A portfolio career is a relatively new term so you may not be familiar with it. In general, it refers to income being generated from more than one source. For example, a person may work doing several things such as part-time employment, temporary work, freelance assignments or personal business. It may also be that a person works a full-time job while also generating income from another venture. According to Penelope Trunk, the co-founder of Brazen Careerist, “a portfolio career is not the same thing as holding down three bad jobs and wishing you could figure out what to do with yourself. Rather, it is a scheme you pursue purposefully and positively, as a way to achieve financial or personal goals or a mixture of both.”
What are the advantages of a portfolio career? On advantage is that you can try out different careers at the same time. If you don’t know if you enjoy a particular job, having a portfolio career allows you “test drive” a little at a time. Another advantage is that a portfolio career also allows for more variety and creativity in your life. A common complaint from people is that they get bored in their jobs but if you are doing more than one job, you are much less likely to get tired of the same old thing. Yet another plus is that by working more than one job, you don’t have all of your eggs in the same basket. If you get laid off from one job, you still have at least one other to fall back on.
What are the disadvantages of a portfolio career? One disadvantage that you will have to consider is benefits. Many organizations do not offer benefits if you are part time. You may have to purchase insurance for yourself which is likely to be more expensive than being on an employer’s plan. Another disadvantage is the time that it takes to do more than one job. Are you comfortable working odd hours or when everyone else is off enjoying their weekend? Yet another minus is managing your time and energy to be able to juggle and accomplish many tasks at the same time.
A portfolio career may be a great option for your career; but, it requires much planning. If you are thinking about the possibilities for your life’s work, I am happy to help you through the process.