Slasher careers are on the rise.
You might well be a slasher yourself.
I know I definitely am.
Not to be confused with the ‘horror’ connotations, being a slasher means appropriating lots of jobs, often simultaneously, which usually feed one another, your skills branching out and intertwining, allowing you control, freedom and financial reward.
Slasher or portfolio careers prevent boredom and enable you to have many fingers in pies, the lifeblood for creative success.
I read about slashers in this month’s Elle and nodding furiously away at every word, I had to mention the phenomenon in my recent Stylist workshop ‘Turning Passion into Pounds’-emphasising to the audience just how empowering being a ‘slasher’ is.
Many of we millennial mums find slasher careers our preferred option of working.
It means we have flexibility and most importantly, equality in the workforce, something our own mothers struggled with much more than we have.
Many of my closest of friends are juggling several jobs at once: bloggers/ social media managers/ e-shop owners/ consultants and more, all balls in the air-spreading the risk that can come with freelance life, liberating themselves while feeding their creative and business needs.
Looking at my own list of job titles- along with full-time blogging, I flit between consultancy work, PR, lecturing, modelling, presenting, vlogging and writing for other publications. One day I hope to be an agent to add to the list.
Oh, and I have a TV series in development along with a book.
I also direct and produce video content for global brands, I develop recipes for my blog and the greatest and most stressful job that never gives me a day off or holidays is of course being mum to two wonderful kids.
As you can imagine, when I’m asked what my job is, I usually reply, ‘How long have you got?’.
We’re all rocking the slasher way to varying degrees aren’t we?
Coined by Marci Alboher, author of One Person/Multiple Careers in 2007, to describe the ‘slash’ in the job title who of someone who is a X/Y/Z – or journalist/PR/filmmaker for example, it’s fast become the way most of us inhabit the workplace.
Thanks to the internet, we can now work remotely, to our own schedule and terms. I know I can make deadlines by night when my kids are asleep if need be and I often create food posts first thing in the morning, waking before the rest of the house, when it’s quiet and the light is good.
Reflecting on my own mother’s career before I was born, as a university lecturer, I remember at 2, her deciding to stay at home with me, meant an end to her teaching career and PHD. You couldn’t work online in the 80’s so there wasn’t the same scope of opportunity for her to take her skills as teacher and apply those to blogging or starting a creative business.
Today, vitally, slashing means taking on work you still enjoy, around your family if you choose to, while you work towards your dream job or end goal/s.
While seeking employment in the film industry after my MA aged 21, I worked in radio, for the BBC, I wrote scripts on spec but I also taught English GCSE, lectured in MA screenwriting and filmmaking safe in the knowledge I could always rely on teaching work (something I love anyway) throughout my freelance, and until the last few years, unstable career as a director.
Now, slashing has taken the ‘back-up stable career’ one step further-I can do many jobs within 1 week (not one or the other) and my day can veer from writing personal posts to client work, running social media accounts or paid placements for my own platforms, featuring in campaigns, shooting for editorial pieces online/print or for TV, covering theatre and restaurant reviews, consulting on brand pitches or hosting workshops and lecturing at universities as a guest lecturer.
The constant is always (at the moment) blogging and vlogging but branching out into other areas and using my various creative skills and business acumen, creates more VISIBILITY for me, my brand, my portfolio and thus greater OPPORTUNITY.
Jessica Huie MBE spoke a lot about visibility and opportunity in our workshop. On the importance of PR and self promotion to help push your brand/skills/business.
So own the various roles you appropriate and know that every job will offer something to the next and ultimate ‘dream job’ too.
Being a slasher doesn’t make you a jack of all trades, master of none, just someone who refuses to be confined or limited to one set role, someone who is open to possibility and grafting for the opportunities (even the ones which don’t yet exist).
The digital space is a BIG one, it works democratically allowing you to frankly, be whomever you want to be, and simultaneously too.
#nolimits. Get slashing!