Focusing on a single job

Putting options in perspective

As I am analyzing the possibility of starting a portfolio career next year, I am reading a lot about it. Almost all articles are positive. Influenced by these readings, I am becoming partial. So now I am forcing myself to look at it from different angles. For example, try to see the advantages of other career options. And the main alternative is to have a single job and develop a long-term career in a company / sector.

Having a portfolio career is not having all your eggs in one basket. Having a long-term career with only one company is to have all your eggs in one basket … and watch it closely.

Neither is inherently better than the other.

I know that the portfolio career would require a lot of effort to combine all the jobs. And also a lot of time in making the timing work, looking for jobs, etc. All this time, although it may have a return, is not paid. So to compare apples with apples, I would also need to consider this investment of time.

If I were forced to work all my life in the same company, how would I use my time?

Things like helping another department, helping new hires get settled, taking extra projects, propose improvements in processes, etc. etc. It is easy to imagine that this extra effort has a tangible return in the long term. For example, promotions.

The advantages of having only one job

After thinking through it, these are the main advantages:

  • It is harder to lose your job. I see more risk in being fired from one of my 5 jobs than from the one where I am full time.
  • Salary and salary growth are higher. When you have several jobs, your experience is diluted. When you only have one, it is normal that this experience is valued and that you progress or specialize. Higher salary means almost automatically less time until financial independence.
  • It is relatively easy to build a portfolio career from a full-time position. Doing the opposite seems much more difficult to me. 
  • Peace of mind. Having to think about multiple jobs can be stressful. Having only one is simpler.
  • Stability. You can plan in the long term because it gives you some stability. In addition, your vacations are paid and you can plan them with some time in advance. With a portfolio, you can often see yourself in the position of having to turn down work to go on vacation. So there is a risk of ending up not taking any vacations because you are “losing money” (not earning).

As of today (this is still a process) I only see a portfolio career viable if I could find a “main” job. Maybe something that takes 50% -70% of my time and that I can complement with other things.

What happens if you hate your job?

This is another story.

If you really hate your job, you should quit. I understand that there are personal circumstances that may make it impossible for you to leave. But I am sure that you should not stay in job that makes you feel miserable just to get to financial independence earlier. There are other solutions that allow you to enjoy the journey even if it takes you a little longer.

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