Maybe you don’t know the term Multipotentiality, a profile that can often be wrongly associated with a lack of professional focus. Try to answer the following questions: Do you excel in two or more areas of professional activity? Do you have more than one academic background? Do you exercise two or more professions at the same time? Do you have difficulty fitting into just one of the areas of human, exact or biological studies?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be a multipotential person.
Origin and definition
The term “multipotentiality” was used for the first time in 1972 in an academic study and since then it has been studied more and more. The multipotential professional can be defined as a person with potential in several fields, due to their diverse interests and attempts.
An engineer who is also dedicated to artistic photography, a designer who is also passionate about data science and plays guitar occasionally or a finance specialist who has a parallel career in calligraphy. These are some examples of multipotential professionals.
A path of discovery
By listening to the stories of people who today define themselves as multipotential, it is possible to identify common traits. They usually start several studies and courses, often moving on to the next topic without finishing the previous one, which makes them seen by family and friends as people without focus.
Patrícia Souza, 36, currently works as a financial manager providing consultancy services to companies through Alstra but began her studies at a law school which she switched to architecture when she was in her second year. She worked for a few years with projects and worked in the area of education until she discovered an interest in finance, her current occupation.
In childhood and adolescence, multipotential behavior can already be identified: “I took ballet classes, photography, played on the school’s soccer team and studied piano, all before I turned 18” says Patrícia.
The multipotential person abandons the activities started without lack of interest or talent. In general, it is an innate curiosity that makes them seek new knowledge in different areas and naturally abandon the evolution of the activities they have started.
Unlike the specialist profile, the multipotential does not always seek excellence in the area of activity, but the diversity of knowledge. It is a profile that can also be defined as a generalist, combining their different areas of knowledge to achieve the best result.
Professionals with multipotentiality are in all areas of activity and are valuable to companies precisely because they combine different knowledge in problem solving. But normally the gateway to the corporate world is through just one of the competencies of a multipotential.
While traditional recruiting has difficulty leveraging all the skills of these professionals because of the way they scope out positions, there are alternatives. Entrepreneurship and consulting are some good options.
At Alstra, for example, a multipotential professional is able to list all their skills and receive invitations to projects in different areas and industries. Working on projects makes it easier to exercise different skills.
It is advisable that multipotential professionals seek self-knowledge to better direct studies considering this characteristic. Finally, we need to discuss this topic more frequently and openly to debunk the myth of “lack of focus” and start to value and encourage multipotentiality more.