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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?