“Diversify Your Risk and Income with a Portfolio Career” by guest blogger Laura Schlafly


This article originally appeared on the Mac’s List Blog of July 3, 2013.

More people are patching together a livelihood from a variety of sources. Job security no longer comes from an employer, but from your marketable and transferrable skills. They’re creating their own portfolio career, which, according to Penelope Trunk, is:

“Not the same thing as holding down three bad jobs and wishing you could figure out what to do with yourself. Rather, it’s a scheme you pursue purposefully and positively, as a way to achieve a mixture of financial and personal goals.”

You might be executing a portfolio career without knowing it, even as you search for a job.

You, In A Briefcase

Think of your portfolio career as a briefcase that contains the talents, job skills and capabilities you need to craft a suitable work/life blend. Here are two brief examples from “And What Do You Do?” by Barrie Hopson and Katie Ledger:

  • “I have three jobs…I am a lawyer for several small companies, a professional cook, and a food writer.”
  • “I spend three days a week working on a project for the elderly, one day doing admin for a charity, and two days building up my upholstery business. I love how these activities challenge different parts of me.”

The Internet has transformed where and how we work. Solo encore-entrepreneurs all over the world are creating jobs and businesses for themselves, finding happiness, fulfillment, and income -“passion, purpose, and a paycheck”- as a result. Research from the Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation reveals that people over 55 are almost twice as likely to found successful companies as those between 20 and 34!

Consider A Portfolio Career If You’re…

  • Frustrated with your current employer
  • Starting your career
  • Seeking less-stressful work
  • Self-employed or starting your own business
  • Unemployed and need paid work
  • Retired and considering some paid work
  • Balancing other responsibilities, but want paid work

Expand and Manage Your Portfolio

Your portfolio career, just like a financial portfolio of investments, needs to be expanded and managed. Maybe you’ve been on a single career train that derailed in the recession and now see the wisdom of a portfolio career as your future. To begin creating this portfolio you’ll need to examine several areas including:

  • Your strengths you enjoy using, are good at, and proud of.
  • The market demand or need for what you do.
  • Your work values.
  • How many job “investments” you are able to manage in your portfolio.
  • If you want to have multiple employers or start your own business.
  • Your ability to manage your finances in the transition.
  • The level of stress and energy required.

Laura Schlafly

Laura Schlafly is the founder of Career Choices with Laura, a coaching practice where she specializes in guiding midlife professionals through “career detours” and to investigate –then launch – “second act” careers after they reach 50. You can contact Laura at http://www.careerchoiceswithlaura.com or by emailing her at Laura [at] CareerChoicesWithLaura [dot] com.

Roadmap to Success

And you can be the first to read Laura’s new book, ROADMAP to Success! Laura has been selected to be featured in this highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Deepak Chopra (Seven Spiritual Laws of Success), and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager). Laura Schlafly, Chopra, and Blanchard, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.