As many as four in 10 working adults in the UK are running ‘side hustles’ alongside their full-time career, in a growing trend with major implications for organisations, new research has revealed.

According to whitepaper The Side Hustle Economy, published yesterday by Henley Business School, side hustles – defined as small businesses or secondary jobs that people run in addition to their primary career – generated an estimated income worth £72bn for the UK economy, or 3.6 per cent of GDP, in 2017. They are now being undertaken by 39 per cent of all employees.

Yet despite the increasing trend, with the number of workers balancing a full-time career and a secondary job expected to double by 2030, the survey of more than 500 business leaders and 1,100 adults found that half (49 per cent) of organisations had no fixed policies around the practice.

Experts speaking at a panel event yesterday stressed the need for businesses to be open to the prospect of employees engaging in extra-curricular activities, instead of simply using policy to restrict them.

“If someone has a passion that is not their full-time organisation, of course there’s a risk that in 10 years they might leave – but people leave work for all kinds of reasons. While they are with your organisation, have them happy and engaged, because when people are treated as individuals they do a better job,” Danny Harmer, chief people officer at Metro Bank, told People Management.

I have to say that this sounds to me like starting a portfolio career. Some people will then make a decsion if they have 2’jobs’ to pick one at some point. But again this demonstrates the attractions to many people of doing more than one type of work.


One of the skills we outline in our book as being crucial to a succesful portfolio career is the ability to network well. Many people find this daunting but – portfolio careers aside – this is a really important lifeskill. I have written much around this topic but recently came across a really useful small article by Harvey Deutschendorf with 5 tips to making an impression with someone in the first 5 minutes.



In summary:

1. Show Genuine Enthusiasm For Meeting

2. Offer A Compliment

3. Ask At Least Two Open-Ended Questions

4. Find Something You Share

5. Say Their Name Before You Leave, And Commit Key Facts To Memory

According to Fast Company magazine this should take you 4 minutes. Invest in developing this crucial lifeskill.



And now its the Vets …..

16 June 2018

In the past few months I have posted a number of times about traditional professions that are now seeing and even espousing portfolio careers for their members. It was only a matter of time before Vets began to move into this career space! See this article by Arlo Guthrie quoting recent research from the British […]

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Portfolio Careers and Gig Work

13 June 2018

I am seeing more and more articles and discussions linking the gig economy and portfolio careers. There is no doubt that some people do indeed utilise gig work to help them constuct a portfolio career for themselves. An excellent article by Katie Kuehner-Hebert explores the increasing attractiveness to age groups from millenials to boomers of […]

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And now it’s portfolio careers for pharmacists!

16 April 2018

Ivana Knyght leads the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s professional development and support service and I was fascinated to read an interview with her  in which she was explaining about the type of support her team offers members throughout their careers. In my last blog post I was talking about how attractive the notion of a portfolio […]

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GP’s encouraged to consider portfolio careers!

4 April 2018

I have written before about the increasing attraction of portfolio working to medical staff but there are now extraordinary developments. The BMA has called on the Government to introduce ‘virtual’, chambers-style GP models in a bid to stop GPs leaving the profession. It said the new working opportunity should draw on the locum chambers model, […]

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Are portfolio careers more at risk with AI?

16 March 2018

 My guest contributor this month is John Hawthorn who argues strongly that so much of the discussion on work, careers and the future of work is not based on known facts. My take on this is that portfolio careers are better suited than traditional career patterns to cope with and even benefit from these developments. […]

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The Remote Working Model 2018

26 January 2018

Many portfolio career workers do remote work so I have pleasure in presenting a guest blog by Robert Wesley who is a specialist in this area. Remote work has been around for several decades under a myriad of different names. The eldest of these terminologies, “telecommuting”, was coined back in the ‘70s, while the more […]

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Portfolio Careers for Nurses

9 January 2018

Fascinating article by Kim Thomas on the massive changes in work life and career options for nurses today. She makes the point that a few years ago, most nurses could expect to spend their working life in a hospital. These days, England’s 281,000 nurses work in a variety of roles. Many support chronically ill patients […]

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‘Entrepreneurial You’

16 October 2017

My good friend Marianne Cantwell, the Free Range Human lady – wonderful book – contacted me recently as she was having lunch with her friend Dorie Clark in New York. (There are pluses to being a free range human!) She wanted me to know about Dorie’s new book which has been selling very well in […]

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