Portfolio Careers on the Isle of Lewis

by Barrie Hopson on August 4, 2009 · 0 comments

in Uncategorized


I read an interesting article this morning from the Times Online which in essence talks about people living on the Isle of Lewis having portfolio lives and blending work and life. This reminded me of quotation from Hugh MacLoud that we use in our new book in which he describes his families traditional life style as Scottish Highland crofters. He writes about his grandfather who ” lived on a croft i.e. a very small holding of land, where he raised sheep and grew potatoes. I used to spend my summers there as a boy. We were very close. Crofting is a good life, but not a very fi nancially rewarding one. It’s very self-sufficient, though. The interesting thing for me, looking back, is that crofters never did ‘just one thing’. Every day they had something else going on. One day it might be sheep. The next it might be a job working on the roads for the local council. I knew one crofter who drove the mail van. Another who ran the local post offi ce. They would do their jobs, but after work they’d still have their sheep, cows and potatoes to attend to. As my dad is fond of reminding me, I seem to have inherited the crofting mentality. I DON’T LIKE waking up in the morning and doing the same thing every day. I LIKE having all these different balls in the air – cartooning, painting, consulting, writing, marketing, blogging etc. Sure, part of me would like nothing better than just ‘retiring to the desert and making paintings’, but another part of me likes all the running around in different directions. And all this running around DOES get tiring, I can tell you that. Sometimes I LOVE the feeling of being constantly overwhelmed. Other times I utterly despise it.’

As we say in the book, portfolio careers were much more common pre industrial revolution and here we are in the 21st Century with them returning as a real career choice.

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