With the world coming back to life a little in early 2022, the angle on career was starting to include alternatives to the status quo approach, and many – whether through choice or necessity, found themselves doing a few things at once. I was asked by Clara Strunck writing for Harper’s Bazaar, for my own thoughts on portfolio careers and have shared them here.


Clara: New research shows that around 37% of Britons are now pursuing a portfolio career – 6% more than pre-pandemic. What do you think has inspired this uptick?

I think ultimately there has been a re-evaluation en masse about what’s important and a reset of personal and professional boundaries, a redefining of success and how this opens up many more possibilities to career development and progression where a portfolio can be more attractive than a promotion. 

Within this, I’ve seen a variety of reasons borne from adapting to change: some discovered hobbies and interests in the pandemic that they have become inspired to build on and do more with. Others have been enterprising when faced with job insecurity or redundancy – and on a broader scale the realisation that corporate doesn’t necessarily satisfy our needs from work including flexibility and security has led to exploring alternatives, and a portfolio approach is a well known option to consider. 

From a mindset perspective, I also wonder if through experiencing such significant change and ambiguity, we have built a tolerance for being able to make new and different choices and this is also key to taking action and making change happen. 


Clara: Do you think the trend for portfolio careers will continue, even post-pandemic? And why?

With the trend existing pre pandemic, I think what we have seen is an acceleration and perhaps even a demographic shift in who pursues a portfolio career. Like most trends, as it scales, awareness increases as does the normalisation of the trend being for the few to being possible for the many.

Having moved myself pre pandemic from a full time corporate job to self employed business owner, as a career coach I have multiple revenue streams, spreading my risk, with the opportunity to flex different skill sets from coaching, training and facilitation, sometimes working on my own, sometimes with a team, sometimes coaching, sometimes designing workshops and more, and I love this multi dimensional element of my portfolio. 

Additionally, the infrastructure to create and maintain a business as an individual is there too and very accessible. Tools like QuickBooks, Calendly, Stripe and various marketplaces all reduce the friction of setting up and going to market. 

It will be interesting to see how this trend plays out over the next couple of years, as the corporate world starts to resettle too. If, for example, demand from companies shifts a small percentage from hiring full time to hiring short term/project based, virtual and hybrid teams then I could see that significantly impacting the trend too.


Clara: In your opinion as a career expert, what are the major positives and negatives of a portfolio career?

Positives and negatives can depend very much on individual circumstances. For me, I find it enables me to have much more balance, I am doing what I love the majority of the time, I can try some new things whilst relying on the more established parts of my portfolio. I love being my own boss too, whilst I am a very collaborative person, when it comes to work I really thrive in answering to myself for the business and make sure I have people in place so support me where I need it – a mentor, a coach, a supervisor, peers and friends.

Some of the trickier parts of a portfolio career, especially if you are changing careers like I did, or starting from scratch (also like I did!). There can be a lot of financial uncertainty and instability for longer than I had expected, and I had underestimated the need for discipline, time management, structure and routine – I had been so used to the corporate world where largely this is provided for you, that I had to rediscover my own strengths in this area and that has made me a successful business person. That is another thing – it’s not only about your product or service, it’s about running a business too. Focus on finances, sales generation, relationship building, website maintenance and everything else – you need to be willing to do it all and set it up in a way that will enable success.


Clara: In practical terms, what advice would you give someone thinking about pursuing a portfolio career?

I would say:

  • Set solid foundations – get in place the right things from the start that will give the best shot at success. The energy and attention it needs is quite mighty, so you really only want to set it up once…set yourself up well. Focus on your strengths, prioritise what’s important , get a support network like a mentor, a coach and a couple of peers to stay with you through the process.
  • Write a plan – and then break it down. This is important, breaking it down will make it feel achievable and you will be able to track progress which is so important for motivation.
  • Focus on perseverance and consistency – underestimate these at your peril.


In my work I help corporate/ex corporate workers make the changes they want to see in their career to set themselves up for the next chapter. I have worked with a brand strategist training to be a somatic coach, a project manager building on being an artist (discovered talent in the pandemic!), a social media manager transitioning to a part time gym employee, freelance PT and barista and more.

Be open, curious and adaptable. Back yourself.

Consider what life would be like if you didn’t make the changes you want to see happen. And what would it be like if you did? 

You can read the full article here.