Portfolio Careers: a Trend That's Here to Stay! | Jobs.ca

Portfolio Careers: a Trend That’s Here to Stay!

Accountant, writer, lecturer, or professor: we can be all of these at once. More and more workers aspire to having a multifaceted career, several jobs or positions, at once. Called a “portfolio careers”, it is gaining in popularity. Companies wanting to take advantage of the talents of these multi-tasking workers will have to learn to adapt to it.

Though quite demanding, and not made for everyone, the portfolio-career trend is ideal to fulfill someone’s different career aspirations. Some people are content with devoting themselves to their full-time job, but others wish to pursue several goals at once.

This could take the form of a full-time job with perks, or even a mix of part-time, temporary, and contract jobs, etc. For example, a computer specialist can teach programming at a local CEGEP, while giving conferences in their area. An accountant can satisfy their thirst for creativity by running a small jewellery business part-time. According to Marci Alboher, author of the book, One Person/Multiple Careers, many workers make one of their occupations their main source of income, around which their secondary activities gravitate.

A Rapidly-Changing Job Market

While the job market is undergoing major changes, the portfolio-career trend is set to take off. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey among nearly 10,000 people in China, India, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, the greatest wish of 29% of those polled is to take control of their career. Two out of five believe that the traditional job, in which one climbs a company ladder during decades, will soon disappear. Instead, workers will have their own personal brand and sell their skills to those who need them.

This view is shared by human resource professionals, according to another PwC survey conducted among some 480 of them. Forty-six percent of these HR professionals believe that in 2022, at least 20% of the salary mass will be made up of contract workers and temporary employees.

An Option to Consider Carefully

Although very gratifying and even lucrative, portfolio careers do require some degree of flexibility, foresight and planning. Those who enjoy such a career, like the self-employed, need a significant reserve fund, especially those with family responsibilities. These multiple sources of income, however, are a safety net which does not offer a full-time job in a single career.  If our employer fires or lays us off, or goes bankrupt, we are at their mercy if we have no other source of income.

However, portfolio-career workers must look out for conflict of interests, especially if their different activities overlap. To succeed, it is best to be open about this with our main employer or clients, in order to let them know about our other activities. Establishing clear boundaries between these latter is essential to maintaining your integrity, but also a manageable schedule. For instance, by opting to exclusively devote every Friday to your sideline, so as not to encroach on your main job.

A multifaceted career can be incredibly exciting, however we must learn not to get caught up in the swirl of events!

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