This paper explores the debate on emerging career forms, focusing on the notion of portfolio working. It comments that while the language used about careers is changing, there is a dearth of empirical studies about career trends. This study focuses in depth on a group of ex-public sector managers who have left organisational employment for independent working. Drawing inductively on the interviews with them, the paper seeks to explore how they account for this move. It concludes that there is more evidence of push from the organisation than the intrinsic pull of portfolio working. However, once involved in this way of working most people become more reconciled to it.