What does a portfolio career look like?

by Barrie Hopson on November 10, 2009 · 1 comment

in Creativity,portfolio careers

A fascinating discussion appears to have begun in our LinkedIn portfolio careers discussion group. That excellent writer on careers and job finding, John Lees, started it off with this observation: ” A client suggested to me that a portfolio career is like a STONE ARCHWAY, with the keystone being the main element providing an income stream, but all other elements holding the thing together”. That got Katie going,”I like the idea of a LEGO archway where it can be taken apart and recreated in another colour or shape. Stone suggests its set and forever. Its why I always write with a pencil.Much easier to rub out and start again”. And yesterday we had this response from Erica Lucas, “I’m not sure that things necessarily have to be ‘connected’ in a portfolio career. In fact, I think part of the beauty of a portfolio career is the total variety it can bring if you want it to. Mine has elements that are definitely linked together and feed off each other – but others which are completely unrelated. I don’t have a metaphor for that ……… but I’ve always thought it was quite a good thing not to have all your eggs in the same kind of basket (actually, maybe that’s the metaphor?!).

I could not of course resist all that so:” Amongst the 40 or so people that we interviewed for the book (and we are continuing to interview as there are so many fascinating examples coming to light all the time) some of them have a very strong thread that runs throughout their jobs but some have really disparate activities. Lawyer and cake maker, accountant and ski instructor, lighting designer and reiki master. This I think is one of the great joys of a portfolio career. Maybe an overcoat with lots of pockets!”

So WHAT does a portfolio career look like?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Louise McTigue November 11, 2009 at 5:58 am

I’m just starting to build my portfolio career and love the analogy with Lego, though I’m not yet looking for my pieces to form anything as regular as an archway. I want my Lego pieces to be all shapes and sizes, so they have the ability to fit together; but what the resulting structure looks like should only be limited by my own imagination and creativity. If I don’t like it, I can pull it apart and create a new structure any time I like! I’m definitely on the look-out for a couple of window pieces, though…

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