Digital & IT culture

Slash career: a growing trend?

Written by Inès Ben Abdellah

10 minutes of reading

We all know the time of having one single career is over. The acceleration of technological  progress is an important factor in this paradigm shift. However, it is above all the generational factor that contributes to this upheaval in the world of work.

Indeed, Generation Y no longer wants this professional lifestyle. Above all, it wants to find satisfaction, contentment, and a sense of accomplishment. This is what often leads him to question his choice of profession. Of course, the answers to these questions evolve over the course of a lifetime. You don’t want to get the same things out of your professional life at 25 as you do at 60.

So how can these fluctuating aspirations be satisfied in a world of work that is not changing as fast as the desires of these young workers?

One of the paths found is a slash career.


A slash career, what’s that all about? 

A slash career “is one in which a person makes multiple income streams simultaneously from different careers”.

What we call slash workers are therefore those people who combine two jobs (or more) alternately over the same period.

Of course, this concept has been around for hundreds of years. The ultimate example of a slash worker would be Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest geniuses known to history. He was a painter/engineer/architect/scientist/…


Choosing means eliminating 

Slashing is precisely a method to circumvent this old proverb. Slash workers no longer have to choose between two or more passions. They can turn every interest into a profession, every passion into a source of income. We don’t give up, we thrive.

Therefore, slash workers usually combine a “passion” job and a so-called “reason” job. This last is seen as a safety net, a safe inflow of money with other benefits, such as insurance.


With a slash career, you test yourself without risking everything

Slashing is also often used as a transitional phase, as a springboard to move from wage life to self-employment. It avoids the impression of jumping with both feet into the void, into a totally paralyzing unknown for some.

This is one of the main reasons why a certain number of people prefer to collaborate with an umbrella company (for example Openwork or Smart) before taking the plunge. They enjoy the advantages of self-employed status, while being employed. They can thus devote themselves to a project, without worrying about the administrative burden. Mid-lancing also gives them some financial security. Do not hesitate to read our article explaining the differences between the status of self-employed and mid-lancing.

A slash career also responds to the desire of this generation Y jack-of-all-trades to accumulate skills and experience in diverse fields. This desire is often in contradiction with what the world of work offers in terms of positions, most often and increasingly, focused on hyper-specialization.

Combining jobs, in addition to the financial aspect, is also a way to satisfy this need for development and freedom, to discover the world and earn a living by doing something rewarding.


Slash career for which profile?

This is the beauty of a slash career: it’s not linked with a specific field, age, or level of study. Everyone can become a slash worker.

For example, active slash workers under 30 represent 39% of them. As for those over 60, they are 19%.

The slash worker can combine two complementary jobs (operational marketer in an agri-food company and digital marketer as a complementary freelancer) or in completely different fields (accounting job during the day, and animator of a sewing workshop in the evening). In the IT sector, it is a common practice to start as an employee or mid-lancer before starting as a full-time freelancer. Therefore, at Beelance, both profiles can find a project as soon as their profile is completed.

A common point between these profiles is a rigorous sense of organization. This is a must when it comes to slashing.

Finally, slash workers are often what is called “multi-potentials”. They have multiple hats and having to choose one does not suit them. Indeed, they cannot fully flourish in one profession.


The future of slash career 

According to a study made by Ipsos, 80% of employees assume that the way of working in 10 years will be very different from the current one. Moreover, 64% of young people (18-24 years old) among them see a slashing career as the future norm.

As Marielle Barbe, French author of the book “Profession Slasheur”, tells us:

“These people with multiple hats, who know how to reinvent themselves at will, are best suited to respond to the acceleration and challenges of the world. »

Adopting a “slash working attitude” is therefore an asset to have in your card game if you want to be able to navigate with more ease in the world of work of tomorrow.

Jean-Baptiste Aloy, executive director within the HR studies division of Ipsos tells us in the article Revolution@Work: from Fear to Waiting:

“It seems accepted in the eyes of a large majority that, not only we move away from traditional paths where a person had a career with a single employer, but where tomorrow’s jobs will by nature be fragmented. The accumulation of several simultaneous missions or jobs nevertheless generates very mixed feelings, with, on the one hand, happy poly-activity, synonymous with freedom and fulfillment at work, and, on the other, a form of insecurity.


The dangers of slash career

Before such a model of the working world can be achieved, the perception of slash workers on the part of those who make up the current working world must change. The added value of these multi-potentials is still too little considered by employers who see them as unstable, even opportunistic profiles.

It is therefore important for these slashers to be able to explain (to themselves) the common thread of their changes or multiplications of choices of seemingly random experiences.

As stated above, one of the qualities that slash career requires is rigor. Because if we are not careful, the scattering could lead to physical and mental exhaustion. Even when we do what we love…

This is why Marielle Barbe advises the future slash workers to “clearly define the reason, the common thread and the meaning of these multiple activities“ in order to prevent this kind of potential drift, and to be able to really flourish in its slash career.


Do you want to live a thousand lives? Being a lawyer during the day, making cupcakes in the evening that will be sold at the local bakery, and during your weekends follow a training in reiki?

No rules, no instructions, the only goal: fulfillment.

Welcome to the world of slash working!

Inès is a slash worker at heart : she is a certified life coach and graduated from IHECS in Public Relations, trained in interior design and created her communication agency.

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