Are you someone who can’t decide what career path is right for you? Perhaps your interests are spread wide over many different fields rather than just one, or maybe the constraints that come with working a traditional 9-5 office job don’t fit with your lifestyle? If you answered yes to any of those, a portfolio career could be for you.
Portfolio careers are careers where instead of working one full-time job, you work multiple jobs simultaneously, encompassing a range of different streams of revenue from a combination of part-time, freelance or contract work across different fields. With the world of work changing rapidly, more people are making the jump from traditional careers to portfolio careers.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a portfolio career.
Portfolio careers have risen to prominence over the last few years along with the rise in popularity of self-employment and the growth of the gig-economy. There are a number of reasons for this but a big one has been the instability and insecurity in traditional careers and, most recently, in the shakeup to the modern workplace brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite what you might think, portfolio careers can offer people the security they might have once found in a traditional career. In a world where job security is increasingly hard to predict, spreading your expertise across a number of different fields and earning revenue from a number of different streams mitigates risk to job security. If one revenue stream dries up, portfolio careerists can lean on their other revenue streams to make up the difference.
Choose how you work
An unforeseen positive to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the increased workplace flexibility experienced by employees. But, as the world slowly returns to normal, it’s hard to know if these welcome workplace changes will become ingrained.
A portfolio career gives you the ability to design your schedule around your life, instead of your daily schedule being centered around commuting to-and-from the office. Work from home, or at a cafe, schedule the early mornings for deep work to leave the afternoons free for hobbies – a portfolio career lets you choose.
Freedom to follow your interests
Portfolio careers are different to straight freelancing in that they cover different fields, rather than just different tasks within the same field. For example, someone could hold a part-time job managing the accounts for a small business, freelance providing MYOB support for not-for-profit organisations, and play in a band on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The flexibility that comes with becoming an expert in more than one field is what gives portfolio careerists the flexibility to choose how they spend their time. There is a particular type of person who thrives under such conditions. Sometimes called ‘scanners’ or ‘multipotentialites’, these people have a broad range of interests and experiences and accumulate broad knowledge on a number of different subjects rather than developing deep knowledge on one particular subject that is more common in traditional, vertical careers.
If a portfolio career sounds interesting to you, check out Careers For Tomorrow Disrupted! The sessions happening on Tuesday 17 August are all about the rise of portfolio careers in business with a focus on entrepreneurship, gig economies, side hustles, and contracting.