Yesterday I bumped into Hannah Gamble who has 2 horses in the field next to my house. I discovered her passion for horses but also for a lifestyle that I found mind blowing. In our book, Katie and I found one person that we interviewed that won our hypothetical race as to who had the most jobs in their portfolio career and the winning lady had 9. That was trumped in an interview that I had today with Hannah.
I was especially interested in her as of course she just falls into the Gen Y/ Millennial age bracket so should be representing the rather different attitude to work that current research keeps telling us about. In one of my recent posts I wrote about the ending of retirement as we have known it to be replaced by portfolio living in which people, especially from the younger generations would replace the old 3 boxes of life model (school, work and retirement) with a new one of learning, work and leisure but mixed up in each decade and not linked to biological age. Hannah turns out to be a living embodiment for this new lifestyle. I will now run through her 11 jobs. You will certainly see one thread that runs throughout – the love of outdoor life but then there is also one that does not fit into that template.
1. She raises sheep, cows and pigs. She has a barter system with a small slaughter house and then a local butcher who provides their services for meat. She then sells the remainder mostly to family and friends.
2. 12 hours a week working on the shop floor at Marks & Spencer. Which she loves as she really enjoys the customer contact, especially with older people. (Good news for me then!).
3, In December she guts turkeys for a local farmer. Apparently not too many people are wild about doing this so it pays well!
4. She started house sitting for a friend with animals who insisted on paying her so she realised that this was another income source to add to her increasing portfolio of paid work activities.
5. She has a regular daily commitment to ride horses for exercise when their owners cannot be there and also ‘mucks out’ for these horses.
6. She helps her boyfriend with his tree planting business. She recently planted 20,000 of them in North Yorkshire for a special contract. She also is adept at spotting Japanese Knotweed at a distance and helps her boy friend deal with this knotty problem!
7. Lambing! From March to July she helps up to 300 ewes to give birth, followed up with a range of after birth services required. Some of these made my hair curl! Look up lamb ringing…
8. She gets the hay cut from the fields she works in and then sells it.
9. She breaks in young horses for their owners.
10. She looks after cows and chickens when their owners cannot do this.
11. Paddock topping for people ( in summer time) and paddock harrowing for people ( in spring summer time )
The other extraordinary thing about this young lady is that for over 10 years she has been battling with a neurological disorder ( Chiari Malformation) which has proven difficult to diagnose but which involves her passing out frequently. This is totally unpredictable but happens in most weeks. How she manages 11 jobs and dealing with this is extraordinary. I don’t think she realises just how extraordinary she is. Hannah is yet another person who has carved out a portfolio career for herself without ever realising that she has one! Not until I questioned her intently had she fully realised just how many jobs and income sources she had.
Few people would actually want the amazing life concoction that Hannah has brewed for herself but the underlying motivation to be entrepreneurial, always open to new opportunities and not compromising by doing work she hates increasingly is what young people are espousing.
And yes I will be using her to catsit when I am away in future!