Portfolio Careers

Vincent Hanna: So you never wanted a regular-type life?
Neil McCauley: What the fuck is that? Barbeques and ball games?
Vincent Hanna: Yeah.
Neil McCauley: This regular type life, that’s your life?

– from the movie Heat (1995) (YouTube clip)

A discussion with a friend few days ago got me into a reflective mood. I guess I have redefined, reshaped, remodeled, and rebuilt my career from the ground up in the last few years. Now, I see myself as having a “Portfolio Career”.

“Look upon your work journey as a ‘Portfolio Career’ rather than a linear experience.” – Charles Handy, The Age of Unreason

I’ve loved and found Charles Handy insightful and deep since I read a pair of great interview articles in the Ivey Business Journal in 2000 (part one and two). By the way, check out this link from U Vic for a bit of info on Portfolio Career (local PDF file).

When people introduce me to others, they usually fit me in a role or two. But in fact I have a wide range of roles that I play and work in different time (different days in a week or even different hours in a day). Some times, it is more like, this hour, in this situation, what role am I playing? The two main compartments that I enjoy at the moment are business & entrepreneurial related works, and then TV & movies related projects. Here are samples of some of the things that I’ve done in the last little while and are still doing.

Recent entrepreneurs that I’ve worked with and am working with,

  • a really cool movie industry related website concept (I am deliberately leaving this very very vague here)
  • nano-technology related materials that work in oil sands (partly protected by trade secrets and partly by patents)
  • patented aircraft maintenance related technologies

TV and movie related projects,

  • Egging Chairman Mao – a feature documentary supplemented with web stories
  • Planning a documentary featuring some cutting edge medical equipment
  • Planning a documentary about my eye doctor which in turns I plan to talk a little about the medical practice (or what it lacks) in Canada
  • Planning an interview with a local insightful businessman
  • Screened and coached 70+ entrepreneurs for Calgary auditions of CBC Dragons’ Den Season 2
  • Helping CBC Dragons’ Den screen potential good technology companies with a solid business track record that needs less than $500,000 for season 2

Plus I love to read, analyze, think, research and then write and share my views and “insight” here in my blog. To create and instigate an ideas Revolution. I don’t know how far can I take this but try I will. And I have full intention to turn ideas Revolution into a Lovemark.

Barbeques and ball games? Not for me. Not my style.

What type of life do you have ?

Here is the My life. My card.” ad with Robert DeNiro (directed by Martin Scorsese) (more info and other videos)


July 3rd, 2007 Update: I am still firm on my path of a portfolio career. If you have been reading my blog, you would have noticed that I’ve added a few new things on my blog. For example, I started a super-fan blog on CBC Dragons’ Den with independent and insider access and I also attended nextMEDIA and Banff World Television Festival 2007 as a blogger/reporter. Really cool stuff.

Since I am constantly doing different things, it doesn’t make much sense to update and revisit this particular entry. What makes more sense is to keep adding and talking about new things and sharing my experiences with brand new blog entries. I hope you will have fun reading and learning from me.

2 Responses to Portfolio Careers

  1. Hopefully you will be pleased to discover that there are many more out there like you! We are researching Portfolio Careers right now for a book that will be published next year specifically designed to help people to set up a portfolio career for themselves. From the data we have we reckon that in the UK alone there could be up to one million people with this workstyle and we also believe that following this recession it will become more popular with people and slowly employers will also begin to see the pluses for them. We keep posting new data and our own thoughts on the blog indicated above. No barbecues and ball games for me either – oh! Sorry! but I do love cricket!

  2. kempton says:

    Thanks Barrie. No barbecues and ball games indeed. :)

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy 2009.

%d bloggers like this: