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.

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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.

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Portfolio Careers and Dads

8 April 2016

We have always known that in theory a portfolio career can also pave the way for a portfolio lifestyle. I tend to come across more women with portfolio careers than men but then it is very difficult to find any real stats on this. However, a fascinating new report, Working Futures, published by the UK [...]

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Are you part of the “gig” economy?

6 March 2016

Yes -another new piece of jargon although it is difficult to get an agreed definition of this yet. It seems to be a catch-all term for anything from Uber taxi drivers to freelance professionals. Cath Everett has writtem a fascinating account of this in an article in Personnel Today. Even US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton – [...]

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Whatever happened to career paths?

5 March 2016

I was asked this quesion recently when being interviewed on radio about portfolio careers. Good question! In the latter part of the last century people including careers advisors were still using this term. And of course career paths still exist, especially in long established careers like medicine, law and accountancy. But even with these I [...]

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Networking

13 January 2016

Networking – the joy and the bain for a portfolio worker. I would argue that this a life skill not just for all portfolio workers but for all paid and non-paid workers and on my high horse would claim that whover you are you need to  know how to do this. If you can the [...]

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Oli Barrett says “don’t ask ‘ what do you do?’. Do ask ‘what are you up to at the moment?’

16 November 2015

One of the people that Katie and I interviewed for our book was Oli Barrett, who, even in 2009, was already described as the founder of speednetworking in the UK. If you have ever speed dated ( I have not!) you will know what I mean. I suddenly came across a piece of advice he [...]

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6 Ways Work Will Change

2 November 2015

This is the title of a blog piece for Fast Company magazine that is well worth reading. Why? Because ever since we wrote our book it has become increasingly obvious that portfolio careers is increasingly a first choice for people of all generations. The baby boomers are especially jumping on to this way of working [...]

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How vulnerable are you to being replaced by a robot?

5 October 2015

One of the pluses that portfolo workers like to emphasise to more normal people (!) is that there is less and less job security around compared with the 20th century so it pays to have more than one egg in your paid work basket. A fascinating website that was sent to me recently attempts to [...]

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Hannah is 31 and has 11 jobs!

13 August 2015

Yesterday I bumped into Hannah Gamble who has 2 horses in the field next to my house. I discovered her passion for horses but also for a lifestyle that I found mind blowing. In our book, Katie and I found one person that we interviewed that won our hypothetical race as to who had the [...]

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