I’ve recently been having a look on the internet at alternatives to a nine to five job, and there are a lot of books out there on setting up some kind of business of your own or going freelance. I also came across the idea of a ‘portfolio career’ which I’d never heard of before but is actually something that I think would quite suit me.
Basically a portfolio career involves working part time or freelance in a few different roles, which could be similar or completely different. This allows you to gain much wider experience and to cover more of your interests in your work – the variety really appeals to me.
During the summer I volunteered for a charity in the city near my mum’s home two days a week while completing an internship in the city I went to uni in, staying in my old student house, for the other three days. I enjoyed the change of scene – when I was starting to get bored with one job I knew I’d be doing something completely different soon. It was also good to build up different skills and experience simultaneously. I’m currently doing an internship two days a week and fitting in waitressing shifts when I can, and again I like the variety, two days at a desk and a variety of lunch and evening shifts waiting on tables and serving customers.
At school or university we don’t seem to hear about the option of an unusual career. It just seems to be expected that most people will go into a standard nine to five job. I realise that stability is important, and that maybe limited office hours could be a problem in certain jobs, however this sort of career could really suit some people who have a wide range of interests and/or skills.
A conscious decision not to limit yourself to a single full time job should be seen as a career choice in itself. I guess the problem may be finding the sort of part time or freelance roles that fit together, are in the same location and don’t cause too much hassle or stress trying to balance alongside each other. Definitely something to think about.