It’s difficult to focus on one career path when you have more than one passion you’d like to pursue. (That's essentially my life story, summed up in one sentence.)
As a kid, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be a writer, a teacher, a journalist or something completely different. As a college student I was constantly changing majors; a young professional, often switching jobs.
Years later, I've found a way to incorporate many of my passions into my work as a communications consultant and educator. I talked about it recently on friend, client, and career coach Lupe Prado's new podcast, Paid Vocation. We talked about making career pivots, career FOMO, imposter syndrome, experimenting, and finding clarity in your strengths and talents--even when you aren’t sure of the end goal.
Listen to the episode here, or subscribe to Paid Vocation on iTunes.
For multi-passionate professionals and entrepreneurs, here are three of the episode’s key takeaways for pursuing a career you love.
Build intentional relationships through networking
One of the key lessons I've learned is that opportunities come from relationships. By sharing my goals, interests, and ideas with advocates in my network, I've been able to pursue opportunities with companies, organizations, or industries that interest me. Networking is what allowed me to turn my side hustles into a sustainable business, one that allows me to write, teach, speak, and collaborate with clients. Here are my key networking tips:
Find your champions and advocates, and make it a goal to share your interests and ideas with them
It’s OK to be different! Network with groups where you have something new to bring to the table, and you’ll be able to make a memorable impression
Create content that showcases your skills (mine was a TEDx talk), and share those packaged, polished ideas with your network to activate new opportunities
Let Yourself Experiment
It’s hard to move forward without a plan. When we don’t have a clear path to follow or specific goal to pursue, we stop taking action to move toward it. Analysis paralysis is one of my biggest hurdles. I can't move past it until I remind myself that it’s OK experiment without an end in mind. In the times in my career where I've felt the most stuck, I’d take a small step forward to pursue something new. Here are some examples:
Submitting articles for publications for free
Collaborating with other consultants on their projects
Saying “yes” to any opportunity that came from my network
After a few years of side hustles, passion projects, and introductions, I found that my small experiments were building the foundation for a larger career path. Experimenting helped me focus on projects that made me most excited and energized. Ultimately, I've come to believe that nothing is a waste of time if it allows you to learn, meet someone new, or develop a skill.
Say “yes” to new opportunities
There are so many reasons we tell ourselves “no” when opportunities come our way. It’s easy to assume we’re underqualified, taking too great of a risk, or wasting our time. Saying “yes” is what helped me grow in my career--despite moments of imposter syndrome, uncertainty, or doubt.
As a multi-passionate person, I found myself saying “yes” to many different kinds of work while seeking clarity in my career. The result is this business, where I get to spend my days doing a little bit of everything I love: writing, learning, teaching, creating content, and meeting new people.