They are graphic designers during the day—slash—DJ at night, bank employee/ photographer/festival organizer, consultant/software developer/entrepreneur, real estate agent/yoga professor, etc. The number of people pursing more than one professional activity at the same time just keeps growing. Popularized ten years ago, particularly following the publication of the book One Person/Multiple Careers, written by Marci Alboher, this term comes from the slash sign (i.e. /) that separates the various jobs the individual holds concurrently.
In France, according to a study published at the end of August 2016 for the SME exhibition, there are now more than 4 million Slashers, i.e. 16% of the active population. Seventy-seven percent of them hold their second job in a sector different from their primary one. According to Alain Bosetti, chairman of the SME fair, “The Slasher phenomenon can be explained by, at least, three reasons in France: the auto-entrepreneur regime that has simplified the lawful exercise of a complementary activity; the collaborative and last-minute job platforms that facilitate linking directly with potential customers; and mobile technology (smartphones and tablets) that can work anywhere, anytime.”
32% of Slashers specify that they exercise their second activity as an entrepreneur (auto-entrepreneur, freelancer, business partner).
In Luxembourg, the ability to work in an independent manner while retaining one’s professional activity, coupled with the imminent law coming into force that will enable an individual to create a company with just a euro in capital, should greatly increase the number of individuals who choose to pursue their passion… and earn income doing so.
Work, fun and independence
The study also revealed that 70% of Slashers chose this status by choice rather than out of financial necessity and gave several reasons to justify this way of life: 73% do it to increase their revenue; 27% to receive income by pursuing their passion; 12% to be their own boss; 10% to prepare for a career change; and 10% to test out a business idea. And Bosetti added, “I’m sure in a few years we will see beautiful new businesses emerging that were originally created by Slashers pursing extra activities and which will be transformed into successful core businesses.”
34% of the Slashers spend at least 10 hours per week at their second activity.
This intergenerational phenomenon that is viewed most among the 20-30 year old and 50-65 year old age groups is more than ephemeral and appears ever increasingly to be a real trend. With new technology and new opportunities for everyone to supplement their primary income (i.e. by renting an apartment or car, selling items on a website, becoming a VTC driver, renting equipment, giving lessons, etc.), there is no doubt that the number of Slashers will grow exponentially. All these new opportunities offered by the collaborative economy profoundly modify the employment industry and allow all of us multipotentialites to put our diverse talents and multiple skills to use.
Author: Charles-Louis Machuron – Credits: Olivier Minaire – This article was first published in the Lëtzebuerger Journal on September 12, 2016 in the “Monday Analysis” column.
This article was “also” published in SILICON