Being caged in one single job forever is certainly terrifying, especially for people who choose freedom over money. Consequently, an unconventional career path emerges and allows people to engage in other creative endeavours. Interested in exploring more about the slash generation? Wondering what are the benefits of being a slash? Preface is here to give you a complete overview.
What is a Slasher?
Slasher refers to people who take on multiple careers instead of sticking to one single position.
Similar to the actual slash sign ‘/’, slashers usually use the time off from one job to work on projects for the other role, The term was first coined by Marci Alboher, who described the job title of a book character as ‘journalist/web editor/ PR’. Since then, slasher careers have become many people’s preferred option of working.
As a matter of fact, slashies are becoming more mainstream with the multi-passionated Generation Y. Compared to the previous generation, this group of individuals travelled more and have been exposed to various life and career choices. Thanks to the internet, it is much easier to juggle more than one job. Therefore, rather than focusing on a fixed day job to pay the bills, they are expecting an opportunity to not only fulfil their financial needs but also their spiritual needs.
The concept of being a slashie has been increasingly common in Hong Kong too, below are 5 notable slashes who make multiple income streams simultaneously from different careers:
1. Elva Ni
Not only does she actively engage in both print and television advertisements and endorsements, but she is also a cosmetologist who has over 110,000 subscribers on her YouTube Channel. Meanwhile, she is a licensed Yoga instructor with more than four years of experience.
2. Erica Yuen
As a former Miss Hong Kong pageant finalist, Erica Yuen is now a politician, actress, presenter and the founder of Mi Ming Mart, a multi-brand skincare and health product store.
3. Stephen Shiu
Many Hongkongers might know Stephen as a political activist, but he is actually managing some more other roles such as being a businessperson, film producer, screenwriter, news presenter and founder of memehk.com, a multimedia news website.
4. Donnie Yen
Donnie Yen is one of Hong Kong’s top martial artists, meanwhile, he has also gained international recognition for being a film director, producer, action director, choreographer and founder of a charitable fund, Yen’s Honour Protection Fund.
5. Denis Kwok
Freelance VS Slasher
Sometimes people might mix up the definition of ‘freelancer’ and ‘slasher’.
Briefly speaking, freelancer refers to people who are hired on an as-needed basis to complete a specific task. Though they might be working for several companies, the job nature is normally limited in scope.
On the other hand, slashers are also independent service providers, but unlike freelancers, they are able to work with clients from various sectors that are sometimes radically different, demonstrating an excellent combination of skills and competencies.
Pros & Cons of having a slash career
|Able to enjoy a huge amount of variety||No longer secured by legal employee protections such as minimum wage and medical care|
|Flexible working hours and job nature||Stressed out by unstable working hours and tight deadlines|
|Gain a broader range of skills and experience||Feel unsocialised and lonely as slashies mostly work on their own|
|Achieve an ideal work-life balance||Have to be highly self-disciplined as there is no turning back|
|Potential to earn more than fixed salary||Outsourcing jobs are normally underpaid as companies might try to cut costs|
Things to consider before starting a slash career
Not sure if you are ready for a big career change? Below are the things to consider before handing in your notice:
1. Will you be overwhelmed by inconsistency?
Quitting your stable job is actually quite bold as you have to ‘earn as you go’. You might begin to worry about losing existing clients and financial insecurity, which can adversely affect your mental health and work productivity. Even if you manage to find projects, the workload can sometimes become too heavy and make you buried neck-deep in assignments.
2. Are you able to think like a boss?
When you decide to become a slashie, you are your own boss/ employee. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for you to set up your own boundaries and make rules that work best for you. In addition, you must raise your standards and take control of every decision and mundane duty, including networking, marketing, building a portfolio or website, staying ahead of industry trends, buying materials and paying bills.
3. Are you aware of the resources available?
Slashing is definitely challenging, especially when you have to depend solely on your own. You should therefore take time to explore your options both online and offline, including but not limited to the opportunity to find jobs, connect with other slashies and seek advice on some liability issues such as insurance and taxes. By utilising the resources available, you will be able to make a more informed decision and lead to a rewarding slash life.
4. How much should you charge per job?
One of the hardest parts of being a slash is to price yourself. If your rate is too high, the client may reach out to another slashie instead. If you charge too low, the client will immediately take you as a cheap amateur. Meanwhile, you need to figure out whether the charge is enough to cover your business expenses and living costs after tax.
5. Do you have a backup plan?
Slashing is a business, so you must have a backup plan in case any tough situation happens out of a sudden. You might consider setting up an emergency fund to prepare for unexpected big expenses since you are no longer protected by group medical and other employee benefits. And it is also vital to keep your resume updated so you can jump right into the job market if necessary.
How to develop a Slash Career?
1. Identify your niche
Identifying your specific niche is the most important component in starting your slashing career, or else you will never be sure what to offer to your clients and pitch yourself. Once you find your niche, you can position yourself as an expert to your target clients. Since you are an expert in this field, you can charge more as demand for your expertise rises.
2. Build an attractive portfolio
To successfully land a job, you need a strong portfolio. You can consider building a website to showcase your expertise, highlight your relevant past experiences and different skills you have built over the years. Most importantly, your portfolio should cater to clients’ exact needs and be relevant to the most sought after services.
3. Grow your network
Building a web of connections with people can help to further your slash career. A strong network is not just helpful when it comes to advancing your knowledge and complementary skills, when your client asks for something you cannot provide on your own, it can help you to point them in the right direction.
4. Pay attention to your competitors
One of the most dominating elements in your business plan is your competitive landscape. Your competitors include slashies that offer similar services to yours, have a pitch similar to yours, or even target the same audience as yours. Keep an eye on their performances so as to stay ahead of the game.
5. Give yourself a deadline
Slashies usually have more than one project in their schedules. However, when striking a job deal, it is very common for them to get over-excited and make a commitment without deep thoughts. As a professional, you should never accept any work if you know you will have difficulty delivering on time. You should give more emphasis to quality before agreeing to deadlines. In addition, maintain a sense of urgency from the moment you receive a project and try to finish the projects a few days before the actual deadline.
Lifelong learning can help!
Embracing lifelong learning allows you to gain new skills and expertise, which can help you to create new opportunities. For example, as the future of the world will highly depend on digitalisation, equipping yourself with digital Knowledge and fluency can definitely bring you a cutting edge advantage.
Accredited by numerous leading multinational companies such as Cathay Pacific, JP Morgan and Adidas, Preface offers a very well-structured Web Developer course for beginners. Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to develop a concrete base in both front-end (HTML & CSS) and backend (Python in Django) development. The tutor will lead interactive classes utilising multiple instructional approaches interspersed with engaging learning activities, and supplemented with comprehensive exercises, quizzes and assignments, students are expected to master coding and programming techniques and apply them to various actual business use cases accordingly.
Ever since 2015, Preface is well-recognised for its top-tier coding education and trusted by more than 6,000 graduates at different levels. This course covers everything you need to know about data science, including the process such as APIs, matrix factorisation and cross-validation methods. After completing this learning path, the tutor will then touch on more in-depth concepts like artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithms for predictive analysis, which are inseparable parts of cyber security applications.