Slash Careers and Millennials – what do they have in common?
After I finished a recent presentation, a millennial approached me and asked me what I thought of ‘slash careers’.
I’m a Gen Xer and when I heard her say ‘slash’, I assumed she was speaking about Guns & Roses guitarist Slash.
I answered: “Well, you know their music really wasn’t my thing back in the 80’s. A little too hard rock for me. I’m not really sure what his career is right now, but I bet he’s got a Facebook page we could probably find him on and see what he’s up to.”
She was not talking about Guns & Roses Slash. She meant ‘slash careers’ and went on explaining
to me exactly what a slash career meant.
Slash Careers – What They Can Bring to an Organization
I went online and I found the book titled ‘One Person Multiple Careers – The original guide to slash careers.’
If you’ve been lucky enough to read it, it’s a wonderful explanation about slash careers and what they can bring to an organization.
I spoke to my resident millennial – my dog walker named Paxton.
I asked her how would she describe what she did for a living as she has multiple careers. She said that she is a vet tech, dance instructor, social media coordinator and a dog walker. A perfect example of slash careers!
These careers are identified mostly with creative people. For example, if you’re a photographer you might also be a director. If you’re a writer, you may also be a producer.
Slash Careers and Millennials
The Millennials have brought slash careers into the mainstream.
How different, compared to when I was in my 20’s!
When I graduated college, I told my mom I’ve had several things I wanted to look at when I pursued my career. I wanted to pursue real estate but didn’t want to give up my job working at the mall, because I loved being around clothes and talking to the customers. Also, I wanted to continue my work at the Athletic Club – I wanted to try to keep them all!
My mother suggested to just choose one thing and focus on that. Maybe my mom knew my limitations. But Millennials have taken the slash careers and really made them their own!
So why can Millennials do that?
Technology has allowed the Millennials to have multiple careers at one time.
Some organizations are hesitant to hire someone who has a slash career. They feel that if they’ve had these multiple things going on, they won’t be committed to the organization or to the job.
That really is not true.
Someone that has a slash career has several things going for them.
One – their skillset is well-rounded, so for example if you’re developing writing skills in one of your careers, your speaking skills improve in your other career!
Two – they’re not bored moving between multiple slash careers and it leaves Millennials feeling energized and reduces burnout.
Slash Careers and What They Provide
Most importantly, slash careers provide greater work-life fulfillment.
We hear a lot about work-life balance being important to the Millennials. I like to think of it as work-life fulfillment because it’s about finding fulfillment in the work-life balance.
This gives Millennials multiple areas to find jobs and work satisfaction and you eliminate someone sitting at your company thinking ‘Gosh, what if I could only just get out of this place and find a job at the X company, then I’d be happy!’