Who said you can only have one career path?
Considering the current state of the economy, portfolio careers seem to be the ideal type of career as it offers an alternative way out for many. This is especially true for the young graduates who are currently struggling to find a job given the limited opportunities available. Since no job can promise a stable career future, getting part-time work even as a starting point can make their entry into the job market a lot easier.
Despite the fact that the concept of managing a number of part-time jobs wasn’t that prestigious in the past, it was first developed by Charles Handy in the 1990s. The Irish management philosopher had foreseen that workers would be more actively in control of their careers as ‘portfolio workers’ having many small jobs instead of one big one.
As such, it gradually started to gain prominence amongst the younger generation today. Here are some the reasons why portfolio careers are becoming the no. 1 work trend:
• There is no such thing as ‘a job for life’ any more as there was for previous generations.
• The freedom to do something on your own allows you to create your career as you want it e.g. work from home, open a business.
• People aren’t one-dimensional and want to pursue interests outside of work.
• Limited opportunities for full-time employment created more part-time jobs that need to be filled.
• Young workers are more interested in variety and flexibility over their work.
Apart from offering a more flexible work, variety and freedom, portfolio careers also provide you with the opportunity to experiment with different careers simultaneously. It divides your time between several paid activities ranging from temporary seasonal jobs, freelance, or even self-employment. Also, it suggests that instead of having one job and one boss, you can have as many jobs and employers as you can handle, thus retain multiple streams of income. Sounds awesome, right?
However, since it’s not going to be a regular nine-to-five job, it requires strong organizational skills, lots of discipline, as well as effective time and risk management. Think about how much work needs to go into a full-time job and then multiply that to 3 and 4 part-time jobs. While your workload from the part-time jobs may not be a lot compared to having one full-time job, it’s still much more demanding.
Not only does it require that you put on a different ‘thinking hat’ while at the job, but also that you must stay on top of your performance every day. Clearly it’s not a type of career that works for every individual especially if they are not cut out for the entrepreneurial world.
Generally, portfolio careers are ideal for:
• Business-minded people and entrepreneurs.
• Creative people in the fields of art, music, writing, dance, design etc.
• Stay-at-home parents who can’t have a full-time job.
• People who are looking to do some consulting/teaching work in their field.
Overall, it seems that young creative people are the ones who are going to be more interest in this latest work trend. Since it can be more difficult to make a living out of a creative career such as art, design, dance, music or writing it’s more likely for them to start experimenting with portfolio careers as substitute to full-time employment. Even Leonardo Da Vinci was a ‘portfolio worker’ himself. Not only was he a painter, but also a sculptor, an inventor, an architect, a musician and a writer.
So, if Leonardo Da Vince could do it back then, why not you?
Is a portfolio career something that you would consider going into? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.