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Part 2 – Top tips when considering a portfolio career?
This is the 2nd part of an interview our founder Sarah Broad did with Rachel Brushfield, a career strategist and fulfillment coach on portfolio careers.
My career has allowed me to develop a distinct set of skills and experience in HR and Recruitment within the legal and professional services sector. I set up Attune Flexible Jobs 2 years ago, to help clients advertise their business support roles and showcase their flexible / agile working with stories, case studies, and thought leadership. We also provide consultancy and bespoke flexible working solutions. For candidates, we provide a one stop shop for professional roles on a flexible working basis, connecting candidates to employers, so the hard work is done and there is no need to worry about when to have the flexible working conversation. Also, advice, training and coaching programmes. As a qualified coach and MCIPD professional I have coached many individuals, managers and teams to ensure flexible working is beneficial for everyone. I also write and provide guidance, advice and updates on flexible and agile working and have been interviewed for many different publications. I have been on radio and podcasts in the UK too.
What are the challenges of having a portfolio career?
Keeping on top of everything can be a challenge and giving everything equal attention. Switching off and compartmentalising isn’t always easy but has got easier with practice.
Who or what helps you to manage your portfolio career?
I have a good support network, for example friends to help if my children are ill. I also have the benefit of the infrastructure with my client e.g. an IT person, their network, a web person and recently a Digital Mum to help me.
How do you approach marketing your portfolio career?
Networking and I get new work from word of mouth recommendations.
What advice would you give to someone considering a portfolio career?
Keep up your networks, keep in touch with people, not just when you need something. Be clear about what you want and ask. My first freelance job was after I was chatting to someone at a friend’s party. I said I was looking for a new role working from home 3 days a week – happy to do evenings. 3 weeks later I got a phone call with exactly that. It was only suppose to last 2 months, but lasted over a year and then led on to a headhunting project.
What benefits do portfolio careers bring specifically to women and mothers, rather than to men?
Portfolio careers provide flexibility but it also hones your specific skill set. Portfolio careers are not rigid, so you must be the type of person that can work with fluidity and adapt accordingly, particularly at the beginning. Working mothers are more likely to need flexibility but the benefits are not exclusive to women. If you can’t find a flexible job, a portfolio career is work you can design and deliver on your own terms. Just keep an open mind about how this might work.
What tips can you share for people considering a portfolio career?
1. Work out your finances – what you need to live on.
2. Keep up with your network.
3. Be open-minded and flexible.
4. Work out what you want and don’t want.
5. Be clear about your philosophy for life – know yourself and make sure your work fits with your life.
6. Be ready for a steep learning curve and be prepared to learn new skills and push out your comfort zone.
7. Have a good support network.
8. Feel the fear and do it anyway – just have a go!
Interested in a portfolio career for yourself? Get in touch to arrange your 20 minute free telephone consultation: