At a recent event, I took a moment and moved to the back of the room to watch the mingling, the networking and the laughing of those around me. It was a room full of clever, interesting people with shared goals and aspirations. And many of the people had been brought together through their connection with me and my business.
Having just re-entered the world of consulting after a solid stint working in-house, the sudden realisation of the impact of my work hit me. Whilst some questioned the sanity of going out on my own again, giving up the holiday pay, the superannuation and the sick pay, to me this little moment was a big a-ha for the benefits of my portfolio career.
A portfolio career is one in which you draw together different employment opportunities such as part-time, freelancer and temporary work to form your own flexible version of a full-time job.
What this looks like for me is managing several contracts, some of which take up two days, some which are for a short stint, and some ongoing - all under the umbrella of my business, Mayvin Global. I work on some of the projects alone, and others with colleagues. And, I couldn't be happier.
Whilst there is more negotiating involved and a high-level of autonomy, I get to determine my work conditions and my level of involvement. I can choose projects that mean something to me, that I am able to invest in or I'm passionate about.
However, my network is the biggest beneficiary. As I have my fingers in a few pies, I can see behind the scenes of a lot of initiatives and small businesses. Me being me - I can't help but see the potential opportunities, connections and upsells that I can make among my community to benefit all. It is very exciting.
Portfolio careers are not new, however, businesses are starting to welcome the benefits of this style of working.
Which got me wondering, what is the value of someone who has touched a lot of projects, over those with strong, stable in-house careers? Is having a breadth of experience more valuable? Is our ability to move from one project to another the new valued skill? Is being a conduit for connecting others the way of the future?