Life across the slashes


It’s not what you are but who you are.

The life that we live is a coming together of many things that shape us up in what we take pride as our identity. Experiences and events, work and play and every single thing we invest in, mindfully or otherwise culminates eventually to define us and inevitably our worth. And while the very perception of what we tend to evaluate as worth might tend to hold the most instant interpretation in monetary terms, or at least in measures of success attributed often also to monetary minding of it, worth comes from who we are more than what we tend to be. Of course, the work we do all through our life makes up a huge chunk of what defines us but it can never be the ultimate definer of the life we live. Particularly in today’s time and age when limiting ourselves to a single line of work is no longer the norm, this accordition of our identity to our work or even vice versa is all the more ambiguous even when it does not restrict the purviews of what we can be. But even embedded herein is still a conscious adherence to manifesting ourselves to our full potential and to the best of our abilities which has led to the emergence of a plethora of trends that shape the ‘who’ of us by means of the ‘whats’ we do.

One such trend that has particularly caught on to the folks of today is the desire and also the ability to invest oneself in multiple ventures, to each devotedly so as well. In its universal spanning that which goes beyond the physical realm of the globe to not also confine itself to a certain generation of people, even when being more prominent a streak of doings of the young and the vibrant, this trend holds more weightage as a life decision that we have decided to consciously embark on. We are speaking here of a certain phenomenon called slashing, that which is what slashies do in the modern world in all the bursts of energy it demands and creates as well. And while this doing by the slash is more a jaunt of the young and the energetic, it however is by no means elusive to those not fitting of this combination of the description. Because there is no empirical evidence to suggest that the somewhat old cannot be energetic or the somewhat olds cannot be listless, slashing permeates therefore the folds of either with an ease attributable to the very convenience and credibility of it.

So who exactly is a slashie? It could be anyone like you who does a proper 9 to 5 routine but still manages to reserve the time, energy and dedication for letting their passion of dance free flow as an instructor. Or someone like your dad who isn’t retired yet but has chalked out the alternative career path of writing freelance in magazines and websites to not just save up some more bucks but also to keep himself occupied and thriving while letting his flair with words return to rule once again. Basically then, slashing is a career choice, only that it moulds myriad career paths into one not however by merging them all in working terms but rather catering to those career folks who are aspirational and dedicated to causes beyond their primary. Slashing indeed is nothing new, as you can recollect from those numerous multitalents who have been efficiently juggling with a mix of activities to make a career out of many. As side hustles or side businesses, as gigs or part time jobs and freelancing of course, slashing has always been a viable means of following passions and extracting benefits out of them as well, so that you have two or even more jobs to make as better a living for you as possible. But beyond that, being a slashie also means that you protect yourself from slipping away into the mundanity of a single job to carry out all through the times, by allowing yourself some variety, through indulging in something that you really enjoy doing. Needless to say then, that even in sounding like too much work, what with constantly having to switch between alternate occupations that can be exerting, slashing is also as rewarding. Apart from the obvious financial stability it affords you, slashing also saves your soul from the routine of a singular existence by allowing you more flexibility that enables you to unwind even as you work and earn, spelling therefore a host of benefits that caters to every aspect of your being, morphing therefore your identity into one that you feel most at home in.

So where did slashing originate from, not in its essence which is what has been adhered to in different ways but in its nomenclature that sure sounds a lot more exciting than any of its precedents? As a term, slashie first made its appearance in 2007 when New York Times columnist and author Marci Alboher coined it in her book, One Person/ Multiple Careers. The term itself is an interesting derivation from the concept it encompasses, making use of the slash outlining the many faculties of someone it has come to define. And while slashing as the standout term of recent time might appear to have gained traction only in the past couple of years, its usage has been gaining dimension since almost a decade back. In the 2009 recession that followed the publication of the book, slashing as a concept gained widespred prominence, though more out of the needs of the times than as something emergely purely out of passion. Today a lifestyle choice in itself since the digital convenience of the modern times has made it more feasible to live different identities at the same time, professionally that is, slashing is a widely practiced ‘career option’, that which is always indulged in passionately, willingly and beneficially.

Indeed, there are things to be learned before you can efficiently juggle between different areas of interest to see success as a slashie. First of course is the nuanced ability for time management as well as the intuition of making quick and most importantly, concrete decisions. But interestingly, what is perhaps a fact that makes this slashing concept all the more appealing is also how taking on the concept of working out different jobs together over a period of time automatically brings to you many of these qualities that every single person covets. Additionally these are skill sets that hold good for not just your career but also in many personal aspects of life. Which is perhaps why slashing can also be interpreted as a philosophy of life- one that enables us to unwind by enjoying all the things we do, even when it essentially also means doing more as well.

Slashies are fairly common to come across on social media platforms, expectedly on LinkedIn but also on such sites as Instagram. Which might lead one to think whether slashing is a bit too idealistic realm of identity to cross across into the real world. It also perhaps is the prominence of them on such digital means of existence that the new generation, particularly the millenials are the ones often exclusively understood as belonging to the Slashie generation. While that might sum up a major part of the frame, slashies are in fact far more common than what we think. But perhaps because they aren’t as extravagant with their slashing resume as what the mere mention of the term would have allowed them the liberyt of exercising, the slashie folks might not seem to be there all out with their multi hyphenated identity. That said however, it would still be unfair to hold the belief that because of them being the Jack of many trades, slashies cannot emerge to become the master of any.

In fact, modern day slashies operate with a credibility equally assertive as that of those wholeheartedly committing themselves to a singular working pursuit. In assuring themselves of the stability of at least one secure job, slashies are rendered better off with their commitment to their creative interests, exploring what they intend to with all their heart, rather than conforming to expectations of them. Ironically then, in enabling passionate folks more liberty of doing what they want to despite less time available due to their juggling of the many roles, being a slashie translates quite well to living the hip life. Because the additional work you do does not really feel like work for the mere reason that you are choosing to do something you love, slashing in fact can potentially stave off the burden that even a single standing occupation can bring to you.

In the fluid dynamics of it all, this recourse in the realm of a career that spans a range of portfolios catering to your interests and needs and all make slashing a wholesome career choice to stand by, irrespective of the fact whether you are a millennial or not. An aspirational path of embarking that sufficiently caters to the financial as well as creative needs and necessities of life, slashing however tends to involve such side jobs that do not really qualify as such in the traditional connotations of what a career entails. More often not, slashies are ‘cool’ people taking on life in its numerous emergent but seemingly outrageous vocations. Be it podcasting or blogging, digital marketing or even Instagramming or ‘influencing’ for that matter, there are reasons to believe that slashies do just one ‘real’ job afterall. But corresponding such avenues of ‘modern’ employment are also such celebrated, if not looked upto professions of being a stand up comic or mixing music as a DJ or being a model or a filmmaker, and other more established modes of work like teaching part time or being a home baker to having your own business setup that can be as viable grounds to tread to call yourself a slashie. In the truth of it all then, slashing sure can be as fun and fascinating as it strikes to be in- and as- an identity of its own.