“Going portfolio means exchanging full-time employment for independence. The portfolio is a collection of different bits and pieces of work for different clients. The word “job” now means a client.” The Portfolio career, popularised by Charles Handy in his book “The Empty Raincoat”, 1994
First, the gloomy news. The idea of working for the same employer year after year is dead. Whether we may like to think of ourselves as indispensable, no one is and all employers are constantly reviewing which staff are core and which are, well, surplus to requirements. This means that those of you that are employed are either working excessively hard because your skills are in short supply or working excessively hard to prove your worth.
Bethlehem Steel Works, a watercolour by Joseph Pennell, depicting Bethlehem Iron Company in May 1881
Whilst we canter towards the time of pudding, parties and wrapping paper, it's worth remembering the Bethlehem story.
No, not that Bethlehem.
I'm talking about the Bethlehem Steel Mill story which might help us identify how we will pack all those tasks in before the world around us grinds to a halt.
You see, Bethlehem Steel Mill was the site of one of the apocryphal stories of time management, when a chap called Ivy Lee persuaded Charles Schwab, the CEO of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, that he could increase his company's productivity by over 20% if his managers adopted his system for over 30 days.
Chris Lorimer is an
experienced management consultant who has helped many owners, Directors and staff to achieve more.