When I discovered medicine no other profession came close. I was somewhat obsessed with becoming a doctor and worked diligently to ensure I made this happen. Medicine, however was not the career I thought it was; there were a lot of things I did not know. These new discoveries opened my eyes up to the reality of a career in medicine. However, despite all the challenges I have faced and overcome on my journey to becoming a GP, medicine is still and will always be the career I am most passionate about.
During my year out of training when I questioned my decision to study medicine I re-discovered a number of other passions and skills I naturally had and acquired over the years. I remembered how much I enjoyed writing, especially writing poetry. I remembered how, as a child I used to volunteer for numerous parts in plays, speaking up and presenting to others. I used my year out to reignite my other, neglected passions. This is when my portfolio career began.
I did not set out to have a portfolio career, it just naturally happened. What is imperative to point out here is that Medicine is the foundation for this portfolio career. My multiple careers or interests are inextricably linked to the first career I chose, Medicine. So what is a portfolio career? In the simplest term, it is having multiple careers or interests and these can be within or across professions.
Why is a portfolio career attractive to me? I have always needed variety in my career and one of my main frustrations with a 100% clinical career is the repetitive nature of the job. (This does not only apply to Medicine, of course!) Yes, within medicine and especially General Practice, there is variety, but this is a ‘medical variety’. What I mean by this is that although you see a wide variety of medical conditions and meet people from all walks of life, your day can quickly become a mundane routine. Now, I like a good routine but I also like to mix up my routine every once in a while. I also know that to become experienced and skilled at something you need to practice and do that same thing over and over again. So, how can I become experienced, skillful but not bored? By creating a portfolio career. Yes, it may take me longer to become an experienced GP (and what is the rush?) but I will maintain good mental and physical health and ultimately be able to do the best for my patients when at work. I will also be able to develop my other interests such as writing, speaking and teaching others.
So, would you consider a portfolio career? If so, how would you go about creating one? I hope I have given you some insight into my journey and prompted you to think about your own career. If you do not necessarily want to change your career- perhaps due to financial security- why don’t you consider a portfolio career instead? If you need any support with making this happen, feel free to direct message or email me.