The concept of a career path is changing. It’s no longer just about following a set number of steps within one industry (employee, supervisor, manager, senior manager, director).

It’s no longer linear and how people approach their careers is becoming more personalized and unique. People are moving industries, and changing careers, and many hold more than one position at a time. 

woman speaking into microphone at computer

One of these new career trends is a portfolio career. While the idea is familiar, the concept has become a recently popular way for people to envision their careers. Our legal recruiters in Toronto discuss this career approach and if you should jump on this popular trend. 

What is a portfolio career?

A portfolio career is a unique approach to defining one’s professional journey, involving engagement in multiple, often diverse, jobs. It’s also referred to as “slashers.” Individuals with portfolio careers often hold various job titles, such as writer/content marketer or business consultant/coach.

These individuals embrace a mix of employment arrangements, including full-time positions, gig work, and freelancing, among others. They may concurrently hold different roles or transition between them over time. 

For example, a business consultant could work with a variety of businesses while also offering business coach to entrepreneurs and small businesses. 

This approach to work provides you with more flexible career options and allows for multiple streams of income. 

What are the benefits of a portfolio career?

A portfolio career is attractive for many reasons, including:

  • You don’t have to define your profession: Not sure what you want to do? Have multiple interests? You can pursue them all to some degree. You can explore your passion 
  • Develop new skills and knowledge: You’ll develop a more diverse skill set that can make you a unique and in-demand professional. 
  • Control your career: If one opportunity is not working out, you can adjust your focus more easily.  
  • Enjoy more flexibility and variety in your work: There is a greater opportunity to work from home. You will have a regular change of pace and you can set your schedule to meet your lifestyle. 
  • Multiple income streams: Having income coming in from multiple sources can give you greater financial security. If one job ends, you’ll still have income coming in. Plus, there isn’t a cap on how much money you can earn. 

If you don’t have a definite career path, you always have new ideas you want to explore, and you enjoy doing new things, then a portfolio career may be a good option for you. However, there are certain risks and potential drawbacks you have to consider. 

Potential risks in pursuing a portfolio career

There are inherent risks with any career. Here are some important things to consider if you choose a portfolio career:

  • Lack of stability: There is less job security in this approach. You may have to weave in and out of different projects and jobs. 
  • Inconsistent earnings: Unlike with a regular full-time role, you may not receive a paycheck every two weeks. Your earnings can fluctuate monthly and annually. 
  • No benefits: Consultants and workers who are outside of an organization seldom are offered health benefits and other perks of being an employee.
  • Work-life balance can be challenging: The need to balance multiple roles can be difficult. You may need to invest significant time to establish an effective workflow. 
  • Reluctance from employers: Some companies may have some hesitation in hiring you, especially if they are looking for a long-term commitment from you. 

A portfolio career is an ideal career for someone who doesn’t want to settle on a singular career path. It has its benefits, but there are also hurdles to overcome to make it work for you. 


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Marisa Capozzi

Marisa Capozzi

Marisa is a Director on the Legal Recruitment team, where she helps match her clients with the best legal talent in the market, from law clerks to legal office administrators. Marisa has spent over 17 years building her career as a legal recruiter where she has developed expertise in establishing long-lasting relationships with clients and candidates. Armed with exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, she prioritizes understanding clients' unique needs to ensure successful partnerships within the legal industry. Her commitment to forging meaningful connections has consistently elevated her reputation in the legal recruitment arena.

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