Back in the day, our parents picked a career path and tended to stick to it. Be it teacher, construction worker, or sales manager, you could be pretty certain than your entry-level job could lead to the heights of your chosen field, and that you’d be climbing that singular ladder for the rest of your working life. We now however live in a time where job security can indeed feel like a thing of the past. With sky-rocketing rent, and an increase in financial insecurity, chances are your stable paycheck doesn’t fulfill your creative passions. Hence, generation ‘slashie’ has been born.
I recently read somewhere that most millionaires have at least five streams of income. Whether you are money orientated or not, it never hurts to diversify. My own projects range from the mundane to the things that drive me in life, and yours can be the same. Working in journalism when you live outside London is tough, so I have split my time between a dry day job and writing features for Debut. I’m also in the process of launching an online clothing business, and I do all of this so that I can afford to stay in Wales to train as a Ballroom and Latin dancer. Madness maybe, but it does beg the question: is my job title the one that pays the most, or the activity that I devote the majority of my time to?
You only have to look around at the increasing popularity of the term “Creative” to realize that the title is being used by anyone who strives to make their various talents pay. Whether it is girls like Jaz Freeman who works in social media by day, and DJ’s by night, or Betsy Johnson who is a student, runs creative projects, founded Freckled Ace and has certifiable influencer status, these young women are putting all their skills to good use.
With side hustles stemming out of financial necessity, and side projects filling the void left behind by corporate work, having a ‘portfolio career’ is becoming less ‘It Girl dabbles in acting/music/modelling’, and more of a serious and sensible option. Emma Gannon, the author of CTRL ALT DELETE, left her job at Glamour to work for herself, and now gives talks, hosts podcasts, and blogs about things close to her heart. Similarly, Dawn O’Porter runs her vintage store BOB, gets chatty on a podcast of her own, and finds the time to write novels. These cross-medium media careers look to be the thing of the future, and one can only dream of running a mini-empire that focuses on all the things you’re good at.
Book deals may remain in the distant future for now, but there is no harm in working two part-time positions for variety, or combining your full-time job with some major sports, crafts or performing arts. The idea of the portfolio career is that it is both a living, breathing CV of all your achievements, and it offers you the chance to stay excited about the stuff you’re working on. With a depleting attention span, but more ideas that ever, I am excited to see what the next year brings. Triple what you’re up to, and you could feel the same.
Words by India Alicia
The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.