Gen Y’s and portfolio careers

by Barrie Hopson on June 16, 2013 · 1 comment

in Flexible working,Future of work,portfolio careers,Starting a portfolio career

PortfolioLast week I was interviewed for an article for the Sunday Times by Kathryn Cooper who was particularly interested in whether or not our Gen Y population are deliberately moving into portfolio careers. Her main scenario (‘ I’m only a part-time high flyer. This is my happy job’ – Sunday Times June 16) is that more and more young professionals in particular are opting for a part time professional job to earn money and please their parents but then finding ‘conscience jobs’ to satisfy themselves.  She quotes Sara Hill, CEO of Capability Jane, a recruitment consultancy that focuses on part time and flexible working – ” We are seeing a growing trend amongst young people to get to the 3rd or 4th year in the corporate world and decide that they have had enough and want more flexibility. They want to set up an online business or work for a social enterprise – but alongside their corporate career”. I am certainly meeting more and more Gen Y’s who fit this description. As always I must throw in the caveat that this is not a desirable or acceptable career pattern for everyone. If you have not done so do assess your suitability by clicking on the Is this for Me tab above.

There are many entrance points into a portfolio career and portfolio workers do not always emanate from professional backgrounds or indeed young people. We know that the over 60’s in particular are finding this career pattern seductive as it allows them to redefine the work/life blend to fit in with their needs to try out new things, learn new skills, implement long buried desires or take up caring roles. Kathryn had as much difficulty as I have in getting relevant data from the ONS. This is not a criticism of their methods but simply a reflection that their data collection to date has not really been geared up to measure this new career pattern.

The concept will really have arrived when the ONS can give us real data on the topic. I continue to talk with them.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Amy Portfolio June 17, 2013 at 8:40 am

Barrie, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this question.
It’d be very interesting to know the demographic statistics behind this process.

My believe is that for the past 5-10 years we’ve been getting more and more technical tools that provided us with absolutely new ‘ways of working’. So I don’t think this process applies to Y gen only.

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