Slashes are people who pursue many careers at the same time, according to Marci Alboher who wrote the book One Person/Multiple Careers. Now that so many things are portable and flexible it is easier to do many kinds of work in the same day or week, and security no longer exists unless you go and create it for yourself. Many of these people say that the difficult times they face, because they are so busy, are nothing compared to the fact that they have made their own rules and chosen their own career paths.
What is a slash? According to Marci Alboher, author of One Person/Multiple Careers, Slashes are people who pursue multiple careers simultaneously.
The old-school term for these folks is moonlighters, but the definition of moonlighting (to work at another job, often at night, in addition to one’s full-time job) doesn’t fit in this case.
Moonlighting has the connotation of doing something that you really don’t want to do. Slashes, on the other hand, who run the gamut from lawyer/chefs to mom/screenwriters to investment banker/personal coaches, custom-blend their careers to gain happiness, flexibility, and fulfillment. According to an interview with Alboher:
- Now that so much work can be done flexibly, portably, and virtually, it’s easy to do many kinds of work in the same workweek or even workday.
- Economic security no longer exists unless you create it. Having multiple income streams is one of the best ways to create stability.
- People are living and working longer, creating a large canvas on which to paint a career.
- We are all craving fulfillment and meaning in our careers, so it’s becoming more common to combine work for security with work that feeds a passion.
What’s the greatest benefit in choosing to become a slash? Alboher says:
“The most surprising thing I learned from the people I’ve interviewed is that while people with slashes may experience workplace stress, they tend to say that the difficult times are far outweighed by the fact that they have written the rules of their own working lives. Slash careers provide variety, multiple income streams, and a tonic against the burnout so common in those who pursue one endeavor exclusively.”
Slashing is one way for individuals to not only regain an upper hand in the work-life balance debate, but also to win the battle.
“We are entering an age where the hybrids will rule the workplace, whether they’re called hyphenates, slashes, or some other name. If you’re an architect with an MBA, you’ll see opportunities in the business side of architecture that few others will see. Careers at the intersections are where innovation is born.”