Portfolio Careers: What, Why, Who?

So, this post is part of my new career section on this blog. As I am growing and soon will be leaving college, I want to share what I learn along the way so that hopefully, it will help my audience and fellow soon-to-be college graduates. Today, I’m going to tell you about portfolio careers.

Killer Harmony | Portfolio Careers | What, Why, Who | Portfolio careers allow you to do different things and have variety in your work day. Read on for more about portfolio careers.

In a nutshell, a portfolio career allows you to make money doing multiple things. For musicians and other creative people, the need to have multiple streams of income is extremely common. Most people can’t make a full time wage simply performing or writing. You need to use different skill sets to earn a living.

Some people might teach part time at a university or in some sort of school setting during the day, have rehearsals for a chamber group in the evenings, and then perform a show or two on the weekends. A freelance blogger might have to (of course) work on their blog, write for paid publications, and maybe do a little bit of blog consulting in order to make enough money to do what they love.
I am currently looking at different options for me to pursue in order to run my own blog and online business and get paid for it. I am working on writing posts for websites that will pay, but those publications are obviously going to be selective, so I have yet to be accepted. I am also on Fiverr & UpWork, which are two places to go to find freelance work online. I have not had much luck on there, but I plan to stick with it as long as I can. I also plan on relaunching my Etsy shop at some point in the future, so stay tuned for that.
Now, the part about what, why, and who.


Portfolio careers are not your typical career path. If you have a portfolio career, you don’t just go to a day job from 9 to 5 and then come home. You will probably be doing a lot of different things and will have a lot of different income streams. That’s okay. If you are a graphic designer, you might have a consulting practice where you help budding graphic designers as well as an online shop where you sell premade or customizable graphics.


So, why would anyone want this sort of career? Well, it gives you more flexibility and more variety in your work. You won’t have a monotonous 9-5 job where every day is the same. Each day is different. Each day might result in working with a new client or starting a new project. Portfolio careers often allow you to pursue something (or multiple things) that you are passionate about, because you call the shots.


Well, that’s all and well, but who is best suited for a portfolio career? You probably should stick to a 9-5 if you:

  • Don’t like change, and prefer to have a set schedule
  • Want to come home and be done with work
  • Need to work in an environment with other people

You should consider a portfolio career if you:

  • Don’t see any job listings that appeal to you
  • Are open to working odd hours and having those hours change
  • Would prefer to work alone and for yourself

You don’t like change and would rather have a set schedule. This is totally fine, and I completely get not liking change and not wanting to have a new schedule each day. I wouldn’t totally rule out a portfolio career, though, because if you can find multiple income streams doing the same thing, it might just work for you.

You want to come home and be done with work. If that’s you, I get it. But you probably should look for more traditional jobs. Portfolio careers often involve working for yourself or working odd hours or just bringing your work home in general. Just be sure you find a job you like so that you aren’t itching to go home as soon as you get to work.

You need to work in an environment with other people. You might be able to swing a portfolio career, especially if you have a business partner or you frequent your local coffee shop. However, if you crave that office camaraderie, you should probably consider a job in an office…

You don’t see any job listings that appeal to you. If you can’t find the perfect job, it might be a good idea to create your own. The internet is a great place to find anything you are looking for, including work! A portfolio career will probably work for you; it will be more satisfactory.

You’re open to working odd hours and having those hours change. Working different types of jobs as part of your career will probably involve some odd hours or late nights. Your hours might change a lot, at least at the beginning. You need to be flexible.

You would prefer to work alone and for yourself. Does the idea of working for “the man” get you down? You should probably start your own business. With the rise in popularity of the internet, self employment is becoming more popular. You can take the sorts of jobs and accept the sorts of clients that you choose, rather than those assigned to you by your boss. Do what you want…within reason.

So, those are the big points of portfolio careers. I would love to do a lot of things, and so that is why I am definitely considering a portfolio career for myself. I hope this information helped you and maybe made you think about some different options for your career.
Are you (or will you) consider a portfolio career? What would you be doing? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!



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2 thoughts on “Portfolio Careers: What, Why, Who?”

  1. This is such an interesting post; I’d never heard the term portfolio career before! However, now I realize that’s what I’m working towards. I plan on being a mother in the future, and when I was trying to think of jobs that would give me the flexibility I’d want to do that, I realized I could do something similar to this! Since then I’ve been working on developing skills such as freelance writing, editing, graphic and web design, and of course blogging that I can do from home to make money. Now you’ve given me a name for what I want to do! Thanks for sharing this!
    -Kym, hellokymberlyann.com

    1. I’m glad I could help! I love having a flexible schedule, and especially as a parent that would be really nice. That’s why the whole Mom blogger niche has become a big thing. I’m also working on my writing and design skills. Best of luck!

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