Trouble Choosing a Career? You May Be a Renaissance Soul

“The thing about me is that I love variety.  I like to try new things and I don’t want to be pinned back.”—Anton du Beke

Are you someone who feels like there may be something wrong with you because you don’t fit the cultural pattern of wanting to specialize in a life-long-profession? 

Do you feel like you missed the boat in knowing what kind of work you were meant to pursue?   

Are you being told to choose a career path, but find you have too many interests and you can’t decide which career role to pick?

If you are having trouble in choosing a specific career path, it is a good possibility you are a Renaissance Soul with multiple interests and talents.   For the Renaissance man or woman diversity is key to having work that is fulfilling and engaging.  

If you are wondering whether you may be a Renaissance man or woman, below are three characteristics of Renaissance Souls.  See if you recognize any of them in yourself.  

Characteristic #1 – You have a desire for a career with diversity rather than being pinned down to a career with limited growth.  

I find that my Renaissance Soul coaching clients have a love for variety. As a Renaissance man/woman your world is full of wonder and delight in exploring new ideas, new ventures, new careers and reinventing yourself.  

Your curiosity is robust.  You are eager to learn and enjoy a variety of things.  This doesn’t mean that you are unable to stay focused on one thing at a time.  On the contrary when you are focused, you are steadfast and at peak performance.

There are Renaissance women/men who may combine several interests under an umbrella with one title.  For example let’s say you are someone who operates a skiing lodge in beautiful Colorado who teaches ski lessons during the day and in the evening you provide Zomba lessons. 

Off season you create a new umbrella of activities by reinventing your business model to a bed and breakfast for vacationers that includes participating in warmer outdoor activities, e.g., camping, tennis, and/or hiking.  

Or maybe you are a sequential Renaissance man or woman who may enjoy your interests sequentially.  For example in the warmer season of the year, you find that being involved in outdoors activities is where you want to be.  In the colder weather your activities may be focused more on indoors.

Another method the Renaissance woman/man uses to pursue their interests is simultaneously; e.g., a college student who majors in business with minors in art and history, plus volunteers to assist incoming students. 

Characteristic #2 – You prefer a working style that highlights creativity and development rather than a workplace that restricts your ideas.

Having a 5-year plan, following a “to-do-list,” or being subjected to a linear plan is not for you if you are a Renaissance man/woman. Linear plans can feel confining and frustrating.  You are more productive in planning where there is room to adapt to changes and in alignment with your energy and creativity.  

A career that is couched in single-mindedness is like torture to a Renaissance woman/man.  You prefer to be with an organization that offers challenge; where you can grow and evolve.  

You want to stretch yourself and are open to shifting direction in service of what’s best for the task at hand.  Being curious and looking for answers outside the box feeds your drive.  

You prefer to align with your energy to get things done.  This may be frustrating to those who are not inclined to this method, but nonetheless this is how Renaissance Souls operate.  For those unidentified Renaissance women or men, they may be labeled mistakenly as having Attention Deficit Disorder when they may really be a Renaissance Soul.

Characteristic #3 – You define success by challenges mastered versus success by climbing up the ladder.   

Following a linear, predictable agenda is not a route you as a Renaissance man/woman favor.  The good news for the Renaissance Soul is that today the “cradle to grave” workplace is outdated.  Companies are looking more for people who are flexible and willing to learn.  

The curiosity of the Renaissance woman/man is one that invites new learning and generates possibilities.  You have a willingness to question and challenge yourself in evolving to the next step.   There are individuals who resist the uphill battle of the learning curve, but for the Renaissance woman/man, this is juice for your soul.  You are willing to climb the curve, learn to master it and become more efficient and productive.  

For the Renaissance Soul, success is not measured by how high up the ladder you go, but by how many challenges you master.  Your ladder has many interesting stops along the way, where you pause to learn and explore.  You use your imagination to create, resolve, and enjoy, before you move up to the next rung.   

People with multi-faceted careers like Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, or Maya Angelou are perfect examples of the Renaissance Soul.  As people who have been successful in pursuing numerous interests, they are at the extreme end of a continuum.  At the other end would be a single-minded soul like Mozart, whose primary focus was music.  

Where do you find yourself in the continuum from a single-minded career to a Renaissance Soul career?  Regardless of where you are on the continuum, your happiness lies in doing work that is on track with your destiny and is waiting for you.   

My wish for you is:
“Be all you can be
Doing what you love while
Living an extraordinary life”

Theresa Maria Napa, CPCC, LOACC
Career Transition and Leadership Coach/Speaker
Copyright 2018 – Theresa Maria Napa

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Theresa Maria “TM” Napa is a certified career and leadership transition coach, and speaker who helps purpose driven professionals pinpoint their career passion.  Throughout her professional career she has constantly evolved and reinvented herself as evidenced by her steadfastly varied career in both corporate and creative roles, as well as being a business owner for over 18 years.   TM can be contacted at