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A career portfolio

Apr 25


Terry O'Connor

Forget the title: Redefining success with a career portfolio

career portfolio


It's time to redefine career success

Most people think happiness and success are all about your title, but at mid-to late-career stage, you realize fulfillment runs much deeper than a job title.

Your value lies not just in the positions you’ve held but also in the richness of your experiences along the way.

Welcome to a new way of thinking about your career — one that's as dynamic, multifaceted, and resilient as you.

Just as you seek to manage and balance your investment portfolio with an array of stocks, bonds, and other assets to achieve long-term growth, you can cultivate your career portfolio with a variety of roles to attain long-term career goals. The career portfolio is a diversified mix of roles, skills, and experiences that transcend traditional job titles or linear career paths. It’s a combination of multiple activities and income streams where your identity is not tied to a single role in a single company.

Your portfolio is unique, gives you agency, and is a reflection of your passions, goals, and purpose.

Similar to a financial portfolio, a career portfolio balances opportunities and risk to suit your goals.

Ten years from now, what will you regret?

For me, the view up the career ladder didn't quite match the dream. A career portfolio plays to my strengths. I have multiple roles and revenue streams: teaching classes, doing pro-bono work for my community, coaching, investing, running a business, and running trails.

Fulfillment comes from these purpose-focused pursuits, not a title.

I don’t know about you, but personally, I don’t want my eulogy to say “she was an incredible VP"

                                                        I want to make the rules.

It’s not a straight line for more and more of us

The future of work has evolved because of emerging trends in the gig economy, AI and automation, remote work, skills-based hiring, and lifelong learning.
This means more people are pursuing fractional and advisory roles, consulting practices, teaching, and entrepreneurial pursuits such as founding startups, investing in franchises, or turning side hustles into thriving ventures.  

A 2023 Bankrate study revealed that 44% of Americans have a side hustle. In this post-pandemic era, you can reshape your career portfolio to minimize risk during economic uncertainty and to prosper during good times.

In 2024 you can be whole by being fractional

Are you looking for more freedom in your schedule? Then you may want to consider fractional work as part of your career portfolio.  

According to MDL Partners and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fractional jobs increased 18% from 2021 to 2022 and have jumped 57% since 2020. The fractional job market has been fueled by the start-up boom, increased project-focused roles, the need for specific expertise, and the lower risk of hiring fractional talent.

This uptick underscores a growing appreciation for the flexibility and diversity of fractional work, allowing you to tailor your career to fit your lifestyle. The world is steadily moving towards a model where fractional work is embraced as a viable and fulfilling career path.  

This trend indicates that people are seeking—and finding—success in careers that offer them control, variety, and the chance to pursue work that aligns with their personal and professional goals

If you’re curious, connect with the companies offering fractional opportunities. LinkedIn posts a variety of roles. Many recruiting firms, such as True Search specialize in placing fractional talent.

Ready to start curating your career portfolio?

Design your own vision board to create clarity.

Follow these six essential steps: 

1. Create a vision board: Visualize your ideal professional life. Identify the roles and activities that fill you with joy and purpose. You can find our Canva template here.

2. Collaborate and seek feedback: Talk to someone who's navigated a similar path. Their insights can illuminate your journey.

3. Do a skills self-assessment: Ask friends or colleagues what they see as your superpowers. You may have overlooked something. 

4. Do a financial assessment: Review your budget and current income streams. Determine how much time and money you can spend developing your portfolio.    

5. Keep it interesting: Consider taking a class to explore new areas or deepen your current skills. Become a lifelong learner. 

6. Build your brand: A strong online presence is crucial in today's digital world. Curate your public profile to reflect your diverse skills and interests.

Building a career portfolio encourages you to think beyond the conventional, to value diversity in your experiences, and to see change as an opportunity to grow.

Here's to taking charge of your career narrative, embracing the journey with purpose and perspective, and to the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

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