The Multi-Talented are the Future of Work

From reading articles about the future of work, it is becoming increasingly clear that multi-talented, multi-passionate people (multipotentialites) will be the workers of the future. Most recently, I listened to a radio programme with business & workplace author and futurist Alexandra Levit about the future of work. From a multipotentialite perspective, the points that stood out were

  • Workers will have to be more flexible in terms of how and where they are working: part-time, freelance, remote etc.

  • Work will increasingly be project-based and workers might only be hired for the duration of a project

  • We will see a lot more career customisation:

    • Companies will be looking for broader areas of expertise in their employees

    • Employees will have to become more agile and shift a lot more from position to position within an organisation or between companies

    • Companies will be expecting a variety of skills and the ability to continuously learn and re-skill quickly from their employees.

Some companies like PWC are already taking action on these developments. 

It sounds as if we are moving back to a more generalist workforce. According to Barbara Sher, having several careers or fields of interest was not frowned upon until WWII and the space race led to specialisation in science and technology and from there to other industries. Suddenly, specialists were sought after and multi-talented and multi-passionate people were regarded with suspicion. After all, one of the signs that you are indeed a multipotentialite is the realisation that there is nothing wrong with you after finding out that you belong to this personality type (Find out what negative and positive identifiers of a multipotentialite are here). That shows you how much society still thinks that changing jobs or careers or interests frequently is not a good thing. But this is about to change.

Multipotentialites already have the necessary skills and experience needed to be successful in a changing work environment. We tend to accumulate a broad range of skills and expertise working in different industries and careers. We thrive on variety and change careers or positions frequently, which is why project-based and flexible work is perfect for us. And one of our superpowers is rapid learning – when we get interested in a new field, we spend 100% of our focus on learning as much as we can about it as fast as possible. We love learning and we know how to do it fast.

This Future of Work scenario will give multipotentialites more freedom to be who they are the way that Karl Marx envisioned a society “…where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.” (Marx & Engels, The German Ideology. 1845).

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