Career Management

Guide to Building Your Portfolio Career


Last week, we spoke about the rise in opting for portfolio careers by individuals. If you are considering adopting this approach to develop your career, here is what you need to know.

Explore these questions as you consider  a portfolio career:

  • Are you good at multi-tasking?
  • Are you well planned and organized?
  • Are you alright with the possibility of not being a full time employee with only one organization?
  • Are you interested in exploring new opportunities?

If your answer to the above questions is in the affirmative, move on to the next step, which is planning a portfolio career for yourself.

1. Assess your interests and skill sets

Before you get started with the process, spend time to understand your interests and skills set. What are the kinds of roles that motivate you to perform better? If you are already have a job, then write down the aspects of your current job that interest you, so you can start looking for roles that possess those features. This is a great opportunity to convert your interests and passion into income driving sources.

2. Review your current job for any potential conflicts

If you are in a full time role currently and are looking for supplementary part time jobs as a part of your portfolio career, be sure to review your current contract to find conflicts that might deter you from looking out for new positions. It might be useful to have a conversation with your manager as well as your employer to discuss your career plans.

3. Weigh the pros and cons

Managing a portfolio career can be a shift that requires some getting used to, and like all decisions, might involve risks. There are advantages as well as disadvantages that come with this life. Make a list of Pros which may include designing your own career, managing your own schedule, doing jobs that make you happy and allow you to follow your passion, work-life balance etc. Similarly, write down a list of cons that might come with this job which may include having an unstable source of income, multi-tasking, dispersed work hours etc. Review the lists and compare them to be sure of your decision.

4. Creating a career plan

Just as you would create a plan for a traditional career, get started with planning your portfolio career. Think of your goals and objectives to start with. Create a schedule to invest time in researching about organizations, roles as well as connecting with people.

5. Networking

Networking is the best way to kick start your career. Massive outreach to a strong professional network is a tried and tested way to find new job opportunities.  Stay connected with professionals in the industry of your interest and keep tab of trends and job openings. It may be useful to join groups and associations to expand your network.

6. Build your personal brand

Take time out to build your personal brand on social media. In the digital era, there is an expectation to have an online footprint. Social media is the best medium to stay in touch with potential recruiters as well as amplify your personal brand.

7. Ensure you have a steady backup

The most critical this while planning your portfolio career is to ensure financial buffer in case you are between jobs or assignments. The risk of following this career style is the lack of stability in income. Plan your finances and always set aside some funds for the rainy day, especially if you have a family to provide for, or bank loans/ mortgage.

Exploring a portfolio career, whether made up of different kinds of jobs pursued successively or simultaneously is always a great approach to move away from your conventional work life. Adopting an innovative approach to your career path is sure to make you successful while keeping your passion and interests alive.

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