Making Work, Work

Seizing the opportunities of a portfolio career

We can often make the mistake of talking about a portfolio career – utilising your experience and qualifications to work in more than one part time position or a series of contract positions– as something that happens as a result of circumstance or out of necessity, rather than realising it can be an extremely smart and strategic move. The number of people moving to a portfolio career is on the rise internationally, many of whom are opting to change the way they work to broaden their experience and challenge themselves further. Obelisk consultants have cited the extra opportunities that they have been able to seize as a result of adopting a portfolio career path. We take a closer look at some of these…

Expanding your horizons

Many Obelisk consultants have been able to work across multiple sectors that they would never have been exposed to in their previous career path. Likewise they were able to gain insights from a number of different clients, becoming exposed to their unique business needs. This has provided not just knowledge and insight to more industries, but also enhanced their softer skills set that are vital for lawyers.

A pace to suit you, now

Life changes mean, that for many in the legal sector, they will have to say goodbye to, or put the brakes on the career that they love. A portfolio career allows legal professionals to take on as much or as little work as they need and can handle at any given time. You can be in full control of your time and you no longer have to work to rigid expectations of others, but rather, find the balance between what works for you and the business concerned. A career break won’t hold you back in this regard; you can pick up work at a pace that suits and builds on your experience. Plus you can take on more work as and when you want to – some Obelisk consultants work on a stand by basis with clients and are available full-time when the need arises.

Brand new skills

A portfolio career can offer the opportunities to broaden your skillset in ways that a traditional career path may not. As an independent worker you are not only gaining further experience in law, you are also developing your skills in time management, client relations and business matters. The transferable skills you will acquire can lead to new challenges; it may inspire the confidence to set up an entirely new business, work as a coach or mentor or even write a book about your experiences. Obelisk consultant Rebecca Hayes was able to start and continue a freelance design business alongside her legal work, allowing her the balance between a creative outlet and legal knowledge, while another, Simon Frater, was able to pursue his interest in jewellery making as a silversmith.

Be a pioneer

More and more companies are looking for flexible and responsive legal talent to suit their schedules and changing business requirements. It can be hard for these companies to find legal professionals who have the experience and right approach to this kind of work. Building a portfolio career and being open to flexible working, opens the door to more opportunities for yourself, and also means you can help to lead the way in changing attitudes within the legal industry towards flexible and remote work, thereby providing more opportunities for others to work in a way that suits their lives.

By Kayleigh Ziolo

Kayleigh Ziolo has a background in magazine publishing and is writer and Commissioning Editor at Obelisk. She specialises in the subjects of workplace wellbeing, flexible working practices and gender equality.