Are you a portfolio worker at heart? Is it time to take the plunge into freelancing?

Someone who lives The Portfolio Life is a freelancer as they are not employed by one company. The very slight difference between the terms lies in the type of work each does. The freelancer usually focuses on one type of work whereas the portfolio worker has a variety of specialties, doing different types of work for different employers or clients. For example, I am a freelance writer and editor, but I also have worked for a variety of educational institutions and companies as an instructor or a coach.

I’ve flirted with freelancing for a couple of decades, but it’s been an on-again-off-again relationship. Freelancing has its perks and perils, but I finally realized it was time to admit, commit, and submit to this lifestyle so I wrote this short manifesto.


First, I need to admit that I’m not wired for the 8-5 life of an employee, and I need to admit I enjoy the challenge and flexibility of taking on projects on my own terms and my own time despite the reduced financial security and the fears that freelancing stirs up.


Second, I need to commit to this choice. It’s time to stop playing the field, searching the want ads, and refining my résumé in hopes that I’ll find the perfect, full-time job. It’s time to embrace the freelance life and do what needs to be done to make this a lasting relationship.


Third, I need to submit to the realization that I can’t do it all, but my work and my art can manifest itself in a variety of ways. I also need to submit my work to the world. It’s time to dust off my creations and get them out in the open. It’s time to serve others with the gifts I’ve been given by helping them bring their dreams to life.

What a relief it was to write that. Making this decision was long overdue for me.

What about you?



The original concept of a portfolio worker is credited to Charles Handy who wrote about it in his book, The Age of Unreason. Jeff Goins builds on Handy’s idea of a portfolio worker in his book, The Art of Work, and applies it more broadly to a person’s life–a portfolio life .

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