Find out why today’s career success is dependent on having five business cards not one!


Howard Figler, author of ‘The Complete Job Search Handbook’ is one of the greats when it comes to career management and job searching. He is in the same league as Richard Nelson Bolles, author of ‘What Colour Is Your Parachute?’ While flicking through one of his books this week, ‘The Career Counsellors Handbook’ I was taken with what he wrote in regards to business cards.

Figler suggests we should all carry five business cards. He does not literally mean five business cards, rather five business cards that pitch us and our various services / products we offer the marketplace.  In the age where the growth in contracting is surpassing full time permanent jobs, it certainly makes sense to have more than one income generating identity.  His thinking is more akin to having a portfolio career.

Increasingly the ‘employee’ is not tied to one employer, rather they have outside interests, and revenue generating streams. This can vary from sitting on paid boards, to interests in race horses, property development, online businesses, start ups, distributor, paid blogger / writer and so on.  We all know that the world of work is an uncertain one, and having multiple revenue generating streams to rely upon is a good career risk management strategy.

In ‘The Career Counsellors Handbook’ Figler suggests ideas for what may be on these five business cards;

  • Two or three different employers who have contracted your services
  •  A part time business that supports you when you are between jobs
  • A business you have developed to supplement your income
  • Other business ideas you are cultivating
  • A source of income you are building for your retirement

While five may seem a lot and you may feel like you are not committed to any one business / job , the reality is that all of these will be at different stages, requiring different degrees of time and/or financial investment. Given the economy turns so quickly, it makes sense to hedge your bets and have options. In my opinion and from personal experience, it also makes for a far more exciting and richer work life.

Share your thoughts and experiences on having 5 business cards.

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