Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

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


  1. You struck the nail on the head when you said "the world is changing." It certainly is...and pretty fast. I take all the fuss in the media as a sign I need to continue being as self-reliant as possible. I felt early on that I would not be retiring anytime soon... if ever.

  2. Hi Kathy,

    I suspect that most of us midlifers won't be retiring any time soon :)

  3. I am somewhat biased as I have just written a book on portfolio careers, “And What Do You Do?: 10 Steps to Creating a Portfolio Career”, A&C Black. What my co-author, Katie Ledger and I have found from interviewing a large selection of portfolio workers is that hardly any would even consider returning to what I call a single track career. They actually report feeling more secure in a recession as they are not reliant on only one job. Attitudes towards this growing phenomenon amongst employers are proving fascinating. Even the CBI in a recent report say that our concepts of work and employment are going to have to change with organisations relying more on a small core workforce supplemented by an army of temporary or project workers. Portfolio workers typically are self motivated, self starters and reliable. They have to be as they will not survive unless they are excellent time managers and organisers. They will be increasingly attractive as employees. We are just beginning a programme of interviewing a wide range of employers to check out their attitudes to this growing group of workers. We reckon that there are already over a million of us. Yes – we are portfolio workers too! Follow our project on