I’m a Slashie, and you should be too

Take it from a writer/student/waitress

In the not very distant past, I’d never even heard of a Slashie. If I’m honest, I thought it was something far more aggressive than it actually is. Being a Slashie, is not something I actively sought out and I’ll admit that growing up, just like many of us, I often felt like a singular, full time job was the mark of success. Suddenly, I’ve found myself launched into the world of the Slashie, yet within a relatively short period of time, the benefits have already prevailed.

I’m a waitress/English literature undergraduate/limber content creator, and somehow these all gel together in one big ball that I’m calling my career. Granted, I don’t get paid to be a student, but I think we can all agree that my degree is an active contribution towards my future employment prospects (hopefully). That’s right. I have three somewhat conflicting ‘hustles’ on the go, and yet there’s a large part of me that feels as if I’m really owning it. Where some may feel that multiple ventures could lead to a sense of unfulfillment, or incompleteness, this could not be further from the truth. Throughout school, and my degree, I never felt as if I had the opportunity to exercise all of my skills; I’d do well in English, Art and history and sort of bumble my way through the rest of it. Now I feel like I’m doing well, and doing well at lots of things.

Part of this is of course, is down to working for limber. It’s very clear from day one that there’s zero expectation to sacrifice. Sure, work hard, but don’t overwork. Don’t say no to friends and family, and don’t give up ‘life’ in place of a job.

It’s a refreshing outlook, and a welcome change from the ‘relentless grind pays off ‘ attitude that seemed to be pushed throughout my A levels and degree. Nothings excessive, it’s all about balance. Being a Slashie and working for Limber feels as if everything’s in moderation, I can actually meet targets and still find time for a social life.

Being a Slashie also means that the repetitive bullsh*t on my cv about ‘enjoying a challenge’ and ‘rising to any occasion’ has actually gained some truth behind it. It’s no longer just a lacklustre, empty, page filler that i presume employers want to hear. Sure, i like to think i have those qualities, but being a Slashie actually proves it. Holding down more than one occupation, is living, working proof that I actually do have strong time management, and organisation skills, and its proof that I can apply myself in a number of different environments. Some days I’m writing about the gender pay gap, others I’m serving cappuccinos and making cream teas. Being a Slashie is about commiting to lots of things, rather than committing to nothing.

I’m not afraid to admit that I get bored. I’m fascinated by (parts) of my degree and enjoy my waitressing job, I love writing. But, I need new challenges, fresh faces, and different tasks to wrap my brain around. I’m convinced that even the chief biscuit taster at McVities just doesn’t fancy a biscuit some days, and that’s okay. Lots of us already enjoy our jobs, but if the repetition of having to apply yourself to the same tasks’ day in, day out can sometimes numb your brain, then the Slashie lifestyle is definitely for you. Of course, I realise I’m at a slight advantage, considering that both my waitressing and writing jobs are designed to be part time. Not everyone can storm into their bosses office and demand four day week, just because they fancy it, but we can start to reintroduce more autonomy, freedom and choices into our working world.

I suppose more than anything, being a Slashie has built my confidence. I’ve never felt more capable or willing to ‘give things a go’. I feel motivated and inspired, knowing that I haven’t committed to doing the same thing every single day. At the start of the week, I enjoy a change of scenery, I can grab lunch from St Nics market, and find I’m productive in an office environment, but by the time it comes around to my Saturday job, I’m glad not to have to commute in order to get to work, and a day waitressing is a welcome break.

People are sometimes quick to judge the Slashie lifestyle, afterall, nothing says ‘I’m annoying’ like someone banging on about their dream job. But being a Slashie genuinely makes working your dream job, accessible, and financially feasible, it’s not something you’re forced to do, it’s something you aspire to.

To put it simply, I’m living and working the best of both worlds and I wouldn’t change a thing. Give the Slashie life a go, what’s the worst that could happen?

Rise of the slashies

The emerging career trend to beat them all.

From a young age, it’s easy to feel as if we’re destined for a single career path. Before we’re barely out of nappies, we’re eagerly asked ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’, and adults appear satisfied with a single answer of ‘a vet’ or ‘a teacher’.  Throughout school we’re encouraged to study a handful of subjects, then even fewer A levels, before applying to five different University’s for practically the same degree. Traditionally most of us pour forty hours a week into one occupation. We’re purposefully conditioned to work tirelessly towards a single career path with tunnel vision, mistakenly placing importance on singularity of focus as the key to success. But who actually enforces the rule, that in order to prosper, we’re required to stick to one occupation? and why is the pursue of a single occupation so heavily ingrained in British society?

Imagine being a scientist and a circus perfomer, a hairdresser and a builder. Imagine having the freedom to flourish in multiple job roles while still being able to relax in the stability of a steady income.

It sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. Welcome to the world of slashing, the career trend that’s here to trump them all. Don’t be startled, its far less aggressive than it sounds, the portfolio careerist, if you like. Over the past ten years, those choosing to become a slashie has slowly, but steadily been on the rise, but 2019 is the time to fully embrace the slashie lifestyle, with studies finding that as many as a third of Brits would like to work outside their day job to pursue their passions. As a society, we’re confidently ridding ourselves of labels, boxes and pretty much any form of confinement, 2019 is the year of freedom and fluidity, and this should absolutely apply to your job, or jobs for that matter. The age of the slashie is upon us.

The term ‘Slashing’ was coined by Marci Alboher, author of  One Person/Multiple Careers, to describe the ‘slash’ in the job title of someone who has more than one occupation, and now is the time to embrace slashing, and make it our own. In recent years the lifestyle has gained momentum and technology has allowed advances in access to other money-making avenues, with sites like ebay and Air bnb providing opportunity for individuals to generate income outside of their regular day job. In 2018 author Emma Gannon, released ‘the multi hyphen method’ which essentially encourages us to work less and create more, with the advantage of the digital age providing the opportunity to work anytime, anywhere. Gannon pushes individuals to embrace our inner entrepreneurial spirit, whether you’re a pharmacist who uploads Mukbangs to You Tube, or an accountant who fixes cars, every one of us is destined for the multi-hyphen method, or to become a Slashie, to me and you.

Being a Slashie is not the same as babysitting in order to become a dancer or reluctantly waiting tables while pursuing an acting career. Being a Slashie means weaving together a patchwork career that you enjoy every element of. It’s a lifestyle that aims to enforce a better balance between maintaining a successful career, while feeling genuinely happy.

For the graduate, the idea of the slashie lifestyle is somewhat appealing. After three or four long years working, living and breathing a single degree subject, young twenty somethings are eager to spread their wings and dabble in more than just what their traditionally ‘qualified’ for. Some may fear that a such a split focus could lead to employees that are ‘average’ at many things, but brilliant at nothing, and some are reluctant to become a slashie in case they become less employable. This could not be further from reality. Being a slashie is not the redundancy of passion and dedication to your career, it’s simply the expansion of these things across many different sectors, and who doesn’t want to share the love, right?

Being a slashie means that you develop stronger time management and organisation skills than you ever could working a singular occupation. To be a jack of all trades should no longer be stigmatised and should instead be applauded and strived towards. After all, to balance multiple jobs requires someone who definitely has their sh*t together.

While for some the slashie lifestyle conjures terrifying images of job instability and financial vulnerability, this kind of lifestyle can actually offer the complete opposite. Slashing is not just suited to young graduates looking for new and exciting experiences but can also benefit those who have suffered redundancy. A single occupation means single income, and when this is suddenly taken away, it can quickly lead to all manner of financial hardship. Now imagine this situation as a Slashie, while one job closes its doors on you, you already have another on the go to fall back on.

Through being a Slashie, your job satisfaction and enjoyment can be at an all-time high, even those who adore their job sometimes wish they could go back to bed, and we all need time away from even the greatest occupations. These day most of us have a fairly low boredom threshold, but there’s nothing to say that this should be considered a weakness. The desire to be regularly stimulated and inspired is something that should be interpreted as ‘up for a challenge’ rather than ‘rapidly disinterested’.

So, is the lifestyle of the Slashie actually just pipedream, millennial bollocks or is it something that could really work? Let’s face it, a struggling single father of three isn’t likely to be able to just up and leave his nine to five to embrace the life of a gymnast. However, the key to the slashie lifestyle as the future of work seems reliant on persuasion by majority, so that one day that struggling father of three, may actually be able to slip into that leotard and master his back flips.  

The more of us embracing the slashie lifestyle, the more frequently employers will encounter applicants who choose to follow this emerging philosophy. Part time work needs to be viewed as a side hustle, rather than the only way to make ends meet. While to most of us the advantage of being a slashie blatantly outweighs the drawback, the only way to truly see the integration of slahies into our world of work, is to be one ourselves. So, what are you waiting for, Slashie?