This was the title of a seminar that I spoke at last week designed primarily for accountants who were members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (icaew) and who were mostly 50+ and who were unemployed or underemployed. There was an excellent summary of age discrimination issues following the new Equality Bill from Edward Keazor from Age UK (see the headlines on their website). Also a rousing performance from Martin Lloyd Penny who featured in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme last year with his daughter which showed the rampant ageism practiced by most recruitment agents. They were both accountants. He was in his mid 50’s and she was just starting out as a trainee. He never got an interview. Many of them kept ‘losing his file’ as he regularly rang up to check progress. His daughter was inundated with requests for interviews and after the programme had to turn off her mobile phone as she was even more inundated. Martin has gone on to form a very successful website for older accountants called mature accountants.
There were 200 people there and at the beginning having briefly described what a portfolio career is I asked how many people in the room had one. I was staggered to find that about 40 people qualified for the description. At the end of the seminar I asked how many people would now at least consider a portfolio career. Around 100 people put up their hands.
I somehow think that this career style might just be catching on. I wonder why?