Are you a scanner, a multipotential?

business scanner what is psychology

An as yet unknown term

If you do a search on Google, you will probably be quite doubtful about the results: you will be offered to correct your search using the keyword "scanner"… this awesome device that just "scans" a lot of things, from your ID card to your head. The "scanner", with this small spelling difference, is a term directly inspired by its counterpart from across the Atlantic, North Americans loving much more than giving us names to everything. So they started describing the "scanners", these people with a particular profile, and we created a French version of them. You won't find much before 2010 either… The term has only existed for a few years, following the publication of several English and American books on the subject.

A personality profile

What is a "scanner"?Wikipedia has already integrated the double meaning of the name in its Wiktionary: What is a "scanner"? I found several terminologies, including that of multipotentials, polymaths (people with several fields of expertise), or "Renaissance Souls", "Renaissance souls". An allusion to the fact that at that time, the Renaissance, everyone was encouraged to develop all their skills, regardless of the field of predilection or the extent. I also found several definitions, but this one is the one I find closest to what I feel (and yes, in addition to being zebra, I'm a scanner!). It can be found on the Zebra Crossingwebsite, which is not surprising, because many zebras are also scanners.

A scanner is the opposite of a specialist. It is difficult for him to choose a single passion or career and if he forces himself to do so, he becomes unhappy and his productivity suffers. Scanners can be interested in many areas, completely different from one another. They usually have several projects "on fire" and constantly have new ideas. They rarely pursue all of them and if they do, they rarely go all the way.

This definition goes beyond the simple fact of being the opposite of a "diver", a "diver", i.e. a specialist in a field. The scanner is interested in many, if not many, things. But what often causes him problems, in all areas of his life, is that choosing (therefore giving up) is very difficult. I realized that I was different from most people when in high school I was asked to choose my career path. Some of my comrades already knew which profession to exercise, or at least which way to choose (commerce, medicine, arts …), others had no idea what interested them, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: writer journalist screenwriter photographer designer decorator director of luxury and ecological hotel with around an animal park for the protection of endangered animal species. That's. I would have just added blogger if blogs existed at the time. Yes of course. But there you have it, no. I started to make escapades in the CIDJ (youth information and documentation centers) and other public bodies supposed to help us find our future profession and the appropriate training, and I was told that in fact I was looking for my way (no), quickly made it clear that I was weird (again), or urged to make a choice. An anvil then fell on my shoulders: the pressure of having to choose THE profession that I will have to exercise for the next forty and a few years,and in which I counted well 1/ have fun and 2/ earn a good living (and 3/ NEVER know unemployment). I immediately make an aside: this type of reasoning was already stupid at the time and even more so today, in a world that changes so quickly and where new professions are created every year,where each person entering the world of work today will have on average 4 to 5 different jobs during his professional life,and who sees only the profession and not the man and his personal panel of skills … That's why I created The Job Revolution. I invite you to read my articles on this vast subject that concerns us all: professional life and how to be happy with it. End of digression / ad for myself / concrete proof that I am a scanner. I was therefore, without knowing it, a "scanner" and a "slasher": a person with multiple interests, and who wanted to exercise several professions in parallel (the "slashes" being precisely these small bars at an angle between each of them). I was very confused to have so many passions, which in private life was not too criticized, but which was criticized in terms of the choice of my future professional life. So I found myself helpless, not knowing what to do. I also had to suffer the remarks of my entourage that encouraged me to choose a "real" profession (writer or photographer not being one), with a "stability" and of course in the form of salaried work. But I was experiencing the torture that any scanner / multipotential lives: the obligation to have to choose. So I did several cycles of studies, obtained several diplomas, knowing that I would probably have done double if I had been able to. I left the academic world with the desire to work, exercise my talents and skills and earn a living, but with the regret that I was not able to go to just about every faculty possible and imaginable (I add "psychiatry" and "architecture" to the list above :-D) and do all the studies I wanted to do. And convinced that once you entered professional life, your studies, it was over. And that vocational or continuing training was reserved for the unemployed who had to retrain. That it was not an option, nor a choice. Like the "zebritude", my "scannitude" made me feel different from others, who chose a profession, a company and did not move any more. I also quickly realized that doing the same thing every day annoyed me deeply, that I had the feeling of ruining my life: I wanted to carry out new projects all the time, and learn continuously.

And you, are you a scanner?

personality scanner definition Here are some diagnostic elements. If you recognize yourself in a large number of them, it is because you are most certainly a scanner.

  • You are curious, you are interested in everything, you have a lot of interests (more than 3), sometimes new ones every day. You love to learn, besides not learning anything during the rest of your life is unimaginable to you.
  • You all want to do at once, you do not want to choose between salsa dance, ice painting, treasure hunting, saving african animals, scuba diving … You don't want or can't choose because you like everything. as much.
  • You have a lot of ideas, all the time. An idea of a product to market, an idea of African decoration for your show, in parallel an idea of theme for a photo exhibition, an idea to launch a website, an idea of music, book, innovative dance style, and a business too…
  • You hate routine. The idea of exercising a single profession, of knowing only one company, only one city, region or country, horrifies you. You don't understand the people who like this stability.
  • You have a hard time choosing which studies to do, which profession to exercise, in which place to live… You can't choose from these many choices.
  • You have little or very little patience. You start a lot of things but rarely finish, if the project exceeds a few days. You get bored very quickly as soon as the excitement of the beginning has subsided. You feel depressed or even desperate not to finish something, a medium or long term project. You feel constantly dissatisfied, because you do not feel that you are achieving a result in an area.
  • You envy those who have ONE passion, choose ONE profession. You have the feeling that they have "found" each other and not you. You wonder when you will find "your thing".

Do you recognize yourself in this portrait? If so, welcome to my world! If not, but it reminds you of someone you know, it will probably help you have more compassion. Because you will have understood, being a scanner does not make life easy. It can even become a hell, making you feel an eternal feeling of dissatisfaction, cause annoyance or even a rejection (separation) on the part of those around you who reproach you for dispersing and never finishing anything, making you fail professionally, if you are asked for consistency in a task that seems boring to you, or exclude you from the world of salaried work if you have had too many different professional experiences, because you will be seen as "unstable".

The problem becomes an asset

Becoming aware of this aspect of one's personality is a first step. This discovery will often allow you to explain many of your behaviors and torments,after a period of depression, often related to the bad memories that will come back to you. It will also reassure you and allow you to review your life in the light of your difference, but also of your qualities: curiosity, learning ability, taste for novelty,among others. But the most interesting thing is to discover how to transform this specificity,which can be seen as a problem, into an asset. It is quite possible, and even essential, to review its mode of operation to finally, give life to your ideas, launch yourself without worry in your projects, go to the end of your dreams, without feeling frustrated not to do, or in failure not to finish. To allow you also to build your own professional life, the one that suits you and that suits you. There are tests, tools and organizational techniques that make the life of scanners not only more fluid and efficient, but that beyond that allow them to live their "scannitude" at the bottom of the body! >>> To discover:

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>>> You don't know what to do with your life? You are attracted by many professions, and you do not find your professional path? You can't get to the end of your projects? I can help you!

You can contact me for a personalized follow-up: coaching, advice, therapeutic support. For more information, read the presentation of my services. The first 30-minute consultation is free of charge.

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Sophie Barbarella

Writer and Public Speaker

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