Guest blog – Funke Abimbola #2

Funke Abimbola

This is part 2 of a 2 part guest blog by Funke Abimbola, Managing Counsel, Roche Products Ltd. UK & Ireland.

Funke is a practising solicitor and currently Managing Counsel at Roche UK, leading the legal team supporting Roche’s pharmaceutical operations in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. She is also Data Protection Officer for the UK. Her career began in private practice before moving in-house. Funke undertakes a lot of work to support diversity & inclusion in society as a whole and within the legal profession in particular. An award winning lawyer and diversity champion, she was most recently a finalist for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the inaugural 2015 Excellence in Diversity Awards and won the ‘Career Woman of the Year’ award at the 2015 Women4Africa awards.

In case you missed it, here is part 1:

What are the challenges of having a portfolio career?

Time management, definitely! There are only so many hours in the day and I have to say “no” to lots of things which is a real pity. However, prioritising carefully means that I can focus on those activities that will really add the most value and impact.

Who or what helps you to manage your portfolio career?

My home life and commitments to my son have really helped me with the time management aspect and prioritising. I have several “rules” about how many events I can undertake in the evenings, for example, given the impact this would have on home life. I neither live nor work in London yet the bulk of my voluntary work takes place in London. This could have a negative impact on home life if not properly managed.

How do you approach marketing your portfolio career?

I make use of social media channels e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and put up regular updates about what I am up to including pictures taken at speaking engagements etc. LinkedIn and Twitter have been particularly useful – for example, all my conference invites have come via LinkedIn. I regularly update my LinkedIn profile with as much information as possible given the reach I have through that channel alone.

What if any, is the personal brand used for your portfolio career?

I suppose this would be my LinkedIn tagline which reads:

Lawyer/Leader/Speaker/Diversity Champion/Mentor/Proud mother

I also always have a professional picture on both my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and am consistent with both. My Twitter handle/identity is all related to my diversity and schools work where LinkedIn is much broader and also covers the legal work that I do. Both have served as really useful tools in re-enforcing my personal brand.

What advice would you give to someone considering a portfolio career?

Time management will almost certainly be your biggest challenge so do not feel guilty if you have to say “no” more than you can say “yes”. Learn to be smart with your time and to really focus on those activities likely to have the most impact. Regularly review how you are spending your time – time really is your most valuable resource.

What benefits do portfolio careers bring specifically to women and mothers, rather than to men?

Where the various elements of the portfolio career generate separate income streams, this can be really useful for working mothers who need to maintain a more agile, flexible way of working or indeed any other worker who is looking for this flexibility.

This was the second part of a two part guest blog by Funke Abimbola for Energise.

Follow Funke Abimbola on Twitter:

Are you a woman lawyer interested in a portfolio career? Download your free LLClub report ‘Discover Portfolio Careers’:

Funke moved from private practice to an in-house role. Did you know that The Law Society (all divisions) are having a Changing career direction event on 20 October (evening)? Save the date. See link for details:


About Energise - The Talent Liberation Company

Talent liberator - career change, executive coaching and employee engagement. PS Love writing too and write many articles. Background in marketing and brand strategy and communication and unusual analytical and lateral brain - great for new career directions and ideas!
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