The rise of Slashies in the United Kingdom

Slashie

After making my way through a multi-snooze session this morning, I turned to my BBC News app for my daily fix. One of the more interesting articles I stumbled across was one about the rise of ‘Slashies’ in the United Kingdom. I’m not sure whether Slashie is a recently coined term, but it’s used to describe those who work more than one job.

The article described a phenomenon I’ve become familiar with as a freelance copywriter. It’s very much ingrained in British culture to view a career as being legitimate when you’re an expert in one thing and one thing only. To have multiple careers looks almost lazy or sloppy, or as though you haven’t tried quite hard enough.

The idea that working more than one job is lazy is something I’ve encountered when talking with the people I’m close to. When asking one what a wife of a close friend did, He said “Not much, just cleaning, yoga, and tutoring online.” The same person denied that another of our friends isn’t hard working as he’s worked for multiple organisations rather than settling in any one place. The man He was describing works full-time hours and then doubles up on them to grow his property portfolio.

Erm, that sounds like a hell of a lot to me…

In contrast, those who have neatly funneled themselves into a career in law, medicine, teaching, or any other supposedly-covetable path are seen as hard workers. They can do fewer hours, but as long as they do one job and one job only, then stick with it come what may, they are the pillars of our working society.

So, is there anything wrong with being a Slashie? And how common is this in the United Kingdom?

First of all, what is a Slashie?

Slashie
CC: Unsplash

The term Slashie is used to describe those who have two or more occupations. For example, when I was working as cabin crew I was cabin crew/copywriter. Thinking about it, it’s a relatively common theme amongst those who fly on the roomier side of the flight deck door. I knew a cabin crew/events manager, cabin crew/radio presenter, and cabin crew/bar manager.

Some Slashies may have three or even four careers. For example, those people could be cabin crew/copywriter/author. Or, cabin crew/copywriter/author/dog walker.

Why be a Slashie versus a one-track career person?

Undoubtedly, some people will become Slashies because their financial circumstances call for it. Using cabin crew as an example again, this was often necessary because the immediate area surrounding airports such as Heathrow is expensive to rent in and cabin crew wages don’t cover the rent and allow for a comfortable lifestyle.

According to the BBC article, some love the creative release that comes with working more than one job. They find their lives in a single career path boring and so they grab themselves a side hustle and continue working on it. The article claims that humans are creative creatures, so we flourish and become less frustrated when we follow more than one career path.

How can you go about adding another job to your CV?

Slashie
CC: Unsplash

If the idea of becoming a Slashie interests you, you may want to consider your options in the freelancing world. I’ve successfully worked as a freelance copywriter since 2010. Only two out of those nine years were worked on a full-time basis. For the rest of that time, I was technically a Slashie.

I found my role as a freelance copywriter by using something I enjoy (writing) to make money online. If you enjoy writing, you could easily do the same. Or, you could try your hand at graphic design, coding, digital marketing, online tutoring, data entry, or anything else you’re willing to become proficient in. Don’t expect to command great rates immediately, but you can get there with practice.

If you’d rather turn to the offline world, there are opportunities there, too. One woman I attended school with is currently growing her gluten-free and vegan meal delivery service. In the South Wales Valleys, where I never imagined there would be demand for such a thing. Another grew her side gig of making personalised chopping boards into a business with a $2.5-million annual turnover. Some of my friends at university turned to Deliveroo, Domino’s and Just Eat for extra cash.

What are the benefits of working more than one job?

If you’re in the “working more than one job is crazy” camp, it’s worth learning more about the benefits that come with doing so. They include:

  • Having more income. And arguably, a more dependable income as it isn’t coming from one source.
  • If you’re experiencing burnout from one profession, you may find the other brings a creative release.
  • Choosing to have a side gig often means you can prioritise making money out of doing something you love.
  • If both of your jobs come with a social aspect, you have the chance to broaden your circle of friends.
  • If one job goes wrong, you have the other to fall back on.

What are the downsides to working more than one job?

In the interest of remaining balanced, it’s also worth listing some of the downsides that could come with having more than one job:

  • If you’re working two jobs with full-time hours for each one, you may soon reach the burnout stage.
  • With the above in mind, you may one day need to choose between the two jobs.
  • You may have little time left for your social life or hobbies if your Slashie commitments become all-encompassing.
  • Can you be sure you’re giving both jobs your all?

Personally, I’ve tried working two roles as a Splitsie only to experience all the negatives. However, now that I am balancing being a freelance copywriter with a few hours a week dedicated to pursuing a flying career, my Slashie role feels refreshing.

If you are living life as a Slashie or if you have done so before now, how do you balance it all? Do you fall into the positives? Or is your life slipping into the negatives?

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