Enjoying your work after 70 – Picking the right location and the right clients
It is well worth considering the options that you will have around the location if you want to enjoy your work after 70. It may be that what suits you best is to work from home, to have a minimal amount of travel and then find the clients that will respond to that.
Back to basics
We can get caught up in moving forward with our Portfolio Executive workstyle and lose sight of what we’re really trying to achieve. We can lose sight of why we are motivated to do this in the first place.
That’s what I mean by back to basics.
Making Your Future Work – Consider a Portfolio Executive workstyle
If you have been following the different things that we have been talking about over the previous weeks and months, you will understand that I’m passionate about people having a working life that makes the most of everything they were created to be and enables that working life to support the wider lifestyle that they want now and in the future.
Enjoying your work after seventy: How much responsibility do you want?
I remember a very, very experienced professional who’d had some big corporate jobs and as he got older and more elderly, I would meet with him regularly. He told me that now, as he moved into his mid-seventies, all he believe he should do was watch and pray. To acknowledge this, he had a lapel badge with a heron. This is a bird that stands very still watching and then goes in and makes a brief intervention to catch a fish.
Know the Season: Part 2
In the first article we looked at the cycle of the financial year and the cycle of the school year to explore how much this impacted the way your clients and their customers respond to sales and marketing activities.
In this article we will look at two longer running seasons: the economic cycle and the season of your life.
Making Your Future Work – Develop a Side Hustle
Lots of people like the idea of some kind of side hustle, but what does that really mean? What are the choices you face?
The Power of a Manifesto
As I work with Portfolio Executives, there are two things that become increasingly important. One is to help them to have a distinctive point of view about the world in which they inhabit and the second thing is for them to develop a stronger sense of personal purpose about what they’re trying to do through their work. One of the very powerful ways to start to articulate this and bring it into focus, is to develop a document that I call a manifesto.
What I have learned from helping others understand their Adaptability: Environment
Within the AQai model of adaptability, Environment is a critical dimension reflecting the impact of company, team and the experience of individuals at work.
Know the Season – 1 of 2
As city dwellers, too often we lose track of the seasons. For many of us we step out of one climate-controlled environment into another, home to car/bus/underground to office to gym or home to shopping centre, restaurant or cinema. There are no seasonal foods any more with everything available anywhere anytime. We are insulated from the rich experience of spring, summer, autumn, winter.
Making Your Future Work – Get Experience as a Board Member
It is incredibly valuable as a senior professional to get experience as a board member. There are three reasons that this really can make a difference to your career.
On your bike! A response to poverty in older people
When the Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride, in August 2023, suggested that older workers consider work in the ‘gig economy’, such as being a Deliveroo rider, it was immediately controversial.
What I have learned from helping others understand their Adaptability: Character
Within the AQai adaptability framework there is a substantial domain called Character. You may be familiar with conventional psychometric tests: these rest upon the assumption that your psychological preferences are intrinsic and fixed for all time.
Lifestyle Business versus a Death-style Business.
I was struck by the pejorative attitude with which so many commentators in the entrepreneurial world refer to a lifestyle business. Somehow the suggestion is you’re not a real entrepreneur if you’re running a lifestyle business. Somehow you haven’t got what it takes. You haven’t got the ambition. You will not be successful if you have a lifestyle business.
Making Your Future Work – Plan your exit from full-time employment.
There are many situations in our lives where we start to realise that full-time employment is just not working for us. It may be that we are coming into a season where we want to look after our families, we want to have children, we want to spend time with our children.
What I have learned from helping to develop the Adaptability of others.
The AQai framework has a key dimension of Ability. These are five different subdimensions where you can build your skills and equip yourself better to be adaptable. When I talk to people about changing their adaptability, by building their skills, it’s amazing how some very simple interventions can start to shift the dial. Resilience If […]
The Capability Attitude: Build not fix
What is the ‘Capability Attitude’ and why is it about ‘Build not Fix’? For senior professionals, whether as employees, interims or consultants, they are indoctrinated with the mantra: ‘don’t just bring me problems; bring me solutions’.
Making your Future Work: Assess Your Future Work Prospect Score
When I am working with you to help you think about your future, there are two crucial dimensions that I encourage you to examine. One is ‘need to work’ and the other is ‘need for new’. Let’s start with the ‘need to work’ dimension.
Managing Your First Client
The way that you engage your first client is going to set the template for success in the future.
Making your Future Work: Maximizing your learning and development
As you get more senior in your career, increasingly what people are going to value is less of what you do. Now what matters is what you have learned, what you known, the different range of experiences you have got and the skills you’ve developed. Skills, knowledge and experience are the future for you as you become more senior.
There are number of ways in which you can maximize your learning and development.
Getting Enjoyment Beyond your Niche
When I work with Portfolio Executives, at the beginning of our relationship the most crucial thing is to get really clear about the niche that you can use to present yourself to the world.
Making your Future Work: Plan your Promotion from Day One
When you join a new employer, they haven’t hired you just for what you can do today, they have also hired you with a view of the potential you have to contribute to the business in the future. To create the very best in environment in order to thrive, you need to start to plan your promotion from Day One.
The stages to becoming an effective Portfolio Executive (Part 2 of 2)
You need to establish your credibility and visibility and start initial conversations with a small number of potential clients. You need to be able to take control of the buying process and find the clients you want to work with.
Making your Future Work: Make yourself Invaluable to your Employer
When I have been working with young people who perhaps are not as familiar as they could be with what it means to be an employee, I say to them, you’ve got two jobs here. One is to get the task done that I ask you to get done, that I need to get done. And the second thing is to be a great employee.
The stages to becoming an effective Portfolio Executive (Part 1 of 2)
I have now worked with more than 50 people to help in the transition to a Portfolio Executive workstyle. Over the last five years, we’ve developed and refined a process, which I’m confident can work for anybody who’s committed to making the journey
Making your future work : Make the most of your first 90 days
When you get a new position, either because you’re joining your employer for the first time, or you’ve got a significant change of role, the first 90 days will set the scene for how you’re perceived within the organization. Your first 90 days will often afford you opportunities to do things that will become more difficult as time passes.
What is Most Important to You for Your 2nd Half Career?
As you start to review what you want out of your working going forward, consider what is most important to you.
Making your future work – Negotiate the workstyle you really want
You hear plenty of conversations about lifestyle. You may even hear conversations about work/life balance. But how seriously have you thought about the workstyle you really want?
Transitioning to a Freelance Workstyle: Part 2 of 2
In Part 1 we looked at your working schedule and activities. In this second part, we are looking at aspects of your new environment.
Transitioning to a Freelance Workstyle: Part 1
When you are used to working in a corporate environment then you derive huge comfort from the fact that others are holding you accountable for what you do. There are a whole set of external interventions that keep you on track. People working for you demand your attention.
Is Your Corporate Relationship on Life Support?
One of the things that I have constantly been surprised about is how, even if I go through all the logical reasons why you need to plan for your 2nd Half Career, people like you are very slow to act. It may be clear why you’re not going to be able to sustain your corporate career for the rest of your working life and why a Portfolio Executive workstyle makes absolute logical sense for you.
Reassess what you want from your job – Making Your Future Work
It’s very easy for us to just continue doing what we’re always doing. To assume that the next step is the same as the step before.
Transitioning from Interim to Portfolio Executive workstyle
One of the groups that struggle most to make the transition to a Portfolio Executive workstyle are those who have had an extended period working as an interim.
Transitioning from Independent Consultant to Portfolio Executive
It is interesting when I get approached by somebody who has got a lot of experience as an Independent Consultant and they’re wanting to transition to a Portfolio Executive workstyle.
Portfolio Executive – Enabling Others to Buy
Most of the people I work with have not had experience of being in a sales facing role, but as a Portfolio Executive they need to enable other people to buy.
When is it time to start thinking about your 2nd Half Career?
I am constantly surprised how people’s 2nd Half Career milestone creeps up on them without them being aware. Then, as the forces come into play that limit their future career progression, they are surprised that they’ve run out of options and they’re looking at a future of work that is entirely unsatisfactory.
Why becoming a Professor can make all the Difference to your Portfolio Executive Workstyle
My father was an academic. He did a PhD and then became a lecturer and ultimately spent most of his life in a Laboratory of Molecular Biology amongst a clutch of Nobel Laureates. As I was growing up in Cambridge, the academic life was everywhere.
Is there Life beyond Meaningless Meetings for my Future Work?
It’s amazing that the more senior you get, the less time you have to do useful work. It feels like the whole of your life becomes meetings and that so many of those meetings feel meaningless.
Is my Portfolio Executive Workstyle Making my Future Work?
Your Portfolio Executive Workstyle needs to be sustainable, rewarding and enjoyable. It’s not enough, in my view, for it to just keep you busier and busier. You don’t want to be moving from being enslaved by a Corporate Workstyle, to becoming enslaved with your own Portfolio Executive Workstyle.
Can I be a Portfolio Executive if I’m not a Chartered Professional?
When I started working with senior professionals in corporates who wanted to transition to a Portfolio Executive Workstyle, many of the people I started working with were chartered professionals chartered in accountancy, HR, or marketing.
Using a four-day week to Start a Portfolio Executive workstyle
More and more employers are recognising the benefits of flexible working. In fact, some employers are actively moving towards a four-day work week. Whatever the implications of a four-day work week or flexible working, it can be extremely valuable to negotiate to reduce the number of days a week you work for your current employer.
Can I be a Portfolio Executive if I’m over 60?
It is certainly better to transition to a Portfolio Executive workstyle sooner rather than later. When I first started working with people wanting to transition to a Portfolio Executive workstyle, the people that I was working with tended to be 5 to 10 years younger than me.
Can I be a Portfolio Executive if I have no Network?
If you’re currently employed as a senior professional in a larger business, the very strong likelihood is that most of your network will be within that business. It may be that you’ve also got some contacts with people in the industry.
How can I Multitask as a Portfolio Executive?
For many of us, we have had a working life where we have one job where we’re accountable to one set of people and we are doing one thing. When you become a Portfolio Executive, this no longer applies. You will have multiple clients who expect the best of you.
12 Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Success
You would imagine that success is something that we all desire. You would imagine that when we have it, we are delighted and we celebrate it. But there is a strange phenomenon, that many, many people have lurking in their subconscious, which can ultimately undermine their ability to be successful.
Rejecting Client Feedback – The Arrogance Trap?
As a Portfolio Executive you will have a level of confidence in your professional skill, wisdom and insight that you bring into the role as a trusted advisor to your clients. You may often believe that your client is less expert than you in the field that you’ve chosen.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Failure
In our current society, we are always encouraged to set goals, set milestones, set KPI’s, in other words, define over and over again what success looks like. But we are less comfortable with recognising that every time we don’t hit those goals or milestones or KPI’s we are failing.
Can you measure Adaptability?
When I first looked at this, I was very sceptical. What does adaptability really mean? There are lots of responses to this rapidly changing world. One of the most common things that people are demanding of their teams and organisations is resilience.
Can I be a Portfolio Executive if I can’t Sell?
One of the biggest concerns that I hear from people, when we start talking about a Portfolio Executive workstyle, is that they feel they’ve got to learn how to sell. Many senior professionals have never been in the situation where they’ve seen themselves as a salesperson.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Risk
We are very poor judges of risk as human beings. In our society we invest huge amounts of money in reducing some risks, then are very careless about other risks.
10 Reasons that Becoming an Entrepreneur Won’t Make my Future Work
There is huge publicity for successful entrepreneurs. There are lots of people who have aspirations to be an entrepreneur. Too often, however, people have equated starting a business, as being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a very particular kind of individual.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Learning
There is some very interesting research, which has looked at the attitude to learning in young people, which, I think, translates very strongly to anybody, in whatever walk of life they are.
10 reasons why being a Contractor won’t Make my Future Work
Earlier in my career I was an IT contractor, working as a software developer, introduced by agencies. Projects typically ran from three to six and sometimes as long as nine months. I understand the opportunity that being a contractor can be for people. It can appear to be more rewarding than permanent salaried employment.
Mental Health – How to Manage your Mental Health
Back in March 2021, Jonathan MacDonald, Kaur Lass and myself had conversations about Mental Wellness Habits, this series of articles is based on those conversations. You can read the previous articles in the series here and here.
10 reasons why being an Independent Consultant will not Make my Future Work
Many people as a first step to leaving permanent full time salaried employment think, ‘I can just carry on doing what I’ve been doing, but as an independent freelancer working for my existing employer, then go and find some other organisations that I can be an independent freelancer for’. This can be a great way to start, if you have a plan to move on from that.
10 reasons that being an interim won’t make my future work
I talk to many people who have enjoyed the interim workstyle. They like the excitement of working in a new situation every three to nine months. The challenge of sorting things out and learning new things suits them. It can be a great kicker to your mid-career. But very often, I am talking to them because they realise that it won’t make their future work.
Mental Health – Focus and Passion
In my work with CEOs, Portfolio Executives and Charity leaders, I regularly see things that are stress factors. Addressing these is a critical part of what we do with people. I have had people come to me sent by their business partner because their partner recognises that they are literally working themselves to death.
Why full time professional employment won’t Make your Future Work
I have spent all my working life around professionals who have sought to build a career through their professional skills. But very early on in my working life I realised that, for me, being in full-time professional employment, wasn’t going to Make my Future Work.
How can I make the most of my holidays as a Portfolio Executive?
I meet many, many people who are freelancers or interims or who have moved into the Portfolio Executive workstyle and see themselves as almost self-employed. The mindset of people who are in that time for money business is, every day that I’m not looking for more work or not earning fees, is a cost. It’s a lost opportunity to make money.
Essential 8: Financial Freedom
When I was a partner at Arthur Andersen, we were enveloped by the Enron scandal and suddenly a business of 60,000 people came to an end. It was a personal tragedy for many. What struck me was the difference in attitude around the offices.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Self
Your attitude to self is a critical component of your success. I’ve recently become very interested in the thinking behind the model of Voice Dialogue. The people who founded the movement that has become Voice Dialogue realised, in summary, we don’t have one self.
Cash versus Investment for a Portfolio Executive
As I work with people who’ve got through the initial part of getting their Portfolio Executive workstyle started, I often find there is a tension between taking cash out of the business versus investing in their future. I was talking to one of the Portfolio Executives I work with last week, and he explained that he’s now earning more money than he’s ever earned in his life before then, nearly £120,000 in the last 12 months and yet he feels that he’s constantly short of money.
My Portfolio Executive Website
When people first start out as a Portfolio Executive. I believe that having their own website is unnecessary. But over time, people do want to have their own web presence and I’m often asked, “What should I have on my website?”
Essential 7: Building your Support Team
You don’t need to be alone in making your decisions. Maybe you had parents, friends or partners as key supporters in the past for key decisions. This can be all a bit ad-hoc.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Challenge
In my experience there are very different ways in which people carry an attitude to challenge. I see there are some people who want to go out and pick a fight with the world, and there are others who, when confronted run away and hide. Between these extremes some will step forward in response to those who move towards them, while others will step back.
Becoming Part of the Portfolio Executive Community
Starting out on any kind of business on your own, is a lonely, and often scary, process.
It’s hard to push through the disappointments but it’s equally hard to understand when you’re doing well.
Essential 6: Know your true talents
One of my friends was recruiting a recent graduate in IT. This interviewee started to tell him about his time at university organising the annual ski trip. He enthused about arranging it, negotiating deals with the bars, dealing with illness, accidents and unfortunate behaviours, and getting everyone home in one piece. The story was nothing, and yet it was totally relevant to his job.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Planning
It may be a trite truism that failing to plan is planning to fail but planning is an essential attitude for success. Planning is part of an overall process which is often initiated by goal setting. I want to focus on a rhythm of planning that reflects a powerful attitude for success.
What’s the difference between an Interim and a Portfolio Executive?
A significant proportion of the people who come to me to develop a Portfolio Executive workstyle have been working as interims. And at first sight. they’re not very different. You’re coming into a business and helping them build a function or rebuild a function or cover for a function that for some reason needs external help.
Essential 5: Your Personal Brand
If you want to be known for everything, you’ll be known for nothing. Most of us have multiple talents and skills. However, others want to know us as the person who can solve specifically this, or address that. “She’s the fix-it person for turn arounds”. “He’s the guy you call on when you want to launch a product”. Whatever you choose to be, your story, background, and personality, all contribute to this persona or brand.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Gratitude
Success can often be a lonely journey to achieve and there are many bumps along the way but there is a really powerful psychological tool that I have found makes a huge difference to how we see our world. And as we shift our attitude to our world with an attitude for gratitude then somehow the pathway to success seems smoother.
Mental Health – Psychotic or Self-managing?
It’s hard to miss the increasing call for us to talk about our mental health. The guilty secret of mental illness that has haunted individuals and families is giving way to increasing openness and recognition that mental health is an issue for us all. If this was 25 years ago, I’d be very reluctant to share my experience of a very severe manic episode that I had in my late teens.
Making your Future Work: Is your future doing what you love and loving what you do?
As I write this (Oct 21), the headlines trumpet that job vacancies are at an all-time high. Workers are expected to have more choice and opportunity than ever before. But for many of us, as we consider our future, we are confronted by two, seemingly unresolvable tensions: our working future with our employer and our career path has lost its promise and yet our financial commitments stretch into a future beyond our hopes of early retirement.
What’s the difference between an Independent Consultant and a Portfolio Executive?
I am talking to more and more people who are attracted to the idea of the Portfolio Executive workstyle and are keen to develop a different approach to their Second Half Career. But often they feel quite confused about being an Independent Consultant versus being a Portfolio Executive.
Essential 4: Courage to Succeed
We may not often see the choices we make as requiring courage. In fact, too often, we find rational excuses to justify avoiding difficult decisions rather than recognise that we are motivated by fear, uncertainty, and doubt: deep seated emotional responses to the challenge of particular choices.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Change
Underpinning any desire for success is a desire that things should be different. If you have already achieved success, then you may not want anything to change but most of the people I meet who are successful are not prepared to rest in the status quo.
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Opportunity
We all want more success don’t we! When I look back through my life almost all my success has come from my attitude to opportunity. It was Napoleon who said, “Don’t give me great generals, give me lucky generals” and I think the attitude of a lucky general is to see opportunities and then seize them.
Enabling people to buy through powerful conversations
Many years ago, I trained as a coach and as an executive coach you are taught to ask powerful questions and to engage in conversations which leave people at choice. I firmly believe that the most effective conversations with potential clients are conversations where you enable them to buy, particularly if you are offering them a professional service.
6 steps to creating a 2nd Half Career
You are recognising that the 2nd half of your career will not be a continuation of your current path of advancement and opportunity.
So, what do you do?
The Challenge of Purpose and Passion
We can so often get drawn into taking the next step up the ladder because it is expected of us without checking whether it really takes us further to fulfilling our purpose and passion.
Making your Future Work: Is four days a week enough to love what you do?
In a world in which working from home has meant that too many of us are ‘always on’, the idea of a 4-day week can seem like an extravagant fantasy. But there is increasing evidence that limiting work hours increases productivity of individual workers and increases the economic productivity of whole nations.
Freedom & Joy – is This as Good as it Gets?
Working in a big professional services firm, I was waking up the train driver at 5:15am to get into the office by 7am and lucky to be home by 8pm. I was often at an airport on Sunday afternoon so I could be in a foreign city the night before a time zone shifted start at 8am. Even on holiday, I needed to reply to e-mails and deal with voicemails for an hour a day.
Audio Podcasting and the Portfolio Executive
Audio podcasting has now become a mainstream medium. You only need to see how the BBC has jumped on the band wagon to realise that it now stands alongside TV, radio and audiobooks as an essential ‘broadcast’ medium.
Video and the Portfolio Executive
Social Media organisations have been promoting video as their preferred engagement medium for quite a long time now. Making videos is more accessible for the average person than ever before. But I think you want to consider very carefully how you want to use video to build your profile as a Portfolio Executive.
Making your Future Work: Dare to dream for fresh love at work
‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ This inter-generational opening gambit to elicit a conversation from a reluctant niece, nephew or grandchild can be a high-risk tactic. For my jungle obsessed younger brother, the response for many years was ‘a gorilla’.
Is referral and networking enough to build my Portfolio Executive workstyle?
Many of the Portfolio Executives I work with have had no experience of going out and doing anything more in terms of self-promotion than applying for jobs with a CV through an agent. The idea of doing some kind of outbound marketing and some kind of focussed selling can be very very challenging
Making your Future Work: Is it Time to Work for Yourself?
Has the pandemic given you an opportunity to re-think your personal priorities and re-assess your relationship with your boss? Perhaps you have been on furlough or suffered redundancy and you are ready to make a fresh start.
Writer’s blocks: a couple of hacks to break through to writing regular content for LinkedIn and your own website.
Most of us are not natural authors, natural writers and yes, we can probably write a highly structured report or yes, we can put together some PowerPoint slides for an in-house presentation, but the thought of writing 800 – 1200 words on some kind of topic that is going to build my presence on LinkedIn can feel insurmountable.
Have you Futureproofed your Working Life?
There are some pretty scary statistics out there about what can happen as you move beyond 45 in to your 50’s and later.
Building a Pipeline of Opportunities
One of the great advantages of a Portfolio Executive working is that once you’ve got a mature portfolio of 4-6 clients who are staying with you for 4-6 years, then the number of new clients you need to find per year goes down to about 1.
Can I earn enough as a Portfolio Executive?
We explore what ‘enough’ means both in the 8 Essentials 30-day challenge (see http://8essentials.biz/) and in some of other blogs about the different life stage at which you want to adopt a Portfolio Executive workstyle.
Am I too young to be a Portfolio Executive?
I had seen the Portfolio Executive as a 2nd Half Career option and assumed that 2nd half starts at 45 i.e. half way between 20 – 70 years old.
10 good reasons why you should not become a Portfolio Executive (2 of 2)
Becoming a portfolio executive is not for everybody and as I’ve been talking to people for the last 5 years, I feel that there are 10 good reasons not to become a Portfolio Executive. For the first five look here.
10 good reasons why you should not become a Portfolio Executive (1 of 2)
Becoming a portfolio executive is not for everybody and as I’ve been talking to people for the last 5 years, I feel that there are 10 good reasons not to become a Portfolio Executive. Here are the first five.
Making your Future Work: Getting a KickStart for your career.
There are some impressive young people out there who have found Covid has stopped their career ambitions dead. At a similar stage in my life, it was the kindness of both strangers and family contacts that enabled me to get started and I have never forgotten all that they did for me.
Making your Future Work: Work and University – Do I need to do both?
Students were hoping to be home at Christmas. Many would have been disappointed by positive Covid tests. Then they were hoping to return for the Spring term and some will have been hindered by the most recent lockdown. Summer vacation, 2021, seems a way to go and an overseas holiday seems more dream than hope.
Apply or Pitch? Having Courage for a Future you can Love
You can easily become hopeless making application after application for advertised positions. Often, you need to customise your CV, write a tailored covering letter and fill in a detailed application form. Typically, you get no feedback but an automated acknowledgement.
Making your Future Work – Deepening the love for what you do.
March is usually the time when the wedding fairs start anew with all the hopes of new life – spring lambs, bluebells in the woods and cooing pigeons across the city. But the wiser amongst us will nod sagely and tell us that marriage is so much more than a wedding.
Can I really be a Portfolio Executive? Part 2
There are a whole host of other professionals, some which are fairly sector specific and some which are much more general. Perhaps you have got 15-20 years’ experience in a particular field and you are wondering whether you can become a Portfolio Executive.
Can I really be a Portfolio Executive? Part 1
There are quite well-established patterns of work for part-time Finance Directors and HR Directors and increasingly for people in Marketing and in Sales. I am also seeing more and more people being part-time CIOs and part-time CTOs. But what about some of those other professional roles that don’t feel quite so mainstream or that are not quite so well defined.
Starting a Conversation with a Potential Client
As you start to engage with potential clients beyond your immediate network, you need to find a way of pitching your value to people who don’t already know you. You may be recommended, introduced or just connected on LinkedIn. How do you start that first conversation with someone who you don’t really know?
Success in Crisis
What do AirBnB, Uber and Groupon have in common? They were all founded during the 2008 banking crisis.
In fact, it was Andrew Wolstenholme who coined the phrase “Never Waste a Good Crisis” in his visionary report on the future of the construction industry as a sustainable, low-carbon industry at its lowest point in 2009.
Who do you want to be known as on LinkedIn?
When I start working with people who want to build a Portfolio Executive workstyle, one of the key tools for them to develop their presence, build their reputation and find new clients is LinkedIn. But, before we can do any of those things, we need to spend some focussed time thinking through who they want to be known as on LinkedIn
Making the most of your Family as a Portfolio Executive.
Some of the people that I am working with to build their Portfolio Executive workstyles, are at a life stage where they want the flexibility to spend more time with members of the family. There can be a variety of reasons for this and the motivations can also be radically different.
Making your Future Work: Sacked! finding a future you can love
I knew the axe was going to fall; I knew when it was going to fall and now my job was over. I thought I was mentally prepared. I had some dreams for the future. There was a bit of a financial buffer but now I need to get out there and find my next role.
Making your Future Work: Taking a Sabbatical – renewing your love for what you do
The relentless tyranny of the urgent and the ever-growing pace of challenging change can slowly erode the joy from the passion that brought you to your chosen career.
Upgrading your Portfolio
When I am working with people who are building up their Portfolio Executive workstyle, very often they start working for smaller businesses than works best for them. They are also offering lower rates than they eventually can demand from the market. I encourage them to just get started.
What Qualifications do I need to be a Portfolio Executive?
When people come to me and they are exploring whether a portfolio workstyle is right for them, I tend to feel that people fit squarely into one of two camps.
Goldilocks and the Portfolio Executive
The first challenge for a Portfolio Executive is to work out what the ‘Director of’ or ‘Head of’ function you are going to adopt.
The second challenge is to work out what is the right size of business for you. Like Goldilocks you don’t want something that is too hot or too cold, you want something that is in the middle.
I’ve tried being an Independent Consultant and now I want to be a Portfolio Executive
Many of the people who come to me who want to become a Portfolio Executive, were in a full-time salaried position, but have stepped out to become an Independent Consultant. They may have been able to work with a previous employer to do some consulting work.
Portfolio Executive: DIY or …
You are an experienced professional. You know your stuff and are successful in your own field. Why can’t you just step out on your own and become a Portfolio Executive? Why can’t I do it myself? And if I’m not going to DIY my Portfolio Executive future then what are the other options?
Why a Virtual Assistant is a great Portfolio Executive role model
I am very struck by the way that I am continually approached by individuals who are setting themselves up as virtual assistants or remote PAs or whatever they want to call themselves.
Key Persons of Influence and the Portfolio Executive workstyle
I’ve been very impressed by the thinking of Daniel Priestley and his book “Key Person of Influence”. He tells a compelling story about how you build profile in your market place so that you become a key person of influence in order to attract people to your offer, to make your offer a premium offer and to build your business around being a key person of influence.
Should you have a side hustle?
So you have got your day job but you are recognising that this is not forever, and you would like to do something that you can enjoy, that is going to earn a bit of income, and that maybe something that will help you to create your future.
Do I have to run a business to be a Portfolio Executive?
At its simplest a Portfolio Executive is spending their time being a part-time head of or part-time director for a portfolio of businesses. In essence what they are doing is acting as part-time employees for each of those businesses.
Taking the career long view
It is very easy for us to stay focussed on the next promotion, the next job, the next assignment and to see our career as moving up an escalator one step at a time. But when we are asked to plan our finances, we recognise that there are times of investment and there are times of harvest.
Preparing your Network for your Portfolio Executive Workstyle
Finding your role as a Portfolio Executive is a different kind of journey than finding your next job and often if we have been in corporate life for a long time, our network can be very limited in scope. Our network tends to be within the organisations in which we work and sometimes with our suppliers and with our clients.
Financial Freedom: Preparing for your 2nd Half Career
For many of us we get to a stage in our lives where we have built up a series of obligations and commitments which rely on a certain level of income. We are used to a standard of vehicle that we change at a regular frequency.
Eight Essentials for Freedom and Joy at Work
As I work with people who are developing their Second Half Careers, a pattern is beginning to emerge. It seems that there are eight essentials that will enable people to really set out a future which is going to work for them into the second half of their working lives.
Understanding Referrers and Connectors
Word of mouth marketing is recognised as the most powerful marketing tool we have in our armoury and as we build our portfolio of clients then word of mouth will be crucial to bring in new clients. This is simulated on social media, but true word of mouth marketing is one person talking to another.
Working until you are 100 – freedom or slavery?
In 2019, BBC Radio 4 celebrated the fact that the long-standing actress playing Peggy Archer was still working in her 100th year. The famous matriarch in The Archers continues to feature in the story line while being played an actress several years older.
I am too busy to find clients
Having worked to help people build their portfolio executive proposition and to go out and win their first client. I increasingly hear them telling me that they are too busy to find anymore clients. At one level this is a great success story. They have more work than they can cope with. Fantastic!
Who should I pay to help me be a Non-Executive Director (NED)?
I am continually active on LinkedIn and I am incredibly open to signing up to various email newsletters. As soon as I had ‘Director’ in my job title, I was approached by several different organisations that promised me that they could make me a successful Non-Executive Director. Maybe you are too?
Why Consulting is Not Fit for Purpose
I have worked for a global professional services practice where I was a partner and where I was consulting for large and medium sized businesses. After being in that firm for five years I became very disenchanted with what big consulting did for its clients.
From success to significance
You are a professional who has worked perhaps ten, fifteen, twenty years in your chosen profession and you have achieved a level of success. You have a senior role, a reasonable salary and you are looking forward and thinking about what you want to do with your 2nd Half Career.
Can I only be a Portfolio Executive?
Can I only be a Portfolio Executive? Or can I have a richer portfolio than that?
As I continue to work with people building up their Portfolio Executive Workstyle, I am finding an increasing trend that people want to mix it up a bit.
Are we all millenials now?
So much has been written about millennials and their preferences and attitudes towards work and as I review these thoughts about millennials, there are three things that strike me:
Selling your 2nd Half Career to your Current Employer
Probably the context in which you have the strongest relationships and the strongest potential to develop your 2nd Half Career is actually with your current employer. At first sight, you may question how favourably your employer will look at your proposal to become independent.
Finding the right size business for your Portfolio Executive Workstyle
I am working with former Finance, HR, Marketing and Sales Directors as well as CIOs / CTOs and a variety of other experienced professionals to build a Portfolio Executive workstyle. I have come to believe that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer to how big a company you should target for your services.
Ten Pitfalls to avoid in setting up your 2nd Half Career
As soon as you start to be intentional about shaping your 2nd Half Career, you will be faced with important choices. These are the top 10 ‘gotchas’ that I have seen amongst professionals as they begin to move forward.
A little work will make your pension go so much further.
You may be aware that for many people the kind of annuity rates they can get when they cash in their pension have become very disappointing. I did a quick review of the kind of annuity that you could get for a million pound pension pot, aged 65 as a man and £50,000 a year, five percent, is high.
What must you do before you quit for your 2nd Half Career?
You have decided that you want to have a radical change of direction. You want to move on from your current employer. You want to step out into a new workstyle. You want to build a new career for the second half of your working life.
The power of becoming a Trusted Advisor
A critical part of your role as a Portfolio Executive is to build a relationship where you become the trusted advisor of the CEO. Sometimes your role won’t bring you direct access to the CEO, but you should still become a trusted advisor to whoever is your sponsor.
Portfolio Executive: what about using an intermediary
Can you have your cake and eat it? Can you be a Portfolio Executive but be able to minimise the transition to this new workstyle? Can you get someone else to do all the things that you do not feel you are very good at doing?
Maintaining a part-time role
As I work with people building a Portfolio Executive workstyle, one of the biggest challenges I come across is “how do you maintain a role part-time?”. In this article I explore what is different from full-time and what stays the same.
How to use a diagnostic as an effective sales tool
As you start to identify clients, one of the things you need to do is establish a compelling reason for them to buy now. You want to build a long-term relationship, but most people won’t commit to a long-term relationship until they have worked with you.
Ageism – Victim or Victor? You have a clear choice.
When I was in my early twenties people would introduce me as a computer ‘whizz kid’ and that was really exciting! It was in the early days of the whole micro-computer revolution and being considered a ‘whizz kid’ was the equivalent of the fashionable ‘geek’ of today’s current generation.
Do I need to be a key person of influence?
It’s a very noisy market place, particularly if you are just setting out to establish yourself as an independent Portfolio Executive working with several clients.
Have I got the right professional background to become a Portfolio Executive
Are you considering becoming a Portfolio Executive as the next stage of your career but aren’t sure if your professional background has given you the right skills?
Building your runway for Portfolio Executive lift off
You have made the decision that you don’t want to stay in your current position in corporate life, despite the salary and the benefits. You also recognise that the transition to the more fulfilling Portfolio Executive workstyle isn’t going to be straightforward.
When interim roles no longer hold their appeal
You are a highly experienced, seasoned professional, and you have stepped out on your own to become an interim manager. You’ve started working at very senior levels, where you get drafted in to sort out a significant challenge in an organisation.
IR35 changes: should I stop being an interim, contractor or independent consultant?
Anybody who is working as an interim, contractor or even an independent consultant, should have heard of IR35. IR35 is an HMRC regulation that seeks to ensure that taxes relating to employment can’t be avoided by the use of an intermediate company.
You need to define your clients’ success
When you are building a portfolio executive workstyle, your client will want to be clear about the value and quality you bring. Demonstrating that clarity will be beneficial for you too and will help you keep the relationship going for as long you want.
There’s no age limit on daring to dream
I’m a firm believer in the power of dreams when it comes to achieving what we want from our relationships and our working lives.
What do I need to start my Portfolio Executive business?
Are you setting up as a Portfolio Executive or planning to? The chances are you’ll have a long list of things you want to get in place, the reality is you won’t need half of them, at least not yet.
Should your employer control your love life?
In the era of the #metoo movement, there are many voices suggesting that organisations should actively manage the power relationships between employers, managers and staff to avoid situations of potential abuse.
10 things we learn from Megxit?
Harry has taken the courageous step to reshape his working life and there are lessons for us all:
Turning disappointment into positivity as a Portfolio Executive
One of the toughest things to deal with when you are setting out as a Portfolio Executive is disappointment. You may have felt less sensitive to it when you were in your previous corporate life because you could always tell yourself that the ‘no’ wasn’t really about you – it was because of the organisation.
Building the right networks as a Portfolio Executive
As a senior executive, you’ll have developed very good networking skills within your corporate environment. You were good at connecting with other senior leaders across your corporate structure, you’ll also have built networks with suppliers and customers.
Becoming a Coach is not necessarily your golden ticket.
If you are in the 2nd half of your career and exploring possible new directions, you may have considered training to be a coach. Or, perhaps you’ve already trained and are looking to build a business around those new skill sets.
So, you want to be an entrepreneur? Here’s a different route.
There is a real hankering for many to start their own business – and there’s no shortage of empowering television, especially for younger people it seems. The Apprentice is now on season 15 and Lord Sugar’s search shows no sign of slowing down.
Becoming an interim…. it doesn’t come without risks
So, you’ve reached the point in your career where becoming an interim looks attractive. You’ve taken stock of your knowledge and experience and it feels like a route that’s worth exploring – and it may well be. But, as with any form of career change, there are pros and cons.
Contracting … why it’s the career fix that fails
When you are working in a permanent salaried position, contracting can seem like quite an attractive option. You see contractors join your organisation, they seem to have less responsibility, they do their hours and go home (without taking work with them!).
Finding freedom from the relentless cult of work
The reality for many of us is that we spend far too long at work. The baffling part is that we’ve let it become the norm. Why is that? What does it actually mean for this precious life that we only live once?
What does ‘permanent full-time salaried’ employment really mean?
The recent announcement by Deutsche Bank of 12,000 job cuts reminds us all that there is no such thing as permanent employment any more. And yet for so many of us, our parents’ aspiration for us (and perhaps ours for our children) is a permanent full-time salaried job as a qualified professional in a leading organisation.
Why you should consider the charity sector as part of your Portfolio Executive work style
Many of the people I talk to about their 2nd Half Careers are keen to make the second half count. They want to look back and see not only success but also significance for their lives, particularly their working lives.
Are corporates having a mid-life crisis?
Corporates have created an ‘up or out’ culture, one that will ultimately lose the experienced professionals they’ve worked so hard to attract and retain. It’s a mid-life career crisis that’s impacting some very talented people, many with years of valuable experience.
Worried about your executive career? There’s a perfect storm ahead!
You might recall the film ‘The Perfect Storm’ with George Clooney. It should have been blue skies and plain sailing for the highly experienced skipper and his crew – except for a combination of events and conditions that no one saw coming.
Are these career frustrations making you re-think your plans at half-time?
If you’ve reached 45-50 then you’ve probably been working for 25-30 years. In theory, you should be at the top of your game, enjoying your career and the quality of working life it brings. However, research consistently says otherwise.
How to demonstrate your value as a Portfolio Executive
If you’ve read our previous blogs, you’ll know about the benefits of this workstyle and career path and how you can build a portfolio of rewarding part-time executive positions. But to make this new world a reality, you have to be able to demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the clients who are going to be paying you.
Are you ready to jump – or will you wait to be pushed?
It’s a scenario facing many of us at some point in our lives. We want to make a decision but something holds us back. Will caution or fear stop us making that move – or will we jump and discover it was well worth the risk?
Have you got your 2nd Half Career game plan?
What can you do when you’re twenty plus years into your career, age between 45 & 55 and you realise it’s only half time?
If only I knew then what I know now
Being a Bruce Lee fan doesn’t make you an expert at kung fu any more than reading a book about leadership makes you a leader. That’s why I joined the FuturePerfect CEO Growth Academy.
Want freedom from the rat race, doing what you love?
If you’re tired of company politics, getting stuck in a rut and hitting the hamster wheel when you least want to, then perhaps it’s time to consider your alternatives.
5 Tips to get started in a Portfolio Career
Do you ever dream of a different life? Perhaps the 9am-5pm corporate world has run its course in your life? Or was it really 8am to 10pm, and you want more flexibility and variety in your work?
What could it mean for you to be a Portfolio Executive?
You may not have reached the main board of the company you work for, but you are identified as a seasoned, experienced professional.Maybe you are a finance or an HR director. Perhaps a senior role as a change, creative or product director.