“What do you do?” Every time someone asks me this question I immediately cringe. Of course I’m proud to be an office ninja! That is definitely not the reason for my knee jerk reaction and initial dismay. That age old query is just so jam packed with limitations and assumptions and my job title does little to describe what it is that I actually do every day. I am more than your friendly “customer service coordinator,” thank-you-very-much!
Like many office ninjas, I am a multipotentialite. If you haven’t heard this word before then file it in your repertoire now because it’ll come in handy at cocktail parties and your next big networking opportunity. Coined by Emilie Wapnick—an artist, writer, speaker, coach, and founder of Puttylike—a multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.
“Multipotentialites thrive on learning, exploring, and mastering new skills. We are excellent at bringing disparate ideas together in creative ways. This makes us incredible innovators and problem solvers.” –Emilie Wapnick
Sound like you? Me too! And the title of Office Ninja fits the personality of a multipotentialite perfectly.
The Office Rockstar! Be Who You Are!
What do you do as an office ninja anyway? Maybe you’re an Executive Assistant, Admin, Office Manager, or Coordinator. But what do you actually do?
You’re innovative, you see areas for growth and constantly seek out the newest apps, widgets, or programs to get the job done. You’re a creative problem solver. You see every side to the issue and relish the opportunity to find the most elegant, unexpected solution. You love change. This is a big one that really resonates with all multipotentialites.
You can’t do the same task every day, which works out perfectly with your office ninja role since you usually find yourself packing kits for trade shows on Tuesday, organizing the C-Suite’s schedules on Wednesday, and planning the next big office shindig on Thursday. Most importantly, you are innately passionate. You are excited about whatever it is you happen to be doing that day and it’s contagious.
Still a Ninja Outside of the Office
Multipotentialites are not limited to their workplace. When the ninja gloves come off, it’s time to slip into one of our many other roles.
We are triathlon competitors, amatuer gourmet chefs, animal shelter volunteers, watercolor painters, and fantastic basoon players. We are the proud peewee soccer coaches, the improv theater nerds, prize winning quilters, and the organizers of some top notch fantasy football leagues.
You may think you need to keep all these worlds separate. That you need to hide your love of larping, stunt kites, or figure skating (which is a totally valid feeling). Sometimes it is nice to leave your work at the office. (There’s definitely a reason why Ron Swanson didn’t tell any of his colleagues about his saxophone-playing, jazz king alter-ego, Duke Silver.)
On the flip side, taking a leap and sharing your passions can deepen your interpersonal connections leading to higher workplace satisfaction. Who knew that Bill in accounting also builds model trains! The new HR rep, Jackie, is a long time appreciator of the arts and she would love to attend your next gallery show of vintage collages!
Level Up! Embrace the Multipotentialite in You
Embracing the multipotentialite in you is a very powerful thing. The next time someone asks you what you do tell them the truth. You’re one of the finest office ninja/yoga instructor/terrarium crafter/bee keepers in the area and you’re deeply passionate about all of it.
You’ll spark so many interesting and sincere conversations that surpass the usual small talk. By opening up and sharing your experiences you just might find out that the CEO of your company is also a welder and once owned an avocado farm in Southern California (true story—he shares his metal fabrication magazines with me). We’re all beings with many dimensions and we’re lucky enough to live in a world where we can do it all as long as we have the motivation.
One of my favorite things is to encourage others to follow their dreams. It sounds cheesy but isn’t that a common office ninja activity anyway? We support others in our workplace when it comes to their jobs, but we can expand past our official duties and congratulate Dan on winning third place in that bike rice or Susie on her brand new, adorable puppy.
The best way to inspire others? Be your genuine, multipotentialite, office ninja self and let that magic shine!
What are some of your expanded interests?