My big fat portfolio career
November 9, 2010 9 Comments
I’ve decided that given my current employment circumstances I’d quite like a portfolio career. Apparently the phrase was coined in the eighties by management guru Charles Handy but in these straitened times the portfolio career is seeing a revival. And I want one.
The idea is that instead of the one boring, safe career, the modern business-person has two or three strands of work allowing for greater flexibility and creativity. On better days I think that this could work for me: perhaps some consultancy projects mixed with a bit of teaching and more time for writing stuff (I’ve just started writing and selling magazine articles.)
Up until now I’ve been a steady Eddie. I’ve always had a job with a pay packet attached and someone else to sort out the stuff like tax and insurance and pension. I enjoy the security a steady job brings and I know that being self-employed is sometimes famine or feast. Luckily I’m sufficiently scrooge-like with my money to squirrel it away for a rainy day or for the taxman.
I’ve had a look on the web for a bit of inspiration and found a test that evaluates whether you’re ready for a portfolio career. So am I ready? Well, sort of. The test decrees that I’m not a natural so no surprise there but perhaps more hopefully says that, ‘you could have a portfolio career but you will have think and plan very carefully before making (sic) the plunge.’
It then suggests that I look at where I’ve scored lower than two points. Apparently being a perfectionist is not a good thing for portfolio careerists. It can get you bogged down in minutiae when you should be off searching for that next contract. I need to work on my risk taking, my assertiveness and rather surprisingly, my boredom threshold. For the question ‘I get bored easily,’ I gave myself a 1 (strongly disagree.) Now my mother always taught me that only boring people get bored and I do like to stick at a project be it reading a book, finishing a piece of work or listening to one of Mr. R’s interminable stories.
So I have some personal homework to do before I get the elbow in March. I’d like to write some more about portfolio careers but I’m bored now.
Ooh look it’s lunchtime.
See, I’m learning.
Ps: For the next two days I will be out of the office attending a course called ‘How to become a consultant.’ Portfolio career, here I come.