With a whole lot of unknowns still clouding my ultimate work path, I have turned to TEDX talks in a bid to reshape my views on aspirations, career moves, and job goals. It quickly became apparent that whilst the age old notion of 'one true calling' is pervasive in our culture, it no longer neatly fits the job market in which we operate - one which values flexibility over job security and experience over qualifications. Unsurprisingly then, a large portion of these talks have set out to debunk it.
Figuring out what one thing you are meant for and devoting your existence to it, is the traditional benchmark for self fulfilment. As a result, if there isn't a single job or industry tugging at your heart strings, it's easy to start feeling like there might be something wrong with you. Many times I have questioned the meaning of my passion and drive for polar opposite fields and felt like it meant that I perhaps lacked purpose or direction.
Yet, we live in a world of infinite possibilities where picking one job, starting with one company, and staying there for the next 20 years is no longer the norm. In fact, it is increasingly common to come across the so called slashers (you know the ones: the dj/psychologists or estate agent/yoga teachers). If some of us can successfully apply themselves to multiple fields simultaneously, what is to stop any of us from leading multiple careers consecutively?
"To be yourself in a world that is doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you're ever going to fight.
Never stop fighting."
The fear of change and the unknown is certainly one factor dictating our tiresome desire to fit squarely in a box. But in a market that requires flexibility, being a polymath has significant value, one which we should nurture rather than stifle. The difficulty then, is making choices based on what you want and not on what people might think. Harder still -and I say this from experience- is having the courage to pursue who you really are rather than who you think you're supposed to be; in particular when you are not entirely sure who that is yet. Nevertheless, take a leap of faith in yourself and don't be afraid to try different things. Though things may not turn out the way you thought they would, with hard work and dedication, they may work out better still.