Is it time to consider a portfolio career?

4 min | 24 July 2023

Rebecca Chuks
Rebecca Chuks

Today, many of us want more than a ‘traditional’ 9–5. We want flexibility, variety and the chance to expand our skills beyond our current job title. In essence, what many of us want is a portfolio career. But what does that look like, and how will it fare in the future of work?

What is a portfolio career?

Put simply, it’s a career made up of a variety of roles and income streams that make the most of your skills. And these days, many of us are thinking more broadly about what we have to offer – and about what our jobs can offer us. As said a co-founder of the Portfolio Collective (a platform dedicated to supporting portfolio professionals), 'Professionals have become more independent and are looking for a better work-life balance – the desire and freedom to choose the career you want has become more popular than ever.'

So, it might begin by having a main job alongside a side hustle, which then develops into an assortment of full- and part-time roles. For example, you may offer consultancy services while writing freelance alongside a suite of online or physical products. Or you could act as a mentor for younger people in your industry while offering your expertise as an advisor to start-ups, while teaching dance or yoga.

Just like in a portfolio of work, the limits to your portfolio career can be as far and wide as your skillset and passions will reach.

Portfolio professionals and the future of work

So, the central draw to a portfolio career is that it gives you the flexibility and freedom to explore different disciplines and sectors. But not only does a portfolio career expand the limits of how you can spend your time and make money, it also helps to make you a future-proof professional.

Today, the UK is second on the global list of fastest-growing freelance markets, with around 4.4 million self-employed individuals active in the market – a relatively modest drop from the pre-pandemic peak of 5 million.

Add to that the ongoing labour shortages in the UK, widespread tech layoffs that could lead to a boon in start-ups as well as the sharp increase in remote work – and we could have a freelance revolution brewing. The market is potentially ripe for freelance workers and portfolio professionals, so getting started now could help you get ahead of the future of work today.

Is the risk worth the reward?

Portfolio careers seem like a future-ready way to work, but are they too risky? Well, the last few years have shown us that there’s really no such thing as a ‘safe’ job or even a ‘stable’ career. In fact, the rampant job losses and redundancies that still sweep the global market demonstrate that relying on just one source of income doesn't have the same stability it used to.

Plus, recent research from the Centre for Research on Self-Employment found that a typical portfolio professional earned an average daily rate of £292.50, which could mean earning £74,000 a year (if they didn't take much holiday or sick days). This will obviously be affected by a number of factors, like skill level and industry. But compared to the average salary of a full-time employee at £33,000 (tax year ending 2022), there’s potentially far greater scope to increase your earning power.

So if you haven’t yet considered adding a few more strings to your professional bow, now might be the perfect time.

Whatever you decide to do, look after your money. Chase's easy-access saver account lets you start saving with as little as you like.

18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account.

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