765. Expert Interview: How to Create Your Portfolio Career
“I had put myself in this job that makes money and does good, but it wasn’t making me happy. And I left it. One of the things I said I wanted to do is go for lunch with friends. And so I made a list of every way that I could go for lunch with friends, and get paid. And one of them was recruiting.”
Dev Aujla is the CEO of Catalog, a recruiting firm that has provided talent and strategy to some of the world’s most innovative companies including BMW, GOOD Magazine, Change.org, and Planned Parenthood. His writing and work have been featured in dozens of media outlets including the New York Times, Glamour, MSNBC, CBC and The Globe and Mail. He is the author of “50 Ways to Get a Job: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Work on Your Terms.”
How to Create Your Portfolio Career
“There is a shift happening from pursuing stability and making basic career decisions to ones that are based on learning. People are now asking, what am I learning now? Have I learned everything I could in this job? What can I learn next? And that is the foundation for building a ‘portfolio career.’ Instead of joining a company for 40 years, you are in a state of continuous learning about you and your skills in order to put you in a position to move forward to the next opportunity, wherever that may take you.”
Why Is This Important?
“By asking what you can learn now in your current job about every facet of your work that fascinates you, you begin to orient your career around your curiosity. Your career becomes a way for you to actually answer these seminal questions that we are constantly experiencing, and this gives you a true sense of purpose that doesn’t need to be tied to deciding all of a sudden that your whole life is about just one thing, just one role in one career. It can be a million things and the jobs and assignments you will get as a result of this will provide far greater meaning.”
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
What I do is encourage people to ask different kinds of questions. Begin by creating a list of 10 things of everything you want to learn, whether it’s related to your career or is a personal interest or even a hobby. This list ends up being a different way of orienting yourself to the kinds of companies you approach, the kinds of opportunities you pursue, the kinds of job descriptions you would have never thought would fit you, but actually just might be the perfect job or job description to help you learn based on some of those 10 things on your list.
We typically use one metric—what’s this job going to pay? But if you start by asking yourself if this opportunity, working in an industry that I never would have imagined, actually teaches me many of the things on my top 10 list?
And in this way, you are always improving your self-knowledge and awareness and moving further along the path to a more purposeful and engaging career.
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