4 career models to explore when you have multiple passions

While “follow your passion” is a common piece of career advice, it has several limitations. One such limitation is the assumption that you have just one passion and should forsake all others. However, what if you have multiple passions and don’t want to give any up? What kind of career can you create?

Luckily, there are a few approaches for you to explore. Over on PuttyLike, a site for people with “multipotentialities”, Emilie Wapnick outlines four models people with more than one interest can pursue when trying to earn a living. Here’s one model that stood out to us:

Model #4: The Serial Approach

This model is best used by multipotentialites who are more sequential in nature. It involves working in job for a period of time– 4 years, 6 years, whatever feels right for you. And then when the boredom hits, shifting to an entirely new field altogether.

Serial careerists often begin researching their new fields casually, on the side, a long time before switching. Sometimes they use the connections, resources and knowledge from their current work to help them transition.

From a self-employment perspective, this would be the serial entrepreneur. Someone who starts a business, runs it for a while and either lets it go, sells it or automates it and steps away. Then they start a new business and begin all over again.

Read the rest of Emilie’s advice here.

This mirrors my experience. I started out in fundraising and communications for education-focused nonprofits, while on the side I was writing about nonprofit careers. Now, the latter is my full-time job.

What do you think of this approach? Have any others to add? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Former Editor and Creator of Idealist Careers, a publication of Idealist.org. Follow me on Twitter @ajlovesya.
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  1. I like that this phenomenon is being legitimized via language like “serial approach” and “multipotentialities.” Previously, moving from interest to interest used to get one labeled “shiftless” or unable to commit. Truth is, the job markets changed a long time ago and flexibility is now the name of the game. That said, I’ve been in my current position for nine years (!!), though I expected to stay for just two. So really, one never knows.

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop on these trends.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Phoebe! It’s so interesting that you bring the change in the job market; we just asked people if they had multiple careers and many said yes, due to the same reason. Yet for some, there is something exciting about no longer needing to choose and feeling like you can build a different kind of career. This is definitely a trend worth watching!

  2. Pingback: Don’t ask, “What’s my passion?” Ask this instead | Idealist Careers

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