What is a portfolio career?


What is a portfolio career? It's where you develop a number of different strands which make up your career.



In Phase 3 this may comprise paid or unpaid work or a mixture of both. The idea is that you have a number of jobs, hobbies, interests or volunteering which make up your portfolio.


My portfolio career

If you are asking me what is a portfolio career I would offer this example. Since I became self-employed twenty years ago I have had a number of strands making up a portfolio career. As I am someone who enjoys variety and the opportunity to try new things this was ideal for me.

When I branched out on my own I ran a public relations company then, after a few years, along side the PR began run training courses. At the same time I trained in career counselling and outplacement and worked with some large outplacement companies alongside my own personal client list.

Because I was still doing PR I was regularly contacted by journalists who then wanted articles on training and careers which moved me into journalism. Including the very interesting role of Agony Aunt for The (Glasgow) Herald for four years.

A portfolio career - an ideal option

I often find that clients who want to start their own business, but can’t afford or don’t want the risk of not having a wage coming in, a portfolio career works. They can continue with their regular paid work on a part time basis while beginning to build up their own business. This creates less risk.

For people giving up full time work this can also work well. They may be able to continue working with their employer on a part time basis or go in as holiday, illness or maternity cover.

People leaving a job don’t always consider this an option but when mentioned to HR or department heads is often seen as an ideal solution. There is no need for the company to find a temporary replacement or train someone new for a few weeks or months work. It is additional money for the person retiring from work and benefits everyone. Just ask.

It may be that if you are reluctantly retiring and want to still have a reason to get up in the morning you put together a portfolio career that may include some paid work .I am sure you will have ideas of you own or link back to start a new career.

In addition you could be undertaking unpaid work, volunteering or organising events. You may take up painting or turn a skill such as building flat pack furniture into a nice little earner.

You might want to pursue an interest that you have not had time for before, perhaps finding other like-minded people to do this with.

It is not necessary for all aspects of a portfolio career to be paid. They just have to be a regular activity that takes a specific amount of time and has a purpose

If you enjoyed what is a portfolio career you might enjoy hobby into a business

Return to start a new career.