By Rupa Datta of Portfolio People
I hereby challenge myself to this.... in 2013 my goal was to be abroad six weeks in the year. It is something that a Portfolio Person can and should be able to achieve and enjoy - if you are not employed but contracted, no-one gets to tell you how much holiday you can take and when you should work.
The first three were pretty easy - a week in the Norwegian Fjords, two weeks in Florida, ten days in Hong Kong, ten days in Shanghai. Wow! Who knew? I achieved it. Not all of these trips were what people typically think of as a 'holiday'. But, do they have to be? The goal was to get refreshed, recharged and to have time for self-development.
Where am I going with this? The goal this year was to be away for seven weeks. The first couple were pretty much booked but towards the end of 2013, So far, at the time of writing it was August 2014. I managed a couple of days in Glasgow, yes, I know it's not abroad, though it may well have soon become (Scottish Referendum). I also took three weeks to travel around the Pacific Northwest.
The four remaining weeks were still to come with a number of options presenting themselves.
The reality is, this is all about creating the opportunity to be away and the chance to be productive and creative so I am opening the door to extended breaks in the British Isles. The trick is reflective time, a digital detox and hopefully learning something.
What do you challenge yourself to? I'll be posting my experience goals for 2015 and the outcomes of 2014's challenges shortly.
I sometimes travel to the US and each time I go I observe what it means to be a server or behind the bar. The first bar I entered in Seattle I met a barman who chose to work during his free-time instead of going out, which means he was earning about $100K a year (I hear that the type of establishment you work in plays a part though). I also have a mate who only goes back to the US to work because you can truly earn that sort of money in a short space of time. Let's call that 'Binge Working!' For those of us in the know in the US service industry...such individuals do not get paid much in wages but they make their living through tips.
I was surprised when I heard that the state of Washington is in the process of introducing a minimum wage of $15 per hour for service staff by 2021. It is going up each year and soon will be above the living wage which is currently $8.77 per hour. It hasn't been a popular policy.....call it partly culture, call it choice. The popular argument is that people sign up to work in the industry knowing what they are signing up to and on the whole, you receive great customer service led by the individual. In the US Service industry culture, servers are like micro-entrepreneurs, each working for their own personal goals. Good service can and often does mean great tips, so good training and good careers for many.
I think that service staff are truly Portfolio People. In Vancouver I met an author in a dive bar who had been taken on by a known editor. He was however, still in need of an agent. The irony is that his muse has not yet been published, so he was leading the 'Portfolio Life' by working 'normal jobs'. With this comes the next issue...
"For those of you who don't know yet, a portfolio career is all about dividing your time between different jobs in which you see yourself more like a separate company providing a service than an individual employed under contract. A Portfolio person has a flexible approach to work and life."
Why do people think a Portfolio Life isn't as good as a traditional career? I mean... Having your fingers in only one basket could be risky given the economic outlook. Isn’t it better to have your fingers in many pies!? A portfolio career is not a stop-gap. Though it is a complicated equation on whether it is best to have a traditional or portfolio career, as more and more jobs are becoming zero hours contracts or part time, it seems more sensible to have a portfolio career.
Most people with successful and stable careers already have a portfolio, they have investments or they want and need to concentrate on their home life, a carefully balanced lifestyle. I thus urge you to take a look at your lifestyle (I would put money on the likelihood that it is already somewhat Portfolio) and analyse it further....by choice...not by need, and make it work.