There is a middle ground between full employment with one employer and full entrepreneurship. That is the realm of the self-employed, freelancer, independent contractor, free agent, solopreneur, etc. When I worked at Monster.com with responsibility for this self-employment market, we had long debates about what to call this kind of person – one label that fit. I think self-employed was the broadest category, but it was a lesson in how broad people’s careers can be.
One model of self-employment is the portfolio career. This is a strategy that appeals to people who desire the independence and flexibility of self-employment, but who want to minimize the risk of full scale entrepreneurship. Judging from the clients I have worked with, it resonates particularly well with people in the late 40s, early 50s. The concept is simple: pursue multiple streams of income, with different clients, doing different things. Short-term and long-term contracts. One day engagements. Define a mix that works for you. To learn more, read my latest Monster.com article Pursue a Portfolio Career.