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Slash Careers

Slash Careers – The Emerging Trend

The ability to adjust strategies and business philosophies is the mark of great companies, but can that extend to embracing consultants and employees that want more than one career? Now that’s a big paradigm shift! But, if it helped their bottom line, they just might consider it. In this post you’ll learn who “slash careerists” are and why hiring and retaining them can boost your bottom line – especially in the discipline of Revenue Management.

Defining Slash Careers

First let’s define it. I hadn’t heard the term “slash careers” until I started investigating this emerging career phenomenon where people are choosing to engage in multiple work aspirations – for a number of reasons. I came across the Wikipedia entry on multiple careers that coined Marci Alboher of the New York Times as the woman who popularized the term “slash careers” to describe individuals with multiple, concurrent careers. [1] She’s also the author of One Person, Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work Life Success.

There are a number of reasons why people choose multiple, concurrent careers from an economic need to educational pursuits to personal interest. I’m going to focus on one particular type of person in this article and why understanding them and embracing them is critical to your business success. They are what I’m calling The Self-Aware, Mixed-Brain Professional.

My Personal Progression to a Slash Career

Back in 2007 I was 15-years’ deep into my Revenue Management career and loving it. I was working for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company with some of the most professional and intelligent ladies and gentlemen I’d ever worked with. I had added the luxury segment to my breadth of hotel experience and soaked up all I was learning, as well as thrived on what I was able to execute with my skill set.

As a forecaster by trade, I could see where the trends were taking us, but I had no idea how deep and how long the recession would last. I knew from surviving 2001, that numerous layoffs were ahead. In 2010, I became one of the many who had to hit the brick wall of reality and had to find a way to maintain their income.

Immediately, I launched King Hospitality Consulting and was fortunate to find some wonderful opportunities and people to work with. One of the things I loved most about my work was engaging with people, being a mentor, and doing whatever I could to help them on their personal, career journey. With the flexibility of my consulting business and my interest in adding in a new skill set as a professional mentor and coach, I received my first professional coaching credential  in 2010. Initially, I looked at coaching as a hobby, but in the summer of 2012, having attended a week-long personal growth retreat, I learned I had to incorporate more of this work into my future. It wasn’t a hobby. It was part of my purpose.

By the end of 2012, I had become a Certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki practitioner, and got my second coaching certification. It was then that I launched my private practice Guided Lotus while still maintaining my Revenue Management consulting business. After a year and a half in practice, like all new businesses, I honed in on my niche and created Fitlandia offering resources on nutrition, exercise, and “subconscious fitness.” By the spring of 2015, I’ll have added Nutritional Therapist and Group Fitness Instructor to my list of credentials to round out my business platform.

Revenue Management Consultant-Fitness Entrepreneur

Yep! That’s my “slash career” title and I’m so proud of it. The journey to this point has been extremely confusing and curious to my friends, family, and especially my work colleagues. Folks still engrained in the traditional corporate culture struggle to take you seriously when you have slash careers and see this as being wishy-washy. But, in fact it’s just the opposite.

This is the mark of The Self-Aware, Mixed-Brain Professional. These individuals have experienced some kind of awareness about themselves where they begin to see beyond their current career. They understand there is a greater purpose with their life and many seek to be creative, entrepreneurial, or in service to others – very right brain attributes whereas they may still very much enjoy the left-brain attributes needed to be successful in one’s career such as being logical, analytical and factual. [2]

Facilitating associates’ needs to explore their passion in both arenas, which I’m calling mixed-brain, allows them to fully express themselves as a whole, vibrant individual v. leaving them to feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied, having the potential for these negative effects in the workplace:

  • low productivity
  • poor performance
  • general apathy
  • colleague conflict

A personally dissatisfied employee is toxic to your business, regardless of how skilled they are. For some individuals, the freedom to explore and work in a concurrent career is all they need to perform at their highest level.

The Bottom Line

The emerging workforce that is Millennials have values in the workplace which are very different from previous generations. These Gen Y’ers have a greater need for happiness and fullfillment with their career than their predecessors. [3]

If you foster the diverse passions of your employees, you will retain them and this will prove profitable for your business in the long run. After all, when an employee leaves, the costs can be great, upwards of 150% of the salary for a Revenue Management associate. [4]

Being flexible and thinking outside the box to support slash careerists will result in a competitive advantage and higher profits – period. Other benefits which promote a healthy, innovative corporate culture include:

  • high morale
  • increased loyalty through this unique benefit
  • having a highly energized employee
  • focused performance
  • reduction in turnover

The Solution

If you’re unsure how to get started with a new approach and structure to Revenue Management deployment or would like more information on consulting services to augment your structure, please contact me for a complimentary consultation. Getting ahead of this trend will prove more profitable in the long run!

References:

[1] Multiple Careers. Wikipedia website.

[2] Left Brain v. Right Brain. UCMAS Mental Math Schools website.

[3] Job Hopping Is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare. Meister, J. August 4, 2012.

[4] How to Avoid Costly Revenue Manager Turnover. Moyock, P. October 30, 2013.

Other Resources on Slash Careers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_careers

http://blog.brazencareerist.com/2012/09/20/how-to-succeed-as-a-multi-passionate-careerist/

http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2013/07/12/slash-careers-amy-gutman

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millennials-three-ways-to-prevent-a-human-resource-nightmare/