Are you a career scanner? Rather than diving in to a single career you are an eager explorer destined to scan the horizon of possible career options open to you. You’re drawn to everything and cannot choose one direction. What should you select? You may be a personality type that is known as a ‘scanner’.
According to Barbara Sher, you should “Refuse to Choose”. Her book suggests doing everything you love and offers suggestions on how best to use all your talents on every one of your interests. Sher suggests you have a different type of mind and thought process about your chosen career path or hobbies and need a different roadmap to success. She calls this creative type of individual a ‘scanner’.
She described multiple types of scanners – 11 in all. In her book, she first helps to identify if you are, indeed, a scanner and proceeds to assist you determine how best to make you happy. She offers suggestions for a tool kit, life design models and potential career ideas. For example, the ‘Double Agent’ scanner-type is torn between doing the right thing and living his dreams. One choice seems to break his heart or will break another’s. He wants to study animals by living in Africa but believes he needs to move back home to care for aging parents.
Sher maintains the problem isn’t hopeless and offers a scanner’s tool kit (e.g., stopping the either/or thinking with an exercise, a 2-year calendar poster or file containers to hold all of your options for travel), a life-design model (e.g., seasonal, telecommuting or school-teacher schedule) and career choices (e.g., highly paid short term work, built-in travel jobs, independent contracting).
Chip Simone is an accomplished Atlanta-based photographer, book author and certified personal trainer. His creative personality allows him to have multiple, simultaneous career experiences while remaining focused on his art. He states, “My career in photography has been good to me. It provides me the opportunity to engage with vivacious personalities in the visual and performing arts community world-wide.” Simone adds, “My passion is my art and sharing it with exhibit patrons at places such as the High Museum of Art here in Atlanta. Personal training is my part-time vocation and one source of additional income between art exhibits.”
For me a song always comes to mind. When reading this book my first thought is the song, ‘Tempted’ by Squeeze. The lyrics speak of being tempted by other options in life. Are you struggling with career options because you may be a scanner? First you need to realize there is nothing wrong with you. You simply need to ignore conventional wisdom that forces you to make a career selection. You have the scanner mind-set, so refuse to choose and take action to make / keep you happy.