The concept of being a “wide achiever” definitely challenges set notions associated with professional success. Who is a wide achiever? The answer is the one who juggles between various jobs – not because he is not exceptionally good at one particular vocation but because he believes that being a specialist is not the only way in which one can actually do justice to his talents. Heart surgeons, electronic media journalists, choreographers and so on and so forth … we have specialists who have etched their niche with dogged pursuit of their dreams. The division of labour is a concept which has survived since the days of Industrial Revolution.
What is wide achievement and what should you find out about it?
Wide achievement doesn’t seek to subvert the age-old pursuit for the “epiphany” itself. Let us see how it has been working for most of us all this while. More than the initial 20 – 25 years of our lives (in most case) are spent on deciphering what our strengths are and eventually what are respective fortes are. The epiphany, of course, is followed by skill-specific job hunt or our search for further avenues to excel (for example vocational courses).
Talking of wide achievement, one of the most distinguished names which come to mind is Roman Krznaric, who is a college professor, journalist, community worker, carpenter and tennis coach at the same time. What more? He is also the founder of The School of Life, which is cultural enterprise that conducts classes on subjects like “How to Make Love Last” and “How to be Confident” among others.
What does he have to say about wide achievement?
Despite having such a diverse CV, he actually regrets hanging on to a job for long even when he clearly didn’t enjoy them. He is clearly of opinion that even if a lot of us are busy about “finding” vocations they are not something to be found but experienced along the way! He opines that one should do first and reflect later.
In fact, it can actually be said that the concept of wide achievement is not entirely unheard of or new. Even if we don’t realize the same, the inspiration has been there since the times Renaissance. Think about Leon Battista Alberti who was an artist, author, poet, linguist, artist, musician, philosopher and cryptographer at the same time.
The modern concept of a portfolio worker has been derived from Karl Marx’s ideal of “part-time worker” which refers to the need for juggling several careers together so as not to confine prospects.
If you think closely, there is no dearth of wide achievers either. How frequently do you come across friends or colleagues who opt for completely different lines of work even if that means a slight compromise of desired package initially? There is no dearth of examples as well.
Make sure you are acquainting yourself more about wide achievement in order to explore its prospects. Hopefully this particular primer has been able to guide you duly in this regard.