I’m an experienced professional currently working full-time but feeling a bit
burned out and underappreciated. I also have a number of other strengths and skills that my employer does not utilize.
So here’s what I am thinking. I want to sort of have multiple careers at the
same time. I don’t want to work more than the typical 40 hours or so a week…
I don’t want to moonlight but I do want more control and more from my job/career.
Do you have any suggestions?
The Career Doctor responds:
What you are seeking — having a new career of multiple careers/jobs that you manage
and control — is something more common in Europe but beginning to gain favor in
the U.S. especially among baby boomers.
What you are seeking is called a portfolio career. In such a career you manage a
portfolio of part-time jobs that when combined result in the equivalent of a full-time
position. For example an accountant may work two days a week with one client
teach part-time at the local college and also have a consulting practice (and during
this time of year perhaps also a tax service).
Some say the term originates from the early 1990s when management guru Charles Handy stated that future careers will be made up of lots of small jobs rather than one
big one. Handy talks of careers that offer more control to the worker rather than to the
corporation. Portfolio careers offer greater flexibility and Handy especially sees more
women taking advantage of this type of career — with much of the work being based
in home offices.
Before you move toward this multi-job strategy know that there are some disadvantages.
It may be difficult to mesh multiple employer demands into your schedule and it will
typically add more stress and uncertainty into your life. You’ll also have to either rely
on a significant other’s health insurance or find your own.
But if you are an organized person who seeks flexibility new challenges and autonomy
then a portfolio career could be just the direction you should follow.
For more on portfolio careers please read my article published on Quintessential Careers:
Portfolio Careers: Creating
a Career of Multiple Part-Time Jobs.