Whether you like it or not, traditional job titles are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Employees no longer feel the need to attach themselves to a common job title. Historically, we’ve seen the first class of slashies in jobs in which people identify their work with their hobbies. Think about your local barista who is an avid painter on the side (Barista/Painter) or even the waiter at your favorite restaurant who also moonlights as a writer (Waiter/Writer).
Slashies aren’t confined to the service industry. Increasingly, they’re filtering out into other industries as well — maybe even yours. But don’t dismiss them as dilettantes. Just because they wear multiple hats doesn’t mean they can’t be dedicated employees. Here’s how to harness their unique perspective, flexibility and passion for your organization.
Who Are the Slashies?
When you zoom out to look at the bigger picture, what are these so-called slashies really doing with their careers? The answer is actually quite strategic. These workers have learned how to harness the power of our fragmented economy to create careers that include multiple roles.
Nowadays, you’ll not only find Waiter/Writers, but Front-End Developer/Photographers, Graphic Designer/App Developers, Nonprofit Workers/Lyft Drivers, Marketers/Instagram Curators, to name a few. The idea of holding multiple titles is most appealing to those in creative fields, but it’s not limited to just creative work. Podcast host Sarah May B explains slashies in her podcast, Help Me Be Me:
Slashies are a growing percentage of the workforce because many careers nowadays don’t have ‘work experience.’ A creator can build a new app/community/business overnight and because of that, new job definitions are being invented every day. Thanks to equal opportunity of the internet, it’s like a claim-jumper era for creatives with a desire to build something new.
What Are The Benefits of Hiring a Slashie?
Slashies can be an asset to your workforce. Compared to the average employee who has stuck with one career path for most of their life, they’re highly motivated by creativity and are passionate about their work. Juggling two jobs is hard enough, but for these folks, it’s a regular part of life.
Slashies are flexible. They are able to switch their modes easily and know how to hustle to get the job done. Another perk? They don’t live by a defined path, so they’re more open to experimentation and testing different roles and projects. They’re also well-connected to the people within their creative networks, which means inspiration for new ideas and trends comes from more than just within your own company, which might be a good thing.
The Downside of Hiring Slashies?
Slashies thrive on creativity, and could get bored easily if you aren’t able to feed that need for creativity or variety in their daily work. It’s been estimated that somewhere around 1.3 million people are now working two jobs or more, which means those 1.3 million slashies are at high risk for burnout. Balancing one passion with another can lead to longer and unconventional work hours which can cause stress and fatigue. And while some people thrive on operating under deadlines, that feeling of liberation and freedom can come at the cost of less sleep, less family time and even poor eating habits as a result of running from one job to the other on a limited amount of time.
Want to learn more about the future of work? Read PayScale’s report, Future Work Force.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have slashies within your workforce? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter!