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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

Careers' Portfolio

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Years ago I read an article which discussed the concept of a 'Careers' Portfolio.' It stated that more and more people were turning their backs on a single, all consuming career in favour of one, two or even three self employed occupations. Women were particularly opting for this career lifestyle as they had more control over their work output so as to flexibly work around the continually changing circumstances of family life. However, this was not the only reason. The article stated that many who worked within a careers portfolio idea tended to work longer and more irregular hours than those in standard employment. Those interviewed said that they chose to work several self employed careers as it gave more scope for creativity and job satisfaction despite meaning irregular hours and irregular income.

I’ve found this concept particularly helpful and encouraging. You’ll notice that my desk includes a mixture of business interests (music and writing) and also notes to remind me to clean the fridge out alongside a memo to organise my desk drawer.

My family and domestic commitments mean that a regular form of employment would be detrimental whereas a portfolio of different career interests is workable. In practise it means that when the children were younger I only worked what hours I could around their needs (not being in a position where I didn’t need to work at all). Alternatively, as I was unable to sleep, in the small hours of this morning I was marking theory papers and filling in my tax return.

I guess it’s another branch of the whole ‘downsize’ movement that became trendy in recent years, which seems a little bizarre to those of us who never really ‘upsized’ in the first place. Nevertheless the point remains. I usually refer the the whole concept as ‘Executive Domestic’ but I do think the title ‘Careers' Portfolio’ expresses the sentiment well. I love the flexibility of what that title could entail. Sometimes it isn’t necessarily a case of a long held ambition, but more a case of what you are interested in, good at or what is in front of you!

Until quite recently a good percentage of our ‘Portfolio’ has been, of necessity, unpaid but the change in our family circumstances means that we can now concentrate a little more of the ‘Executive” of the 'Executive Domestic' spectrum. For me this means that I have extended my private tuition practice and the small articles that I have been writing for a small rag-mag can expand as I write more novels and books.