Considering a Portfolio Career


portfolio career

The desire for a flexible work life balance, evolving technological advances and an increasing demand for specialised skills has led to a dramatic shift in working styles. These factors, coupled with economical shifts and the demise of the ‘job for life’ is a key driver behind the significant increase in self-employment rates and why individuals are opting for Pluralist, or Portfolio, career paths. This is demonstrated by recent research carried out by the Department for Education which found that 63 per cent of adults in England either have multiple roles, or plan to, in the future. The study also found that 37 per cent more people have a portfolio career than before the pandemic.

If you are exploring the idea of a portfolio career, here’s what you need to know!

What is a Portfolio Career?

A portfolio career is a flexible and autonomous working style whereby an individual has several multiple streams of income, often created with a mix of employment, freelancing, interim or consultancy work. You may work various positions simultaneously or at different points in time. With a portfolio career you no longer have one job, one employer, but multiple jobs and employers within one or more professions. The positions you work may also be unrelated. So, for example you could be an employed part time Finance Manager but away from the office you develop and sell residential properties.

What are the benefits of a Portfolio Career?

A portfolio career is a working style that holds many benefits. Not only is it a style that creates a healthier work-life balance. It also allows you to take control of your career path so you can shape work around you, your expertise, individual strengths, specialisms and even passions and hobbies. Other advantages include higher earnings, a stronger sense of personal growth, more variety and opportunities. This allows you to broaden your skills and gain access to a wider network. Being in control creates a sense of independence, ownership and freedom that traditional working environments don’t always provide.

Is a Portfolio Career for me?

Portfolio careers are often suited to individuals with multiple interests and passions as this option provides the flexibility to do more than one thing. Dependent on your circumstances, there are different forms a portfolio career may take, so one size doesn’t fit all. The gig economy and the demise of the ‘job for life’ has meant professionals may need to take on multiple roles to make up income. Alternatively, a portfolio career is an ideal option if you want to explore a career path without leaving your job. This allows you to explore whether its right for you without taking any major risks and still having a steady income.

Managing your Portfolio Career

If you have decided that a portfolio career is for you, in order to be successful, you will need to:

Have realistic expectations  - Starting up can be time consuming; creating your brand and establishing a presence in the market could happen over a period of time. You’ll need to use your initiative and be resourceful, ensuring you work proactively and research your target market.

Utilise your contacts and network - You need to be actively networking so you can build relationships that will spread the word about your offering and lead to important contacts and work opportunities.

Be organised - Balancing multiple roles requires strong time management and organisational skills. You will need to allocate a specific amount of time for each strand and scheduling your time and activities will ensure you are productive.

A portfolio career isn’t for everyone and suits individuals with certain personality traits. You need to conduct some self-analysis to identify whether it’s the right choice for you. Portfolio careers can help you redefine work and take control of your career by choosing flexible ways of working to achieve a better work life balance and play to your individual strengths.

Renovo is the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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