to do when they are 19 or 25 or even 50? Some do, but I don’t.
A Whole Big World
I have had a wide range of wonderful experiences. For me, the meaning in life has always been about the people I meet and the experiences I have. There’s a whole big world out there, and I love to be a part of it, as much of it as I can.
You may not be the type of person who gets bored with doing one thing for too long. Many people aren’t. But based upon all the self-help material I see almost daily, I suspect more people are like me.
People with a wide range of interests and experiences can synthesize information from a variety of fields to solve complex problems. The overlap of two fields of interest — let’s say anthropology and music — is where innovation occurs.
Culturally, we’ve been lead in the opposite direction. Emilie Wapnick has an excellent Ted Talk entitled, “Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling.”
Do you remember when you were first asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I wonder what would have happened if you didn’t answer it. What if your destiny is not about one true passion?