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Engaging the Portfolio Mindset: The Proactive Search For Employment

brain-mapToday, when jobs are few and far between, people may want to reconsider their mindset and how they look for jobs. I can think of two popular frames of mind:

1. Job Mindset: Is based in the notion of being employed. The job mindset forces people to generally define their job, activities, and in many ways, their skills through the lens of their employer. This job mindset, which I see in many of students, implies that you sit around and wait till the right job comes around…

2. Portfolio Mindset: Demands that you define the core skills you can offer an employer and is not centered on the ideal job. With a portfolio mindset, you sell your skill set to potential employers.

Tackling the Portfolio Mindset [Example]:

Let’s say you are expert at interpersonal relations, have the capacity for convincing people, and the power to sell ideas. How would you take these core abilities and translate them into skills other people will need?

Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague of mine who is an exquisite salesperson and clearly understands niches no matter the particular market we’re talking about.

He had a unique opportunity to engage in selling and developing a market niche for a Scandinavian furniture company. He knew that the northern European brand could only generate 40 percent of his target income. After planning it out he dedicated 40 percent of his time to furniture selling efforts. He began looking for new opportunities so he could meet his target income.

Luckily, he was presented with an opportunity to sell HR management software that would roughly make him 20 percent of his income. He further started to sell training courses in a specific management field that started to make him the last 40 percent chunk of his target income.

Portfolio Mindset: Pros & Cons

This whole notion creating a portfolio of activities and targets implies that you establish a client relationship with your potential or actual employer. However, your employer will handle your employment with less engagement, training, and investment. The relationship will be based on your offered services, target goals, and employer expectations. It will create an opportunity for you, down the road, to expand on your collaboration with your employer if you choose.

A portfolio mindset gives you a series of opportunities (some good, some bad), that will allow you to readjust your portfolio expectations, skills, and targets. The portfolio mindset means you become, at your core, a provider of specific services to a number of organizations. Instead of looking for jobs your looking for clients.

Looking at the portfolio mindset we can see it’s strength in its flexibility. However, it lacks security, making it difficult to jump into.



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