I was reading today about a book that's out called And What Do You Do? written by Katie Ledger. Apparently more and more people are developing 'portfolio careers' which involve doing two or more different jobs for different employers. It's a way in which people can develop more flexible or rewarding careers for themselves. They can earn a living doing one job, but at the same time follow a passion in another. I realised this is what I'm doing with my blog!
Hearing about this book made me think I'm already developing a portfolio career for myself. By day I work in the world of medical regulation, but I've always had a passion for writing which explains why I'm studying for my NCTJ in journalism, and why I'm now writing this blog.
In the book, Ledger explains that a portfolio career is not about holding down two or three different jobs. It's more about how each person can find a way of achieving both personal or financial gain in other areas.
Although writing this blog doesn't pay anything, and I'm only part qualified as a journalist. I know I'm doing something that I can say I have a real passion for, and since starting this blog I've been able to develop and learn totally new skills that I wouldn't have had the chance to in my day to day job.
For example, in the last few months. Not only have I been developing my writing skills on a regular basis but I've ended up learning all about online digital marketing techniques and strategies as a way of getting more people to read this blog.
According to Ledger there are more than 1 million people with two or more jobs, with many of these people running new home businesses.
It's funny but in terms of freelance writing I've even begun to see myself as being a little mini enterprise. My blog is all about marketing and promoting myself as a writer and a brand!
I like this whole idea of developing a portfolio career. I've found that trying to develop a freelance writing career has been incredibly liberating!
It's all about you trying to develop a new career that's essentially for the benefit of nobody but yourself!
At times during my working life, I've found there are too many frustrations, too many restrictions in terms of what you want to do. Boring office politics to negotiate or company hierarchies and structures to fit into.
The appeal of the 'portfolio' approach is that it's all about you! I think being in charge of your own career and your own destiny is really important.
At some point I might have to pick this book up, as it definitely sounds interesting.