Well not exactly, as we know from much correspondance that the concept is alive and well ‘down under’. However, I was interested to read a recent article in The Australian Business Review in which the author seems to have adopted a US expression to describe the phenomenon – slash careers. Marci Alboher wrote a book on this topic in the US at the same time that Katie and I were writing our book and her book was actually called One person/multiple careers : a new model for work/life success. But throughout she called the process ‘slash careers’.I can recall talking to American friends about this and delicately trying to explain that whilst ‘graphic’ the phrase would never work in the UK as when we talk about going for a ‘slash’ there is a whole different concept.
I would have thought that was also true for the Aussies but maybe not. Anyway it amused me on a British Bank Holiday where typically the rain is streaming down so again was reminded of the ‘slashing’ concept.
Not much is the usual answer I get from portfolio workers. Training unbelievably appears to be one of the first things cut in hard times. And politicians and commentators wonder why our productivity is relatively low compared with many other countries.
I don’t have hard data from the UK but recent research from the US clearly shows that most employees are taking responsibility for their own training rather than wait for employers to offer it. This, as any portfolio worker will recognise, is exactly what you have to do when beginning a portfolio career. So what this development shows is that swathes of workers are already beginning to behave like portfolio workers.
“Two-thirds of US human resources professionals who specialize in employee development admit their workers aren’t turning to them for learning. It seems employees are taking matters into their own hands.”
Increasingly you need to focus on what you need to learn to do your present job more effectively or to equip yourselves with skills that you will need to transit into another job or even other jobs. You are responsible for your learning. Don’t wait around to see if others will simply offer it to you.