When to Get A Portfolio Career?

I suggest starting a "Portfolio Career" the minute you have any dissatisfaction with your present work life (or lack of work life), the minute someone offers you some opportunity (either for pay or for volunteer) that sounds interesting or fascinating, or when there are several career areas you would like to investigate.

I don't suggest taking on many different careers at the same time. My "Portfolio Career" has grown to include eight different careers over the years (adding and subtracting at a reasonable pace). The key to making the portfolio life work is planning, knowing what you are good at and being able to take risks. Fill in any missing parts by volunteering, trying out new areas, taking classes, listening to tapes, researching and being honest with yourself.

Chris King shares when to start a "Portfolio Career"
When to Get A Portfolio Career?

Charles Handy (who pursues a portfolio life) wrote that redesigning your life is difficult.

To get you started, here are three necessary conditions of comfortable change:

1. A proper selfishness. Those who change most comfortably are those who take responsibility for themselves and their future, have a clear view of what they want that future to be, want to make sure that they get it and believe they can.

2. A way of re-framing. Re-framing is the ability to see things, problems, situations or people in other ways, to look at them sideways or upside-down; to think of them as opportunities, not problems. Re-framing is important because it unlocks problems. Like an unexpected move on a chessboard, it can give the whole situation a new look.

3. A negative capability. Keats defined negative capability in his letters of 1817, as when you are "capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries and doubts." I would extend the meaning to include the capacity to live with mistakes and failures without being downhearted or dismayed. Negative capability is an attitude of mind which learners need to cultivate, in order to help them to write off their mistakes as experience.

When Should I Add to My "Portfolio Career?" I add to mine when something I've always wanted to try is made available, and I feel that I can handle it without jeopardizing what I am already doing and "love."

When Should I Drop a Profession? I drop a profession when it has lost its excitement and joy. It is almost harder to drop something than to add a new opportunity. It has become a "habit" and "breaking habits is often harder than breaking bones."

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