The story begins with Erin meeting a woman at a work function, who by way of introducing herself, starts taking out business card after business card from her bag. According to Erin, around the 7th, seemingly disconnected business cards and functions, it all tied back together, connected around her being the brand. So Erin started investigating and started off on her interviewing and writing journey, understanding these individuals, who have multiple careers going on at the same time, to find out why they do it and how they do it.
She found, that especially with the recent economic downturn, a lot of people realised, that putting all of your career eggs into one basket is a very dangerous situation, one where a lot of power is given to your one boss and employer over your life. So instead, the safer bet seems to be a portfolio-type career management, in which you are not dependent on one employer only, and the different jobs or gigs neatly complement each other.
Also, the previously accepted career template of working for the same employer after graduation for 30 years, and then retiring with the golden watch simply doesn’t exist anymore. Companies employ the best and brightest, and if they properly empower and invest in them, they probably outgrow their jobs and leave after 3-4 years. Even for top levels, the average time for a CEO to be in office at one company is 3,5 years. The other misconception that is being shattered, is the notion that the employer, or in general corporate America is going to take of my career development.
So what happens when you get that itch? Or if through your network you get offered another opportunity. Or want to set up your own business? Or simply want more flexibility in your life? In some of the sectors like academia it is already accepted, that professors would be either teaching and researching, or consulting simultaneously, or teaching at different schools at the same time, having already multiple employers. But this is not the case for most sectors.
What unites these “Multipationals”, that they all love what they do, (actually, they do it because they feel passionate about their different gigs), they supplement one or the other income, and their different jobs do a dance together, in which one reinforces the other. They do these different jobs for different reasons, and not all of them are paid in financial capital, but social capital or through other rewards, and for these people the flexibility and sense of achievement almost translates into economic terms.
So, are you starting to recognise yourself? Are you a multipational? If yes, then get in touch with Erin, because she would love to hear from you!
If you are now thinking about all the different gigs, volunteering, or paid jobs you would like to fit into your life, then go for it! You will need the following:
– you will have to sit down, and plan your time and calendar meticulously. Time is our most precious commodity, and a recurring common trait among multipationals is, that they manage their time and calendars rabidly.
– secondly, your will have a lot of awkward, but also very rich conversations with the different people involved, your partner, maybe your children, and also your boss, or bosses. Post-economic downturn the conversations around career development and career-portfolio development have become a lot more complex, a lot richer, and if you want to craft yourself a great career, don’t hesitate to embark on these conversations. It is shown, that employees who are rocking one part of their lives are more engaged, more creative and more performant in other parts of their lives. There is a clear positive spillover effect between these multiple gigs, both paid or unpaid, and feeding your soul in some areas of your life will yield great returns in the others.
Go for it! And let us, and Erin know, how it went for you!