Eight steps to planning your portfolio

Your plan for your life and career is the most important plan you can ever make.
But has it had the time and attention it deserves?
Thinking through these steps will bring you closer to your ideal balance of time, money, energy and fulfillment.

1. Where am I heading?

Designing your portfolio is a chance to re-plan the rest of your life, so think big! What would you like people to say about you, both personally and professionally, at your last big birthday party? What would you like to be known for? Use these insights to help you decide how to prioritise your time over the coming years.

2. What am I good at?

This is not about job descriptions or tasks, but the underlying skills and experience you have acquired, which you could bring to future roles. For example, you may be great at leading and motivating others, have strong selling or negotiating skills, or lots of experience of running big projects.

3. What are my special talents?

Special talents tend to be things you love and that come easily to you. Perhaps you are particularly musical, sporty or artistic; or have a special affinity for words or numbers? Consider how you could put those talents to use within your new portfolio.

4. What works for me?

Reviewing the successes and disappointments of previous roles is a good way of working out what drives you and your sense of achievement. By analysing why certain ventures did or did not go well, you can learn more about the kinds of roles, people and situations that bring out the best in you.

5. What do I need?

As you go through life your fundamental needs change. Income requirements may go up or down, you may need to live in a particular location for a time, or have certain family commitments. As you design your portfolio, consider what you need today, and which parts of your portfolio will meet which needs, but also factor in future changes, and how your portfolio might adapt to meet them.

6. What are my values?

Creating your own portfolio is a chance to align your future roles with your guiding values or, put another way, to be true to the things that you care about. Your values may have changed over time without you realising, so it is worth reassessing them – for example, career advancement may have become less important, while personal growth or helping others may have become more important.

7. What do I want more of and less of?

Dream about your perfect week in the future. You can imagine which activities would be energizing and fulfilling. You know which activities today are de-energising and unsatisfying. The steps towards the future dream start with changes now

8. Can I believe…

That I can do what I enjoy, what I am best at…and someone will pay me for it!