From Corporate Worker to Portfolio Worker

Portfolio working

I wrote a post last month called ‘Is The UK Becoming A Free Agent Nation, as I mentioned in that post, I’m quite fascinated by the rapid rise in UK start-ups and the general trend towards freelancing.

A recent eConsultancy blog post also highlighted this trend with some telling statistics on the rise of the freelancer. This statistic in particular resonated with me:

87% of the UK’s top performing grads see freelancing as a highly attractive career option.

I’ve worked in the corporate world for a number of years, I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly and I believe in terms of learning about business, leadership and a whole host of other skills it’s amongst the best training you can have. However, the culture within corporate organisations can be quite oppressive; processes, red tape and the general culture of ‘this is the way we’ve always done things around here’ can quench individuality and a sense of freedom. With each passing year my own need for autonomy and freedom grows, and I really understand why top grads would be drawn to freelancing as opposed to a corporate 9-5.

Autonomy has been shown to be a greater motivator than money and I believe this fact is a significant driver for why an increasing number of senior managers decide to hang-up their corporate boots and opt for a more entrepreneurial way of life. During the course of a corporate career, it’s quite common to reach the point where you want to break free, and the breakout is increasingly taking the form of portfolio working.

Portfolio working is a way of organising your working life so that you work for several different employers and do several different jobs at one time instead of working all the time for one employer. For example, one corporate job may be replaced with 3 contract or freelance jobs e.g. graphic designer, graphic design teacher and part-time yoga instructor, with the 4th quadrant in the image below representing the free time available to be a stay at home mum due to the flexibility of the work structure.

Portfolio working

Quite often an individual’s former employer becomes the first client in their portfolio and many believe it’s the way of the future. We all know the notion of a job for life died a long time ago many see the idea of portfolio working as a natural progression in the way we work.

This way of working offers freedom, flexibility and variety, the challenging side of portfolio working is that instead of arriving for work each day and getting a pay cheque, you become responsible for finding the work not just doing the work.

Here’s renowned author Seth Godin’s take on portfolio working:

If you’re thinking of taking the leap here are a few articles that might inspire you:

Speak soon,
Katrina

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