Laid Off? Perhaps a Portfolio of Careers is the Answer

Are you a laid off professional who is thinking about her next career move? Perhaps a portfolio of careers may be the answer. In Beyond Certainty: The Changing Worlds of Organizations by social philosopher Charles Handy, he explains that when you are in your mid-fifties a portfolio career – a portfolio of things to do – is an alternative to getting another full-time job. Handy who has been speaking about portfolio careers for decades, took three years, with the assistance of his wife, to develop his portfolio which includes the following:


Administration and Teaching – 125 days

Researching and Writing – 100 days

Volunteer Work – 25 days

Family and Leisure Time – 115 days


Handy’s example is only a guide, and you do not have to be in your mid-fifties. You can develop your own portfolio life at any age. A key benefit of a portfolio of careers is that it provides you with the opportunity to perform two or more roles, and earn your living through multiple sources of income, while simultaneously opening up new professional opportunities.


Steps to Exploring a Portfolio Career:

    1. Conduct an assessment and Personal SWOT Analysis. In addition, revisit your background and experiences, evaluate your hobbies and decide if you would like to go pro with them. Being a portfolio careerist is about making a career out of the things you are good at and enjoy doing.
    2. Based on the results of the assessment and analysis, identify which skills you enjoy using and decide on the roles you want to include in your portfolio of careers.
    3. Create a new resume. This may require creating more than one to ensure that areas of expertise that you have decided to focus on are prominent. Think from an employer’s perspective and demonstrate how you can solve their problems by using numbers to prove the impact of your results.
    4. Send emails and letters to your contacts and begin to market your services.


The life of a portfolio careerist is not for every laid off professional, but if you choose to have a portfolio of careers, it can be very rewarding to focus on the things that you are good at and enjoy doing.


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