In the wake of my job interview last week, I've made some discoveries and had some revelations. At the time of my last blog post I was feeling self-conscious. Skipping to the end: I got over that, due to some accidental vigorous soul-searching.
I spent some time thinking about how, to other people, my interests might seem all over the place. They probably are. Or scratch that, they definitely are. And I am incredibly okay with that. One of the most exciting things about life, to me, is that knowledge has never been more readily available than it is now. As a kid I would rent the maximum amount of books on one subject at a time. When I finished those, I moved on to a new subject. Which meant a lot of serial interests per year. But now, thanks to the marvel that is the internet, I get to pick and choose whatever I want to read about, whenever I feel like it. That, combined with my incredible enthusiasm for starting new projects (yet my waning enthusiasm when it comes to finishing said projects) means that I am usually working on multiple things at the same time. Which is not a problem to me. Practicing code, while trying to cook Ethiopian food for the first time, while updating my succulent wish list, while reading about my favorite drag queens, while playing a video game, while writing a socio-economical analysis of my area to explain why Dutch food sucks, then writing a short history of colonialism in South-Africa and the influences on their cuisine... Not an unusual day for me, when I'm not working.
But I realized (a little late, perhaps), that while having all these interests is normal to me, it might make me appear unfocused, unreliable or afraid of commitment to potential employers. So for my resume, I'l have to just select a few interests that will make me interesting for recruiters. I can do that. But LinkedIn was what had me wondering most. I wanted to create a short headline that accurately described my personality without drawing negative attention to it. Thus commenced the Google search. I found many terms I wouldn't feel good about using (even if others would call me a Renaissance person, I don't think I could ever call myself that without feeling ashamed and incredibly pretentious). I did stumble upon a word I hadn't heard about before: multipotentialite.
The word pretty much says it all: a multipotentialite is someone that has the potential to excel in more than one field. I watched a Tedx talk by the woman that coined this term and I felt myself relax a little. It wasn't as much as an eye-opener as the day I discovered I am on the spectrum, but it did give me a similar sense of relief: I'm not that weird. I explored this concept some more and felt increasingly relaxed. Yes, I have started many more projects than I have finished, but all of those projects have taught me skills I can use later on. It's not a bad thing to dabble in a lot of subjects. I have a treasure of knowledge at my disposal exactly because I chose not to restrict my interests. I know I never will, nor do I want to. Will I use all of my random assembled factoids? Doubtful. But I'd never exchange them for absolute knowledge of one subject. Because while I have devoted myself to medicine professionally, I think it's safe to say that all my random interests are what's kept me sane.
And I immediately put this knowledge to good use by joining a one-day workshop for women of all ages interested in coding. Spent a day doing homework, spent an incredibly fun day learning about the possibilities of Python and Django with a lot of kindred spirits, and spent all day today learning HTML and CSS basics (because I want to understand what I'm doing when following a tutorial). As a result, I have hardly given my interview any thought. I'm not using avoidant tactics, instead I've found some rare inner peace: I'll be fine either way. This is a great job opportunity, but there will be other opportunities. My job does not define me, nor is it the most important part of my life. I will be happy, because I choose to pursue things that bring me happiness.
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