The rise of the portfolio career

The appetite for having more than one job at a time is growing, new research from the Department for Education has revealed.

Around 37 per cent of us are pursuing a portfolio career – six per cent more than pre-pandemic, with a further one in four employed adults revealing they would consider doing the same.

The research comes as the DfE calls for even more professionals to take up a part-time or flexible further education teaching roles and share their industry expertise and skills alongside their current job.

There is particular demand for skilled professionals to share their experience in sectors such as Health and Social Care, Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing, Legal, Finance, Accounting and IT.

David Love, Assistant Director of Apprenticeships & STEM at Warrington and Vale Royal College, decided to try teaching Electrical installation part time in a further education college while running an electrical business.

“It was incredible to see the reaction of the students – they really valued the real life stories and experience I could share,” he said. “There’s nothing as rewarding as seeing the ‘penny drop’ when you’ve helped them grasp a new skill.”

Helen Tupper: bigger sense of purpose

Helen Tupper, Co-founder & CEO of Amazing If and author of The Squiggly Career said: “There is no one-size fits-all version of a ‘successful’ career and portfolio careers give people freedom and flexibility to try different careers to get what they need from work.

“They help people to develop and demonstrate skills in different settings, expand their network and accelerate their learning.

“Deciding to teach your current profession by including Further Education teaching as part of a portfolio career is an excellent way to make the most of existing expertise whilst trying something new, and can also increase people’s sense of purpose, increasing their happiness at work over the long-term.”

More on the DfE initiative here