Motherhood and Portfolio Working

For those women out there who have gone through the transition to motherhood you will understand how my blog may have been a little neglected in recent months due to demands from a new arrival. My daughter was born in November and is now a blossoming 5 month old so as things are becoming more manageable on the motherhood front I thought it would be a good idea to get writing again ( nap times allowing).

Photo by David Castillo Dominici

Following the birth of my daughter I have been thinking about how this experience can inform or even transform my portfolio working. Some of my meanderings are below:

  1. Motherhood offers an opportunity to reassess your work priorities and gives you the chance to look at what elements of your portfolio you wish to focus on/or not
  2. It offers an opportunity to increase your work/time efficiency, getting more done in less time due to baby demands and forcing you to be more economical and/or concise with things
  3. It can reduce the amount of procrastination in your life as you learn to prioritise things more than ever before
  4. For those who wish to spend more time in your ‘mother’  role a portfolio of work can be a good opportunity to discover new ways of working to give quality time to your little one and keep contact with the work place.

If this blog article seems a little parent-focused I must add that other critical incidents in peoples’ lives can offer the same opportunities and it’s up to each individual to make these things happen.

One difficulty that may occur when becoming a parent can be time for yourself, I’ve had to find ways to grab it when I can, usually when I am not feeling too tired and I can get the head space. But what made me get back into work-focus recently was seeing an article in the March issue of  Psychologies Magazine. This article was all about portfolio working and they have very kindly sent me a pdf version of the article to put on this blog. Please feel free to download to read. It has inspired me to get back on track with my work.

Psychologies Magazine article: Variety Club

My final thought on this post is the question of Child Care. If paid-for childcare must be on specific days (for nurseries and child minders etc) how can this work if some has a range of work which may not necessarily give that kind of structure. I will give this some thought, if anyone has any ideas/suggestions please get in touch. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading.

Creativity in Business

An interesting statement by David Parrish on how some artists/creatives lose their sense of creativity when it comes to business.

Careers Advice Failing The State Sector

Dear Readers,

having read today’s article in the Evening Standard today about Careers Advice failing the state education sector in the UK, it struck me that perhaps portfolio workers could play a valuable role in proving to young people that there are alternative work options to the accepted norms.

Creating a generic Careers Service for all could have its benefits, but let’s hope they also encourage young people to look at a range of work options and not only force them down the route of a ‘socially acceptable” career. I pray that the new Careers Service proposed for creation next year will listen to creative thinkers such as Ken Robinson on the subject of preparing young people for their future.

They must embrace creativity, we are asking young people to prepare for a future career in an unknown world yet to happen, so they must be prepared for creativity and innovation.


Portfolio Profile: Leela Bunce, Shinetime Laughter Workshops

Please describe your average working week. I’m very pleased to say there never is an ‘average’ week – they are always different. Most days involve some admin at home, usually looking very glam in my dressing gown and big dog slippers, some phone calls and a bit of CBBC for inspiration in my ‘breaks’. When I’m not home, I’m out meeting other performers, buying costume/prop items and, of course, earning money! Leading laughter workshops and performing in cabarets all over the country and Europe!

Oh, and I work in a nursery one day a week with little ones, all under three.  So my week really is spent with people of all ages.

“Mistress of Merriment and Mirth”


Looking for some inspiring presentation insight?

If you are looking for some great hints and tips on doing a presentation visit:

Portfolio Reading

Dear Readers,

I recently spoke to an acquaintance about the value of portfolio working and she recommended a book on the subject. Apparently its a really good read. I’ve yet to read it myself so will let you know what I think of it but if you are interested its available on Amazon.


Portfolio Profile: Luke, Goodlogic Projects

Please describe your average working week. My work is divided between working from an office two days a week for a really interesting, ongoing project, and three days which can be filled with everything from meetings to print or web design and youth seminars. Having a backbone of structured, regular work is really important for a variety of reasons, not least because it keeps you connected to others as a part of a team.

I  manage and develop projects in the educational and cultural sectors. From creating educational materials to teach German through football and pop music to leading youth seminars and providing consultancy for museums, these projects take an innovative and creative approach to learning and conveying information.

Good. Logical. Innovative.

Project management,

and development in education and culture.

What do you love most about this type or work? What motivates you? I love the series of ‘voyages’ that project work brings. It gives me the freedom to structure my own time, as well as the possibility to communicate with people and co-operate on a creative ‘product’ from start to finish.

What are the biggest challenges facing you as a portfolio worker? I think many people outside of this line of work might expect the uncertainty of future employment to be the biggest challenge, but this is actually one of the things that least concerns me. I think as a portfolio worker that if you do good work, one thing will (hopefully) lead to the next.

Instead, I believe that any project, big or small, has a similar, basic quantum of planning and liaison, which is vital in order for the project to be a success. The challenge is to carry this out effectively and efficiently – if you get it right, everything else will follow.

Why did you choose this style of work? I find it stimulating, and appreciate the fact you are never more than a step away from embarking on a new journey.

What’s your vision for your future career path Onwards and upwards! More of the same, combined with new projects and new experiences.

Could you offer any useful tips, links or advice for those looking at choosing a portfolio career? Look closely at the way you want to live and work, and play to your strengths. If you’re the kind of person who can organise your own work, motivate yourself and others and present arguments clearly and concisely, project work can allow you to shape a fantastic and rewarding career with a work / life balance exactly tailored to you.

If you decide project work is for you, remember it’s always best to establish a ‘tripod’ of clients / main projects. You can balance on one leg if necessary and stand on two, but with three legs on the ground, stability is guaranteed.

Luke’s website

Portfolio Profile: Deborah Henry-Pollard

Deborah Henry-Pollard

Please describe your average working day/week. Mmmm – that is a problem as there isn’t anything average about my working life. The closest to average that I get is the beginning of the week which tends to be when I do my general management work for one client. However, within that, I could be writing a funding bid, devising a 3 year strategy, designing a leaflet, writing a newsletter, bookings gigs, selling tickets, updating a website… I work with clients I am coaching or mentoring and these sessions are very intense and demand a great deal of concentration. I try to plan these fairly evenly, but as it is important to fit in with my clients, I might find myself with either none or five sessions in a week. I do ad hoc promotional work with a dance club and with groups to support other people in their portfolio working. And I also spend time promoting and planning for my business.


Portfolio Profile: Divian Ladwa

Dear Readers,

I have collected a series of interviews from other portfolio working friends which I trust will be of interest and inspiration for your own creative portfolio plans. The first is from talented actor and creative film maker Divian Ladwa. Enjoy! xx


Investing in Your Own Education and Training

Dear Readers

After recently mentioning the slump in language studies would cost UK pupils job opportunities I came across a fantastic quote by Benjamin Franklin which backs the importance of investing in your own education and future learning.

“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

So if you do have any money left in these difficult times perhaps it is safest invested in your own learning and knowledge rather than paying into a bank. Food for thought…

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: