By Rupa Datta of Portfolio People
I was recently invited to guest blog about portfolio careers for a leading London University's Careers Website. When starting my company Portfolio People, I found that explaining the ethos behind a portfolio career takes little to no effort for those of a certain background and generation. I envisaged that fifty and older consultants that ‘go-it-alone’ may be my primary market. The reality is somewhat different. I was surprised to discover that many people at the beginning of their career, are portfolio people but they aren't necessarily comfortable with it (perhaps because you don’t know that it's a valid option?)
In a sentence, having a portfolio career means that rather than having one job or a job for life, you juggle multiple roles. Here are a few examples of portfolio careers:
These examples demonstrate how sensible it is to have multiple interests and sources of income. If you lose a job and have a diverse portfolio, it's not going to hit you like losing your one and only job. As John F. Kennedy once declared "Fix the roof while the sun is shining!"- Position yourself while you can.
A colleague of mine recently completed his Phd, one would normally say that this is a celebratory moment, right? In the eyes of most it is, however in his eyes it was not. Concentrating solely one sector is a form of specialisation. Specialising is a risk as you are essentially ‘putting all your eggs into one basket’. In his eyes he had taken a risk by focusing all his time into one sector, which could become unimportant in the future. This uncertainty is justified as ‘Ten million British jobs could be taken over by computers and robots over the next 20 years, wiping out more than one in three roles.' (The Telegraph, 2014)
From a business point of view, no investment company would invest all their capital into one company, so why would you invest all your time and effort into specialising in one sector? By having a portfolio career you are not only reducing the risk of having an unsuccessful career, but you are also allowing yourself to be more in control of the direction your career will take in the future.
Portfolio People run Career Development Workshops and Social events where you can find out more about Portfolio Careers and reflect on what you truly want out of your career. We've recently taken our previously successful in-person events online. Find out more here