With this article, I am starting another new category of blog posts: ‘Ask Nickita’, in which I answer a question from a reader. The idea for this new category came up when I received two rather long emails from Michael (not his real name) in which he asked me which combination of jobs would work the best for a multi-potentialite. Here is summary of the two emails:
“I have many interests and I want to pursue them simultaneously in my career using the slash approach.
Which combination of the following jobs would work the best:
Film making, Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Painter, Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer, Rapper, Film Composer, Instrumentalist/Multi instrumentalist(another term: Musician), Music Manager, Music Executive, DJ, Re-mixer, Fiction Writing-Novelist, Mechanical Engineer, Inventor, Author (Non Fiction Writing), Futurology-Futurist, Mathematician, Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Video Game Designer, Voice Over Artist, Actor, Computer Programmer (ordinary computer programming,not video game programming), Astronomer, Cartoonist, Animator, Martial Artist, Dancer, Choreographer, Comic Artist, Martial Arts Trickster and Poet, Entrepreneur
Can I pursue all these interests or are they too many? Are there too many to use the slash approach having multiple jobs and businesses (e.g. being an engineer / actor)? Is it possible to pursue all jobs in Arts and Science and even Sports? What do you recommend?
But, if they are NOT TOO MUCH, how do I choose my college / university majors and which majors should I choose based upon the interests/jobs/passions I mentioned above?
How many interests should a “simultaneous” multi-potentialite pursue a as a career using the slash approach? So which ones do you think are of more value and are a wise choice?
Michael (not his real name)”
Let’s do a little analysis
Phew, some major questions! And very important ones as Michael’s choices will determine his future.
To answer one question already: Are there too many? Yes, there are! You can spend a lifetime exploring every single interest or passion above, so you would need a lot of lifetimes to pursue them all.
Do you need to choose just one? No, you wouldn’t be happy with just one; You are a multi-potentialite after all. Let’s analyse all of Michaels interests and passions.
First of all, I would group related interests and passions together:
- Interpreting someone else’s creation: Dancer, actor, singer, rapper, musician, voice-over artist, DJ, Re-mixer
- Creating yourself: Choreographer, songwriter, music composer, painter, cartoonist, comic artist, animator, (computer) game designer, Author (fiction, screenwriting, non-fiction and poetry)
- Directing / Producing: Film director or producer, record producer, music manager or executive
- Science: Mechanical Engineer, Inventor, Futurology-Futurist, Mathematician, Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Computer Programmer
- Sports: Martial Artist, Martial Arts Trickster
As Michael already saw for himself, there are three basic domains: Arts, Science and Sports. But in these domains, there are still a lot of different job possibilities, not to mention all the combinations that are possible.
How to reduce your choices to the basic ones?
First, you will need to do some thinking and reflection. And this is something that you need to do for yourself. No one else can do this for you:
- First of all, what is your vision? What is your big picture? What could be an overarching theme in your life?
- Next question that comes up in my mind is: How good are you at all these jobs? What are your strengths? Are you a good painter, dancer, musician or good at maths or would you need to start from zero?
- What are you currently already doing in your spare time, just for fun?
- What does your gut feeling say?
- What can you ‘leave for later’ without any regrets
I would already reduce the choices to maximum five items based on the answers you give to the questions above.
Your best chances to succeed
Things to consider when making your choice:
- Your success rate decreases drastically with the increasing number of different interests and passions you want to pursue simultaneously. Consider moving items of your jobs list to a later point in time i.e. in five years
- Some things mentioned in the list, like making a film or creating a computer game are the result of the work of a whole team. No one does it all by themself, so you should think about which role you would like to have in such a team and this can evolve over time.
- During a career, you evolve in general from executing tasks to creating systems and directing others to perform tasks. That already eliminates the directing and producing jobs in the arts domain if you are just starting out.
- Employee or entrepreneur?
- Advantages of starting your career as an employee:
- You learn how a business really works, not just in theory
- You are earning money right away to pay the bills
- You can save the money that you will need to start your business
- Advantages of being an entrepreneur:
- Being an entrepreneur is perfect for multi-potentialites. Especially in the beginning you will need to do everything by yourself, so you will be able to use all of your talents, skills and all of your potential
- There are people who started as entrepreneurs when they were a teenager and who are very successful.
- Advantages of starting your career as an employee:
- In terms of making money:
- The probability of having a job and making money on the short term is much higher if you choose a career in engineering than in arts or sports.
- Of course, all depends on how good you are. E.g. If you already are a champion in martial arts, by all means continue and try to reach the top!
- A word about the career slash approach. A lot of multi-potentialites use the slash approach in the following way:
- They have one (part time) job that pays the bills. In the worst case this is a dumb job that you don’t even like. Best case scenario: this is a job in which you can live one of your passions.
- The time that you’re not at a job, you can spend on your other interests and passions
So, you want to know what to do now?
I can’t tell you what college / university majors to choose. First of all because I don’t really know you and secondly because it wouldn’t be right. This is a decision you need to make for yourself.
But I can tell you what I would do.
I would take one domain in the science department i.e. computer science which would provide me with a job in which I have a good chance to earn money and at the same time is a field I’m interested in to explore.
As college / university majors I would choose this field and related fields. So if I would choose computer science, I would also choose mathematics. I would study these seriously.
My guess is that the martial arts somehow need to fit in your life anyway. So I would also do that. And martial arts trickster is finally an advanced version of your martial arts.
In other spare time, I would add artistic passions, i.e. music and acting and while doing this, I would keep my eyes open to all that is happening around the stage. How is the script made up? What makes a good singer or actor? What does the director do and why? How about the scene, the props, lighting and the sound?
I would also see where I could make any combinations. E.g. You want to develop a computer game? Your knowledge about writing a script, acting, lighting, sound and programming will combine a lot of your interests and passions.
This is just an example, but using same the methodology I am sure you can make your personalised version of it. You certainly will not be able to do it all at once. But what you can always do is to evolve towards the person you want to be and learn, learn, learn.
You wanted to know how many interests a “simultaneous multi-potentialite” should pursue. It depends on you, but I would say maximum five if you want them to be successful.
Hey Michael, I hope this answered your questions. Wishing you a lot of success with the choice of your interests, majors and passions.