A portfolio career?


Whether we like it or not, a career, a job, or just a way to make money is what most of us will have to do for a large proportion of our lives. There have been lots of theories and ideas which try and explain why and how people chose their chosen career paths.  So what is a portfolio career? I’m just going to find out…

So the main idea of portfolio working is that people tend to concentrate on a range of different working arrangements that are termed: wage work, fee work, homework, gift work  and study work (Mallon 1998).  Basically, due to an increase of temporary workers and less traditional formal careers some people think that there has been more emphasis on the self employed, and those who charge for services and outputs.

What does this actually mean? It means that you can chose to carve out a living which is entirely of your own making, you can consult on your expert area, such as design or I.T. whilst charging by the hour, you can work for free for charities at the same time also. You are in effect in charge of your own career, not tied down to any one organisation or any one profession and not bound by any career hierarchies. Therefore you can  go in do your stuff and leave in a few weeks, months or years. You can be a plumber,  a hairdresser and an IT professional if you so wish.

Now let me put in a disclaimer, this kind of career is NOT for everyone, if the thought of not knowing where you are going to work tomorrow, fills you with dread and you have a set career such as a doctor or a nurse, this may not be for you. However, if you want to be savvy in the post recession world, a portfolio career offers many interesting benefits, such as: being your own boss, concentrating on you skills, increasing your networks and giving you variety in life. However, you need to be careful in how you do this and not just jump into the deep end expecting other people to just understand. If you think this is really the career path for you, make sure you plan  and have many contingencies, friends, money to fall back on and a vision!

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