FAQ on Portfolio Careers

Exploring a Portfolio Career raises many questions.
Here are some topics from those who've made the transition from traditional full-time work.
Click on the heading to reveal the answer

Dealing with identity crisis

Living without a business card that defines you as a manager, director, executive or head of something may feel strange until you get comfortable with your new multiple personas.
Remember you are now a portfolio professional, and you can have a different card for every part of your activities. Be who you are first and what you do second

Finding structure

The transition from highly-structured corporate life to self-directed working can be unsettling at first. The predictability of regular meetings and formal processes may be missed.
Learn to treat these intervals as a welcome opportunity to focus on other parts of your portfolio, rather than feeling threatened by them.
Keep a diary to record where you’re going to spend your time (even if it’s appointments with yourself!) and to monitor where the time actually goes

Selling yourself

You will need a clear message about who you are and what you offer, and being ready to promote yourself at every opportunity. Remember that the first step in selling is listening; just listen to what’s needed and you’ll know which part of your talents to speak about.
Create your own ‘30 second summary’ of who you are and what you like to do and then refine it by trying it out in conversations

Managing your money

If you are used to a steady salary, the peaks and troughs of self-employment may be worrying at first. There is no reason why you cannot earn just as much in your new portfolio career, but it may take time.
Test your portfolio plans against how much you actually need to earn, taking into account your current life-stage and future aspirations. Remember, what you have earned in the past may not be what you need going forward.

Spreading yourself too thinly

Don’t be tempted to accept everything you’re asked to do at first. This can eat up your time and only take you a small step from the activities you’re already doing.
Learn to say no by judging every opportunity against the new criteria for your portfolio life. Select a central theme for your portfolio (like a specific industry or skill base) and hook your activities around that

Getting the support you need

If you’ve been used to support on tap for IT, Travel booking, Secretarial help etc, you may miss it or feel you have to learn to do it all yourself.
There’s a network of support in your locality (or on e-access) to provide all the services you need. Use their special talents to do what they do best and don’t divert your own!
Build up your own Portfolio Support Team and keep in touch with them all.