Portfolio work refers to a way of working in which
self-employed individuals work on a range of different projects for different
organisations or clients. Portfolio work has increased over the past 20 years
because many organisations feel less able to offer permanent employment
contracts and many individuals choose to work this way. This has led to the
concept of a portfolio career in which individuals develop and maintain a
package of paid and unpaid activities that draws on their range of skills.
One of the early proponents of portfolio working was Charles
Hand (the Irish management guru). He has advanced the idea of the portfolio worker along with the Shamrock Organization (in which professional core workers, freelance workers and part-time/temporary
routine workers each form one leaf of the Shamrock).
Portfolio working forms the basis of a number of PTUK Members
activities who can earn in excess of £50000 per year whilst helping substantial
numbers of children. If you are prepared
to work 44 weeks, 6 days a week and 10 hours a day then your earning potential
is £71000 (pre tax).
PTUK encourages portfolio working and offers advice and
Some of the features of being self employed are:
There’s more risk in the short term but less in the long
term (because you have more control).
The first six months to a year are usually the most difficult, whilst
you are building up a client base. It
helps if you have financial support, or savings, to cover this period and one
or two core contracts to start with.
There’s more freedom - where and when you work and freedom
to choose the type of work - but there's more personal responsibility.
The four keys to professional success as a portfolio worker
Self belief - focus on a successful outcome and believe that
any obstacle can be overcome.
A positive mental attitude - see a positive side even when
things are going wrong.
Sacrifice - to be the best requires some/many sacrifices of
social and leisure time.
- Being open to opportunities - being alert and looking beyond
what you typically perceive.