Is Your Client a Slash Careerist?

By Tony Deblauwe

According to Marci Alboher, author of One Person/Multiple Careers, the emerging profile for many job seekers looking to shake up their careers is to add a “slash” to their primary occupation. For instance, a financial analyst who, in her spare time, enjoys writing fiction, playing in a band, gardening, and gourmet cooking becomes an analyst/novelist/musician/horticulturist/chef. The approach is simple – instead of leaving one job that provides a steady income base, but is otherwise stalled, the slash approach allows people to create custom competencies and work skills without making risky leaps into new ventures. The benefit of this approach allows job seekers or career changers to evaluate all their options before making a move without the pressure of jumping from one job to another and abandoning personal growth, professional development, and a steady income.

The concept of “slashing” is not new. In fact, The U.S. Labor Department reports that 7.9 million Americans hold multiple positions, however, the reason for it has shifted. Multiple careers were done primarily for financial necessity, but now people “slash” their career to embrace and pursue multiple facets of their personality. The concept of “do what you love and the money will follow,” takes on a new meaning because now people can keep one foot in their core professional area, while the other foot, hand, or head is busy building up skills in other fields of interest while maintaining financial comfort. This new approach to leveraging both monetary and personal rewards through multiple careers creates challenges and opportunities for career service specialists who must provide a quality product or service amidst a potentially unstructured set of client needs.

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