A portfolio career is something that has intrigued me for a while, but it is really only something I started to put any effort into shaping for myself a few months ago.
If you are not familiar with the term, portfolio working is when self-employed individuals work on a wide range of different projects for different clients, rather than for just one employer. A portfolio career has many strands to it and my income comes from part-time employment, freelance work, blogging and running my own business, Yiayia’s Kouzina.
I am a slasher – Blogger/Writer/Entrepreneur/PA/Stay-at-home mum.
I used to think that jumping from one career aspiration to another meant I still had to work out what it was I really wanted to do. However, now I understand that each of us are made up of many different parts and have many interests, none of which totally define us but without each one we would feel incomplete – we would not be ‘us’ – so, it made sense for me to explore them all. I wanted to find a way to be at home more, to be able to write for a pittance while I honed my craft, and to be able to take on freelance projects to keep the wolf from the door.
It means I get to enjoy the variety that comes from working 1-day a week for a local magazine, 2-days a week in an artist’s studio in Central London, another day building my own business and co-writing and publishing a Greek recipe book. In theory, I then also have a day to myself where I am free to blog, write the next book, exercise, or have lunch with friends. However, I usually end up watching boxsets on the sofa because it is so cold outside and also because for a few hours a week, I need some down time.
The most obvious benefit to portfolio working for me is the freedom and independence it has given me. I can plan my own day and fit the hours around my family. I get to hang out with my son after school, during school holidays and with proper financial planning (and good wi-fi), I should be able to take most of this summer off.
Another good thing to come out of it are the new skills I have acquired along the way. I am in charge of my own marketing, my own accounting and if my laptop has a funny turn, I am the only person I rely on to fix it.
Of course, there are some things I miss about full-time employment – colleagues, after work drinks, a warm office and a proper lunch break – but on the whole I feel I have a good balance, both physically and creatively.
Some may argue that having a husband with a full-time job and reliable income has afforded me the luxury to carve this life for myself, but I do wonder with many companies now downsizing, if portfolio working will be a serious consideration for more people in the future.