By in Business

On Juggling, Working 5 to 9s and Portfolio Careers

I guess we're all familiar with the standard trope of the busy housewife-and-mother juggling keeping house with family caring duties. Running round madly, whirling from here to there like the hammer-thrower in the picture.

Two further options on this choice have shown themselves in the last 15-20 years.

Firstly is the 'five-to-nine' culture. The phrase, coined in Nigeria, is indicative of having an active 'sidepreneur' business, where you are making a reasonable income from something that is run outside of your usual working hours . This could be an official second job in a retail store or bar, an MLM business, a craft or resale page, your traditional family business, website ownership or advertising, moonlighting, freelancing or anything else which brings in some extra income.

Then there's the idea of a 'portfolio career' . That consists of as many part time jobs as is necessary to make a full time income. It can also cover a freelance or partly-freelance lifestyle, where maybe the worker has a part time office job but also runs their own business. When I had a portfolio career, I had three part time jobs. For the weekday mornings I worked for the world-leading University in my local town. For the weekday afternoons, I worked for a civil engineering company. At the weekends, I sold my soul in retail work as a till operator and shelf stacker/personal shopper at the local superstore.

None of these options are easy. In the UK for all of these options you are required to opt out of the maximum 48 hour working week. But for the difference between 'month at the end of the money' or 'money at the end of the month', I would choose one of the money-earning options any day.

Image Credit » by skeeze

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melody23 wrote on November 6, 2015, 6:50 PM

I went to college full time, worked nights in the pub when I had college that day or days when I didn't, often finishing work near 2am and getting up at six for college plus I was doing a hefty amount of writing on the side. That was of course back in the day where you could make a decent chunk of change writing on the internet so I didn't have to do much actual freelancing which allowed me to just fit it in around my other commitments. My boss let me take my college work in with me since it was winter and usually quiet enough at night so I would spend some time working on essays and sometime writing articles in between pulling pints.

When I started uni I had to give up working in the pub since I had to move to take my place at uni and I thought I would miss it terribly since I had pretty much worked every hour I wasn't sleeping for years but I have never once missed that lifestyle. you do what you have to do at the time, but I am very pleased and lucky to be able to say that the days of me needing (or being willing) to work every waking hour of the week are gone. I have my full time post and I will pick up the occasional bank shift but that's it.

Paulie wrote on November 6, 2015, 10:29 PM

You seem like a very ambitious person. When do you find time to relax?

allen0187 wrote on November 7, 2015, 12:41 AM

i actually admire those who hold two or more jobs. It ain't easy. I have a full time work but I'm currently looking for some part time jobs that i can do in the afreternoons/early evening. Plus, also some extra work during the weekends. right now, I do online writing but it is something that I do not do regularly. I have an online but it is something I do on occassion as well.

MegL wrote on November 7, 2015, 4:53 AM

Money at the end of the month is far preferable!

WordChazer wrote on November 7, 2015, 8:31 AM

Writing and home cooking are relaxing, so is eBaying.

WordChazer wrote on November 7, 2015, 8:36 AM

The one thing I can say of a portfolio career is that it forces you to be organised. You have to have all the right things in the right office at the right time. No good leaving your ID for one job in the office of the other, for instance.

WordChazer wrote on November 7, 2015, 8:38 AM

Absolutely! I worked the three jobs for just over a year while my husband was on the dole and it was hard work but worth it. It also allowed me to redefine my priorities, leading directly to the eBay and writing habits I have now.

CoralLevang wrote on November 7, 2015, 5:54 PM

You are busy...and make time for a lot of things. I like you. Most think I'm crazy to juggle.

WordChazer wrote on November 7, 2015, 7:07 PM

If I am not busy, people need to start worrying. You are the same, and if we don't hear from you for a while here unless you have told us you will be out and offline, I certainly start to wonder.