If you’re reading this article, you’re probably addressing that growing sensation in the pit of your stomach that’s telling you it’s time to take control of your career. That concept can be a bit scary. As many self-employed professionals can attest, it’s a necessary shift towards feeling fulfilled and motivated in the work you do.
Let’s face it, the working world is changing—offices are more remote, workers want more flexibility, and job descriptions no longer fit into neat little boxes. Long gone are the days of a job-for-life. Instead, people are embracing variety and autonomy. They want to be in charge of their own story, which is why portfolio careers are increasingly becoming the path of choice for older and younger professionals alike.
What is a portfolio career?
The portfolio lifestyle has had many names over the years—squiggly career, gig economy, multi-hyphen, solopreneur—but the term “portfolio career” (and the lifestyle it represents) is currently accelerating in popularity on an international scale.
In its simplest terms, a portfolio career is one that combines multiple sources of income at the same time. You could be a personal trainer and a photographer; a teacher and a copywriter; a helicopter pilot and a beekeeper. You alone are responsible for defining your profession and your story—and that’s a truly amazing thing, when you really think about it.
It’s about finding your “Ikigai” doing work you enjoy and love. If that means mixing your passions with the jobs that pay the bills, then so be it.
Portfolio careers are booming (and here’s why)
In June 2020, McKinsey Global Institute surveyed over 800 executives to get a better idea of what a post-pandemic workforce could look like. What they found was that 70% expected to use more temporary and contract workers than before COVID-19. That’s largely because it’s more cost-effective to use a specialized freelancer on a short-term basis than to bring someone in full-time, which is why 49% of hiring managers cite skilled talent as their primary reason for working with independent contractors.
In other words, portfolio professionals are highly sought after. In fact, it’s projected that half of all white collar workers will have a portfolio career by 2030. That’s because portfolio careers are far more malleable than a standard 9-to-5, meaning people can fit work around their life, and not the other way around. Many portfolio professionals juggle several different jobs at the same time, focusing specifically on the projects that they’re passionate about. That, in turn, allows them the flexibility to create their own schedules and workloads—it puts them in control of how and why they work.
So how can you make the switch?
Moving from a permanent position to something a bit more flexible can be overwhelming. Permanent roles offer job security, and that’s important for a lot of people. However, if you have a solid structure in place and equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge to get a portfolio business off the ground, you’ll be amazed by how fast you start landing contracts and building up your client base.
We at The Portfolio Collective are all about helping people find their paths and jumpstart their portfolio careers. If you’d like to learn more about making the switch, we host a free weekly workshop designed to help you understand your options and start differentiating your services. For those ready to go one step further and start building the foundations for a portfolio career, we’re offering an exclusive 20% discount for Atheneum members on our Catapult course—an intensive 4-week learning experience with a blend of online learning and live sessions. Just sign up and email us directly quoting “CAT21TAC” to receive your discount. If you have any questions, feel free to join our community and connect with other like minded portfolio professionals.
Ben Legg is an engineer, author, former soldier, and CEO of The Portfolio Collective. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs to reinvent society.