The ‘Slashie’ may replace freelancers as the alternative to the 9-5

Leaving the traditional 9-5 work grind to pursue a career as a freelancer is a trend that’s been on the rise for some time now.

A recent report from Statista estimates that by 2027, freelancers will make up 50.9% of the U.S. workforce – meaning the majority of the working population will have opted to work for themselves.

The term “freelance” dates back to medieval times, referring to warriors or “lances” who would fight for whatever side offered the most compensation.

Today, we know the term to mean someone who works on their terms, offering their specialty of choice to clients on an at-will basis.

But what if you’re interested in pursuing more than just one stream of revenue in your freelance pursuits? Or work for an employer or two, in addition to your other lines of work? In that case, the “slashie” lifestyle might be the right move for you.

What is a “slashie”?

No, we’re not talking about a gory horror movie. The term “slashie” comes from the term “slash career,” which was popularized by author Marci Alboher.

In her book, Alboher profiles people who have pursued multiple income streams based on their various interests to create a work-life that satisfies their curiosities. 

Instead of focusing on just one specialty, slashies may hold multiple part-time jobs in addition to one main gig – or a mix of part-time work along with their freelance business in different industries.

The slashie lifestyle has recently gained popularity in Hong Kong, where it’s not uncommon for working individuals to hold various jobs at once, making each day feel different depending on their ever-changing work schedule.

The way a slashie earns income tends to be different from that of a traditional freelancer as well. While many freelancers charge by the hour or project, slashies apply to roles that interest them and fit within their schedule – for example, teaching at a yoga studio a few days a week, while working part-time as a financial consultant at a firm. 

Is the slashie lifestyle right for you?

If working multiple jobs that align with your interests sounds like the dream, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider before committing to the slashie workstyle.

The flexibility of your employers

Having each day feel different thanks to a varying work schedule with other employers is a huge benefit of the slashie lifestyle.

It breaks up the monotony of going to the same job every day — and even offers more variety than freelancing since you’ll be using different skill sets at each of your roles.

However, keep in mind that for this to work, the employers you choose to work for will need to be willing to arrange your work schedule accordingly to accommodate your work hours.

For example, if your employment at a plant shop requires you to have the ability to cover shifts for other employees when needed, the different jobs you hold will need to have the flexibility to allow you to do so.

Health insurance

If you’re leaving a full-time position with benefits to pursue the slashie workstyle, obtaining health insurance may prove challenging. The cost of purchasing an individual plan, not through an employer, can add up — and if you’re starting as a slashie, it likely means you’ll be taking a pay cut until your new lines of work start to ramp up.

Though the slashie lifestyle is intended to focus only on lines of work that are of interest and enjoyable to you, it may be worthwhile to consider a part-time role at a company that offers health insurance when you maintain a certain number of hours. Doing so can make working as a slashie more financially achievable. 

Knowledge of your fields of interest

There’s a difference between enjoying yoga and being qualified to teach it.

When identifying the lines of work that you’re most interested in pursuing, it’s crucial to make sure that you’re entering each field with the ability to land a role and understand the landscape of the industry and where your work as a slashie fits in. 

Benefits of being a slashie

Leaving a full-time job in pursuit of a less traditional type of work always comes with risk.

However, for those who can make this work style work for their needs, the flexibility and freedom to pursue work of their choosing outweigh the risks and sacrifices that may need to be made to make it work.