This is a 2 part guest blog by Ruth Farenga about her portfolio career. This is part 1.
Ruth Farenga runs Farenga Ltd as a workshop facilitator, Mindfulness teacher and project manager specialising in corporate partnerships, education, gender diversity and Mindfulness theory and practice. Ruth has consistently trained people in new skills, starting in the corporate education sector with Pearson and Intel Corporation and then transitioning over to ‘e-skills UK’ in the third sector. She now runs her own business and as part of that, the ‘People Like Me’ girls into STEM project for the WISE Campaign (Women in Science, Engineering and Technology).
The rest of this blog are in Ruth’s own words.
What are the components of your portfolio career e.g. study, paid freelance work, part time job, volunteering etc.)
My portfolio career consists of:
• Empowering great causes – currently freelance work for WISE Campaign (Girls and women in STEM) where I run a girls into STEM project called ‘People Like Me’ and train people on unconscious bias and how to effectively target girls.
• Teaching Mindfulness – Running Mindful Pathway which offers Mindfulness courses for business and the public, helping people find their way to a happier path.
• Giving local people a platform – Volunteering for Verulam Radio where I produce and support the Tuesday morning show on 92.6fm.
And most recently, champion of and facilitator at Energise 6 month Portfolio Career group programmes.
How did your portfolio career come about?
My portfolio career came about when I left a corporate partnerships role in London in search of variety alongside this type of work. I had come from a corporate background at Pearson Education and Intel Corporation and now wanted to bring both the corporate and charity experience into being a ‘free-range’ human!
How has your portfolio career changed over time?
Yes, I have been able to build up the Mindfulness teaching which is really important to me. I qualified while working in a full-time role and alongside colleagues, I have now been able to offer public courses in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy which has been an amazing opportunity to help people to discover their own path with meditation.
I’m interested to see how I can develop the different aspects of the career over time.
When people ask you ‘what do you do?’ – what do you reply?
This depends on the situation. If I am networking at a national event, I would talk about how I ‘empower great causes through corporate partnership work and project management’.
If I was networking locally then I would say ‘I help people find their own path through meditation’
It all boils down to ‘I empower people and great causes’ which is how I can bring my pieces together. I think it’s important as Simon Sinek says for us to ‘Start with Why’ we do things – it’s motivating to remind ourselves and it enables people to see your zest and purpose.
To what extent did your portfolio career happen by chance/luck and to what extent was it planned?
I think it was planned but only planned when I realised, largely through coaching with Rachel Brushfield, that this was something that people did! And it was ok and rewarding to have a mix of things going on and to be doing volunteering every week for example.
What do you most love about having a portfolio career?
I most love the variety of things going on in any given week. I like having the flexibility to be able to start new projects or collaborate with new people. The sense of opportunity round the corner is a feeling that I find very motivating.
I have particularly enjoyed collaborating with others too. I am a strong believer in the power of putting heads together and I get a lot of motivation from collaborating on areas that I care about.
What are the challenges of having a portfolio career?
The challenges are that things can get quite busy and you can feel like you’re spread a bit thinly at times. I do work from home quite a bit and I do find that I need people too so I try and mix it up with co-working with someone, attending meetings or events to break up the week.
Part 2 of Ruth’s guest blog about her portfolio career coming soon.
More about Ruth Farenga
Ruth Farenga LinkedIn profile
Mindful Pathway web site
Next course begins October 2016:
Mindful Pathway courses
Follow Ruth on Twitter:
Ruth Farenga Twitter
More about Portfolio Careers
Rachel Brushfield is a Talent Liberator at Energise with 30 years’ experience and a career heritage in marketing and brand strategy and communications. She specialises in Inspiring Portfolio Careers.
Energise support our clients through individual coaching, e courses and group programmes.
Click on this link for details:
6 month Portfolio Career Programme
Taster workshop Friday 15 July 2016.