Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of expression is one of the basics of a democratic society. Today, more than ever before, the individual is able to express their views and opinions and broadcast their thoughts to a global audience. Social media enables all of us to air our views and ping them off to anyone and everyone who has an interest. So far, so good.

Moving the argument along a little, if we have this new found freedom to broadcast to the world, we also have a responsibility to think about what we are saying and doing. Whilst some extreme views or actions can be discounted, others may have far reaching consequences which we had never imagined.

A campaign on Twitter against an organisation or an individual may make us feel better, but what are the longer term consequences?

We might agree that Wikileaks has the moral right to broadcast secret government documents because the government shouldn’t be acting in such a covert manner. Really? Do the guys at Wilikeaks really understand what they are doing? Clearly they don’t. Being motivated by a need to expose people/governments may seem altruistic and desirable but they have completely overlooked The Law of Unintended Consequences (LUC).
In any society we have to have some order. We have to have people who lead and people who are led. We may not like or respect our leaders and we may wish to demonstrate against them but there has to be a limit to this.

Social media has allowed the individual to cross this line and the dangers are clearly visible. When launching a campaign or exposé we must ask WHY we are doing this. We must also ask ourselves WHAT we expect to happen as a result and we must never forget LUC.

We must take responsibility for our actions and understand the consequences. The alternative is anarchy and throughout history, anarchy has always ended in disaster …

Rob Horlock has established The Mid Life Opportunity (, a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Mid Life Guide

Are you interested in contributing to The Mid Life Opportunity and developing an ongoing passive income source for yourself? Yes? No?

Do you have a specific interest, skill or expertise in a particular area that would be of interest to people in midlife? Can you write 5,000 - 10,000 words of rich, insightful copy?

We are developing The Mid Life Guide, with a number of sections which will be contributed by experts in their own areas. These areas include:
  • Living your Second Half
  • Fitness without Pain
  • Healthy Eating
  • Relationships
  • Finding a new Job
  • Starting on Online Business
  • Starting an Affiliate Business
  • Looking towards Retirement
  • Being Positive
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Your Health in Midlife
  • Money Making Opportunities for Midlifers
  • Others?
Several of the sections of the Guide are already taken and we can't accept competing copy. We are also happy to hear from you if you have something which you think will fit in with The Mid Life Guide but which isn't in the original list of sections. We're open to your suggestions :)

If you would like to contribute, please let us know by commenting below. Together, we can change the world - well, the midlife world ...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Midlife Careers

The number if people without jobs in the UK fell last month. This surprised pretty much everyone in the media and the city. The value of Sterling rose, as a result.

Every day we read and hear doom and gloom in the media – public sector jobs disappearing, the private sector can’t create enough jobs to make up the difference, the West is in decline, etc , etc.
This may all be true – the point is, though, that the media don’t seem to be getting the reality of the new economy. Jobs for life have gone. Generous pensions are a thing of the past. Retiring early is not an option for most of us. But the same ‘most of us’ are still surviving; many of us are doing very well. Virtually all of the doom and gloom mongers in the media are, themselves, doing very well. Plenty of companies are reporting increased profits (though, of course, there are plenty more companies who are struggling).

The negativity in the media is relentless, but totally overblown. How many people do you know who are really struggling to keep their heads above water? They might have cut back through fears of redundancy, they might be earning a bit less than they were but how many are really struggling?

The world of work is changing. More and more people have ‘portfolio careers’ – more than one part time job. Many midlifers, in particular, are following this career path, sometimes by necessity rather than design. Many of these are doing very well for themselves. They have more flexibility and can choose to work for 7 days in the week or take some time off.

These roles may be office based or home based. Increasingly they will involve the internet in some form. The www has provided unimaginable opportunities for people to build their own business and midlifers in particular have an opportunity to start the next phase of their careers building an online business.
This is the future, I have no doubt.

We all need to take more control over our own lives. Midlifers, with their mix of life experiences, wisdom and adaptability are uniquely placed to cash in on their past and start an interest based business to safeguard their future. To find out more - Mid Life Career
Rob Horlock has established The Mid Life Opportunity (, a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here

Friday, November 12, 2010

10 Reasons Why We Underachieve in Midlife

Are you in Midlife – over 35 maybe (perhaps well over 35) with lots left to offer to the world? You’re keen to make your mark and leave something behind for future generations?
Many people in midlife genuinely want to do something great but most don’t manage to do it. Why is that? What holds them back?
Here are 10 reasons why midlifers might underachieve (feel free to add more below):
  • Fear of failure 
  • Lack of money 
  • Not wanting to step outside of their comfort zone 
  • Concern about feeling foolish 
  • Not sure about their idea 
  • Underestimating their own abilities 
  • Don’t know where to start 
  • Don’t know where to go for help 
  • Fear of starting but not finishing 
  • Not having enough time
Each of these reasons is a perfectly valid reason for our midlifer to stay where they are and carry on with their usual routine. They may be perfectly happy, but they will get to the end of their lives and wonder ‘what if?’
As Henry Ford said, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ (my favourite saying)
So what's holding you back? Write down your list of reasons why you are not making your mark. Start with the list above and add/subtract your own reasons until you have your own list.
Take each one ask WHY this is a problem. Write down the answer(s). Then ask WHY again to get more detail. Continue doing this until you really understand the reason for your underachievement. Repeat this for each of your reasons.
Once you have done this, you will be in a much better position to understand your motivations and have some concrete data to work with to plot your course for a more successful future. Try it, what have you got to lose?
You've got it in you, I'm sure!
Rob Horlock has established The Mid Life Opportunity (, a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Mid Life Campaign

As we move through the 21st century we all expect to live longer, more fulfilled lives. Longer life expectation causes problems for the government and the pensions industry and we are now required to work for more years before we qualify for a pension. The ‘statutory retirement age’ is being phased out and ‘retire when you want to’ is being phased in.

This may be welcomed by those who are in rewarding jobs and who don’t fell ready to leave. Those who don’t have a job and whose pension entitlement has been deferred for several years may feel differently.
It is one thing to remain in a job past 60 or 65 if you’ve been employed by the organisation for a number of years. But what if you were made redundant in your late 40s or early 50s and find that job openings for you are negligible to non-existent? How will you manage until you reach the new retirement age (or even the old one?)
Many Midlifers find themselves in this position, through no fault of their own. They are ‘over qualified’ (too old) for most jobs that they apply for even if they are willing to take a large cut in their salary expectations.

The government (all governments) seem unable or unwilling to recognise that Midlifers who aren’t employed in their 50s face a severe uphill struggle to gain meaningful employment for the remainder of their working lives. Maybe the government is just naïve and doesn’t believe that the ‘over qualified’ (too old) response from recruiters and employers is the reality of life. Why should they; they are so far removed from the coal face that they believe their own rhetoric.

People in midlife have little support. People of pensionable age have a whole raft of support. Young people, too, have a host of government initiatives aimed at helping them to find worthwhile work (these initiatives may or may not be succeeding but at least they focus on the issue). Midlifers have little or no support to find a new role for themselves. They fall down between the cracks in the floorboards of life and many are unable to find a way out.

Vast amounts of experience are being wasted as talented midlifers struggle to find an outlet for their expertise. They can’t fallback on ‘early retirement’ in most cases as their pension pots aren’t sufficient to cover their needs. Neither do they want to retire prematurely – most midlifers want to carry on in the world of work, earning their living and putting their experience to good use.

There is a ticking time bomb here that is largely unrecognised.

So what’s to be done?
The government must recognise this issue and understand the implications of their changes in working policies. The Mid Life Opportunity will shortly be launching a campaign to raise the profile of midlifers. If you would like to be part of this, please join The Mid Life Opportunity mailing list and make your voice heard! Join here: The Mid Life Opportunity
Rob Horlock has established The Mid Life Opportunity (, a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here