I’ve heard people refer to careers by portfolio as side hustles. But that makes me think of pick pockets and slight of hand con artists! So I’ll stick with ‘career by portfolio’. And as I type I realise how closely related this is to the idea of expert generalists…. So, bear with me
For the last 15 years I’ve had something other than my ‘main day job’ going on. I am a qualified reflexology and practiced on the evenings and weekends for 10 years, until I went back to Uni. A few years after qualifying as a reflexologist, I became a magistrate, I’ve just become a trustee of a Children’s Charity and for the next 6 months I’m going to be doing two ‘day jobs’, 60:40.
I’m pretty much a walking advert for career by portfolio!
This won’t suit everyone though. And that’s ok. Some people are specialists in their field and dedicate their every professional brain cell to excelling in that field. I take my hat off to them. Other people, like me, flourish when they have fingers in lots of pies and get a buzz from knowing a little bit about a lot of things.
The best bit about having a multifaceted career is that you can share knowledge and learning across organisations and sectors, and you can share that knowledge with others to establish effective and robust practice across the board. Along the way you also get to meet some wonderful people who have some fascinating stories to tell, with all adds to the richness which career by portfolio brings.
If you’re thinking about taking on a new portfolio, consider:
1- will it take so much time that it will impact my health?
2- will family, friends and my employer support me?
3- can I afford to do this?
4- will my portfolio be a conflict of interest, impacting my main career?
5- will it benefit me and others?