Why many millennials prefer ‘slash’ careers

Holding down more than one job, a common trend with millennials these days, is referred to as having a “slash career”.

Inc.com describes a slash, also known as a hybrid, as an individual with a mixed professional identity – lawyer/journalist, coder/career coach, or freelance copywriter/banjo player.

Some notable slashers include:

  • Benjamin Franklin (Publisher/Politician/Technologist)
  • Leonardo da Vinci (Artist/Inventor)
  • Jessica Alba (Entrepreneur/Author/Actress)
  • Sanjay Gupta (Neurosurgeon/CNN Correspondent)
  • Dan Milstein (Computer Programmer/Theatre Director)
  • Robert Childs (Psychotherapist/Violinmaker)

What’s stopping you?

To more traditional employers, an individual with a slash career may not be as fully committed to their “day” job as the company would want as a slash career requires good time management skills to successfully balance multiple jobs on a daily basis.

What’s more, if you spend too much time struggling between your main and side jobs, it can adversely affect your physical and mental well-being.

Achieving a work-life balance with a slash career would be fruitful but only if you know when to work your way around the clock.

Being able to devote and divide time and energy to your professional and personal life is vital to a slash career.

Why it’s time to embrace a ‘slash’ career

Enjoy variety. Variety is the spice of life – perhaps you can consider turning a hobby into a career sideline. If you enjoy taking photographs, you can start by freelancing or even transforming some landscapes into stock photos.

Kill that burnout. Instead of burning yourself out completely in a primary career and using all your annual leave for stress-free getaways, invest your extra energy into something exciting so that you keep your physical and mental stamina running high.

Experience inter-contentedness of multiple industry sectors. How is disruptive technology changing the healthcare system? How will the IoT (Internet of Things) solve environmental issues? The lines are blurring between various industry sectors – so make sure to be right there when it all fades away.

Unleash your multiple identities: You may be a tech research guy spending all day in a lab, but that should not stop you from appearing on the cooking channel, or taking to the stage on next TEDx event.

Future-proof your career. Today you are A/B/C. Fast forward three years, you become A/C/D/E, and in another four years, you are C/E/F. Be industry relevant, be future relevant.

The path to success. You might not be very successful in your current career but a slash career would provide you with an alternate path to success. It is never too late to start in a new industry – a slash career gives you the ability to explore your options.

Economic security. Here’s your chance to enjoy multiple income streams. Having multiple careers mean having multiple sources of income. Your day job salary can be for your necessary living expenses while your side jobs can be for your own personal expenses and savings.

Why employers should hire those with slash careers

They are motivated and take initiative. A person with a slash career is not indecisive or unfocused. It means they are passionate, hardworking and motivated.

Slashers continuously pour themselves into other jobs – effectively using key transferable skills and finishing tasks well beyond the usual nine-to-five working day.

They have a diverse skill-set. Employees with interests outside of work are well rounded, and well-rounded individuals are valuable assets to any organisation.

They can wear many hats, have diverse skills, and are often great problem-solvers.

They are creatively fulfilled. Slashers are not individuals who dread going to work every morning and sulk in misery. Employees with side careers are creatively fulfilled and passionate about their multiple careers.

At a company where brainstorming, innovation, improvement, and problem-solving are huge priorities, creativity is absolutely vital.

If someone is creative in their endeavours outside of work, you better believe they will be creative in all their work for your business as well.

This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com

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