Is a Portfolio Career for me?

A what? More and more people are choosing to curate their own work-life and engage in a medley of roles rather than one full-time position or business.  But, is it for you? Harvest Careers Specialist, Tanya Derrett explains.

Someone with a portfolio career combines multiple, part-time, contracting, consulting, causal, temp and freelancing roles as employees and/or entrepreneurs. The idea is that you’re switching out the day to day daily grind for career fulfillment through variety, creativity, flexibility and work-life integration. This is the work experiment I’ve been engaging in for the past 12 months.

Reality check

Yes, it can be all it’s cracked up to be.  it can be highly satisfying. But, it can also be a messy hodge- podge of over-commitment or under-employment or it can be a combination of all three at different times of the year.

I love my “portfolio career” but I’m still learning to manage and spread my commitments out. There have been weeks that the bank had to be patient. Weeks where every minute has been inspired, fun and filled with the variety I craved. Then, there have been those ‘pull your hair out’ days when I’ve been worked a 17-hours straight and been stuck in the Burnley for two and half of those hours.


Why do you really want a portfolio career?

It’s important to know what you want to gain from changing the way you work.

Is it change because you’re burned out and actually just need a break?

Do you want to be more in control of your work-life?

Are you wanting to practice and contribute a particular skill or interest more than you are able to in your  current position?

Do you want flexibility and choice?

Are you looking for freedom to spend more time with family or travel?


Making a portfolio career work for you

You need to be highly disciplined, self-motivated and organised in managing your time and workload over long periods often without the usual deadlines imposed by the structure and process of an organisation.

Your high level of adaptability will be key to success, be prepared work independently, virtually, in multiple environments and hit the ground running within unfamiliar organisational cultures.

Invest in your professional development, stay on-top of your game by keeping up-to-date with relevant industry trends and skills. Diversify your skillset and try to gain experience in projects that require the use of periphery skills as well.

Market yourself consistently. Leverage your existing networks.  Join professional and business associations and get involved. Your professional reputation is a vital part of the process as positive word of mouth will result in new opportunities coming your way.

Good luck!

If you want more information on a portfolio career, Harvest’s Career Specialists are here to help. We have a range of packages to help you get the job you are after. We’ll teach you how to market your unique experience and skills and how to craft a professional tailored resume and nail your job interview.

Visit Harvest Careers for more information. 

Maree Herath

Director - Harvest Talent Recruitment & People Solutions

With over twenty five years working in recruitment, Maree has significant global experience recruiting for some of APACs leading brands across Melbourne, Perth and Hong Kong.

Returning to her hometown of Geelong in 2009, Maree established Harvest to bring best-practice talent acquisition and Executive search to the Geelong and South West Victoria regions.

Today, Harvest is a well-known player in the Geelong talent recruitment, Executive search and human resources field with strong experience in placing some of the region’s most difficult to fill roles.

Maree’s focus is on strategic account management and business development, but has a particular soft spot for recruiting across:

Executive search;
Oil & gas and petrochemicals;
Manufacturing and logistics;
Resources and energy; and
Life sciences.

Harvest Talent Recruitment & People Solutions

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