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Is it time for you to join the Great Resignation?

the Great Resignation - portfolio career

The pandemic forced a massive paradigm shift in the way we think about work. Before COVID, working from home was considered a perk, and having a side hustle seen as a distraction. Having just one job, for one employer – effectively being a corporate servant, in the office five days per week – was expected. If you worked from home or had a side hustle, you may have been seen as less committed to your employer. However, since workers across the globe were forced to work from home, we have learnt that we are MORE productive, not less. We have also realised that spinning up a side hustle is easier now than at any time in the past. 

What’s more significant is that this period of enforced working from home made us stop and think about whether we were truly happy with traditional corporate life. With change comes reflection, and for many, that meant realising they weren’t happy with their working lives. That’s why, since lockdown began in 2020, millions of people launched, or accelerated, portfolio careers that allowed them to navigate their own professional paths and take control of their own destinies. They were determined to place more value on their time, productivity, health, family and overall happiness. That’s when the movement for career independence and self-sufficiency really started to gather momentum.

Hence, the Great Resignation was born

“The Great Resignation” is a phrase that’s been thrown around quite a bit lately – you may have seen it trending on Twitter or splashed across news headlines. That’s because it’s a state of mind that has resonated with workers on a global scale. As the world opens up and restrictions get lifted, more people are refusing to go back to the way things were.

The Great Resignation statistic infographic for portfolio professionals
©The Portfolio Collective 2021

A Microsoft survey of over 30,000 global workers showed that 40% of people are considering changing jobs this year. In the UK and Ireland, that number is 38%. Add to that the rapidly growing number of startups popping onto the scene set on displacing large, slow-moving companies – and you have a recipe for revolution. Newly formed businesses offer remote work as a standard, and realise from the outset that they can manage with a very small core team, supplemented by utilising part-time professionals as and when required. Portfolio professionals are part of the essential toolkit for the startup ecosystem. These could be anything from creative types, to non-executive directors to part-time executives and consultants that help build these companies.

According to Upwork’s Freelance Forward report, 75% of people who started freelancing during the pandemic make the same or more money than they did in traditional work, and 58% plan on remaining independent. That’s because a portfolio career provides autonomy and flexibility, all whilst allowing you to charge premium rates for your advanced skills.

The Great Resignation -portfolio career provides autonomy and flexibility

The rising popularity of portfolio careers

There’s never been a better time to start a portfolio career – but how can you be sure if it’s the right path for you? It all comes down to what you’re hoping to achieve. Portfolio work may not look as stable as a traditional job, but it does put you in control of how you work, who you work with and how much you earn. Plus, you’re not limited to doing just one thing. Many portfolio professionals pursue multi-hyphenate paths in which they juggle several diverse projects and roles simultaneously. This allows them to focus on the things they’re passionate about whilst also doing the kind of work that pays the bills.

Take, for example, Matt Ward, a member of The Portfolio Collective community. For thirteen years, he worked as a helicopter test pilot for the British Army and Royal Navy. When the pandemic hit, he decided to pivot his focus. Now, he works independently as a user experience expert and automated technologies consultant. Alongside that, he finds time to focus on his beekeeping passion, and is even writing a book for other bee enthusiasts.

The Great Resignation - The rising popularity of portfolio careers
©The Portfolio Collective 2021

Then you have those who have shifted from the tech world to the portfolio space, most notably the Xoogler population (AKA ex-Google employees). People who leave jobs at Google or any of the other tech giants find it unpalatable to side-step straight to similar large tech firms, and the thought of going to a dying corporation fills them with dread. They still want to do meaningful work, and a portfolio career allows them to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit and continue to innovate on their own terms.

How do you know if it’s time to see what else is out there?

Four million Americans quit their jobs this past April. In the UK, the post-pandemic talent exodus is predicted to cost businesses up to £17B. As the world changes, we need to adapt. For many, that means leaving behind what we’re used to and embracing a new way of working.

The Great Resignation - embracing a new way of working
©The Portfolio Collective 2021

So how can you be sure if now is the right time for you to make a big career change? First and foremost, you need to ask yourself if you’re truly happy doing what you do now. If not, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are few red flags that could indicate it’s time to move on:

  • Your organisation feels like a dinosaur that is dying a slow death
  • You’re not learning skills that will future-proof your career
  • You’re wasting too much time on pointless meetings, internal politics, bureaucracy and commuting
  • Your work is adversely affecting your health
  • You dread starting work every morning
  • You don’t feel passionate about the work you’re doing
  • You don’t have a good work-life balance
  • Your work environment is toxic

A toxic job is harmful – literally, it can make you sick. When you are unhappy at work, your stress levels are higher, you sleep less, and you’re at greater risk for anxiety and depression.

The Great Resignation

If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to reevaluate your goals. Really think about your short and long-term plans. Then consider all the options available to you. Maybe you’d prefer to work for a purpose-driven startup. Or maybe you’re ready to branch out on your own and launch a portfolio career.

What’s important is that you don’t simply sidestep into another harmful work environment. Give yourself the time to really explore what’s out there and settle on the right fit.

Think a portfolio career might be right for you?

You are far from alone. Every day we encounter portfolio professionals who crave a new, more purposeful way of working. When you take control of your career, you get to focus on the things that make you happy. What could be better than that?

If you’d like to learn more about portfolio careers, watch our Introduction To Portfolio Careers video. You can also become a member of our community and learn directly from those who have found success through portfolio work. The more you connect with other portfolio professionals, the more support you’ll have to successfully leave that toxic job behind and pursue a better path.

Think this sounds like the right path for you? Come along to our monthly Get started event for new members to find out what a portfolio career could look like and how The Portfolio Collective can help you take those first steps towards professional success – and don’t forget to connect with our community!

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16 responses to “Is it time for you to join the Great Resignation?

  1. I am a recent MBA graduate in the field of IB with AI. Also, not coming from technical background. Although, have earned various certifications related to Python, AI,Data Science as well as worked on various technical related projects. I do possess 3 years of multidisciplinary work experience. Inspite of having such a profile, I am still struggling very hard to get a job in the fields of Analytics. I want a suggestion that portfolio career can become a good opportunity for a profile like me.

    1. Hi Dieksha, it sounds like you have lots of skills and experience! If you’re considering starting a portfolio career, watching our Introduction to Portfolio Careers video with our CEO Ben is a great place to start. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/4nkdLSIhoyI – we also have lots of resources available under the ‘Learn’ tab of our website which we recommend checking out!

  2. I have diploma in EEE and I am 6 years experienced in machine breakdown field in industry,I feel exhausted every morning when I think about going to work,I need a change or move on in career,is there any help????

    1. Hi Sanjay, sorry that you feel like this! We’ve got lots of resources, events and workshops that can help you if you’re considering transitioning to a portfolio career. Watching our Introduction to Portfolio Careers video with our CEO Ben is a great place to start – here’s the link to watch it: https://youtu.be/4nkdLSIhoyI. Our Welcome Call is a great place to help introduce you to TPC and how we can help so definitely come along!

  3. I know i am starter in my journey with javing 2 years experience in corporate life. But throughout this 2 years i see that there is no more that i can contribute in my current org. I keep asking my manager about my upcoming goals, objectives, where i want to oversee higher responsibilities, but they don’t seem to care.

    1. Hi..have been working for the past 20 odd years in the field of Finance and Accounts however off late there has been lack of motivation primarily cos the organization is not heading anywhere but south , management politics, compromised salary and lack of vision have worsened the matters. let me know the way forward .thanks

  4. I am a nurse and the past couple of years has definitely had a bad consequence to my health. Burnt out and underpaid I feel there is much more I can do out there, and I’m only 32!

    1. Hi Karren,

      A lot of people find themselves in that situation, sorry to hear that you’re feeling burnt out and underpaid. We recommend attending one of our welcome calls which take place every Weds at 4pm to learn more about having a portfolio career.

  5. After an extensive experience of around 20 years in banking and financial services industry, in my last job in a private company, I felt like I was being exploitated everyday. Joined the portfolio collective to get a new insight and perspective about how to breathe fresh air and move on in career. I am from india

  6. Hello, I read about this portfolio stuff but my question is , if someone is unemployed and want to know be part of this community can one be accepted. Or is for professional because if you have to make any payments to join your network how are you going to without one working.

    1. Hi Eunice,
      Anyone can join our community. We have a free membership called our ‘Explorer Membership’ which gives you access to our community, events, and learning materials. It would be great to have you in our community!

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