Tips for building a portfolio career

When I heard a career being described as a portfolio career I had no idea what the person was talking about. The concept, however, is simple: you work a number of jobs that individually would be part-time/voluntary/flexible but combine to create a full-time role (or salary). They can be whatever you want them to be. Fantastic for your work-life balance.

The trend for portfolio careers has been growing steadily and whether you would like more flexibility, more variety or even more security it could be the career for you.

Some people use this type of career to build more meaning and purpose in their life, allowing them more time to do the things they are passionate about or to give back to their local community.

You can create a portfolio career in a number of ways:

  • Work 6 months of the year and have the rest to do as you will
  • Work a certain number of days a week or month and then you can volunteer/relax/choose what you want to do. You can mix employed/self-employed work with both of these options.
  • Work around your family and do a number of part-time roles that fit your routine. I know one lady who did 8 part-time jobs – some only took an hour a week but she managed them around her caring commitments
  • Combine your time and skills in a way that works for you.

Portfolio careers are usually built around a collection of skills and interests, though the only consistent theme is one of career self-management. With a portfolio career you no longer have one job, one employer, but multiple jobs and employers within one or more professions. – QuintCareers

5 tips if you’re considering a portfolio career

  1. Know how much money you need to feel secure and have peace of mind for you and your family
  2. Get advice from others already doing a portfolio career and find out the pros and cons
  3. Know your values and needs/wants so that you can ensure that a portfolio career is the right choice to give you fulfilment not stress you out.
  4. Create a vision for what you are trying to achieve, make a plan and get organised. Think about separating out your experiences into skill sets to help you think about all your options.
  5. Use your networks, the strong relationships you have already gained and the weak ties you don’t consider. Tell people what you are doing and offer your services.

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