It’s a 21st Century Portfolio Career

by Katie Ledger on September 1, 2009 · 0 comments

in New ways of working,Uncategorized

Denise Kingsmill writes in Management Today about Suite Careers. She says:

They are representatives of a new class of worker with no fixed office abode, moving from meeting to meeting via the coffee shop. From accountants to ad people, from music and media types to engineers and academics, these are citizens who have opted for a multi-layered, multi-tasking work style, labelled by one as a ‘suite career’.

The pun is intentional, as for many this is indeed a sweet way of working. A range and variety of jobs sometimes based on a core skill, parlayed into a rich and rewarding career free of conventional corporate constraint, is the goal of the suite careerist. And the coffee shop is the ideal place to pursue this, fortified by the stimulating qualities of the beverage and the opportunity to network and discuss business ideas with colleagues. It’s just as Pepys and his contemporaries did in the 17th and 18th centuries – although today’s habitues use Facebook and Skype.

The suite career is similar to the portfolio career, made famous in the ’90s by the management guru Charles Handy, but differs in a significant way. Whereas the portfolio career was seen as a way for baby-boomers to extend their working lives after retirement or redundancy, the suite career is often the first choice for a younger generation of workers seeking more challenge, fulfilment and reward than they see available to them in a conventional  career.

Well we agree on everything except the definition of Portfolio Careers. Charles Handy did write about them in the 90’s but there are two major differences from then to now.

  1. World Recession
  2. Technology

Both these events allow a wide range of people to access the benefits of a portfolio career and they are doing so in their thousands. That’s why we wrote “And what do you do? 10 steps to creating a portfolio career”.

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