What’s a slasher?

I’m a slasher. No, not a scary knife-wielding lady or horror film lover. By slasher, I mean that when someone asks me “What do you do?” I can’t give just one answer. I piece together different types of work: as a life coach/quilter/blogger/director of operations at a local nonprofit.

I used to think that this was by accident – that I didn’t have a true path and was confused about who I wanted to be. I felt like I was lost, doing something wrong, or completely off track.

Then I stumbled upon a book called One Person/Multiple Careers by Marci Alboher. In this book, I read about lots of other people who intentionally piece together multiple jobs rather than following a single-track career. These folks are called “slashers.”

Slasher: someone who expresses themselves through multiple careers.

 

I realized, “Oh, this is a thing.”

I realized what I already knew deep down in my heart: instead of doing something wrong, I was doing something right and completely natural to who I am. I can’t help but have many projects going at once; I express myself differently through each slash, and they all come together to make me who I am.

Yes QuiltOver the past few years, I’ve met a lot of fellow slashers – a non-profit executive director/social media expert/foster dog mom, a volunteer manager/letterpress designer/runner, a yoga teacher/after school educator/mom…and many more.

As I meet more and more slashers, I’ve come to understand what makes us tick.

Slashers have complex, layered identities. We are deeply curious and always interested in learning new things. Our slashes are always evolving – as new interests are added and one occupation shrinks to make space for another, growing pursuit. We are creative and entrepreneurial, often balancing a steady job with our own side-business/passion project.

So what makes a slash?  A slash can be a paycheck/passion/identity/giveback:

  • a job where “the man” pays you a steady paycheck
  • your personal passion, hobby, or business
  • an identity such as mother, wife, or caregiver
  • a volunteer gig through which you give back to your community

Your slashes come together to make you uniquely you. They are your way of expressing yourself and sharing your purpose and your gifts with the world.

Being a slasher has its advantages and its challenges. To help you navigate that, on this blog and through my workshops and one on one coaching, I’m coming to you with:

  • tips, resources, and stories about living a slash life
  • strategies for turning your slashes into dashes – so you can feel like a whole, integrated person rather than a compartmentalized, exhausted, pieced-together scatter-brain
  • ways of connecting the dots between your slashes to understand and articulate the life purpose you are living and the various ways you express who you are
  • strategies for how to be your best you

Your turn: What are your slashes? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “What’s a slasher?

  1. Wow! I always thought that I was crazy when I introduced myself by the various things that I felt myself to be. It has always bothered me to answer the “What do you do?” with my 9-5 job since I am so much more than that job. But I have not seen any support (besides saying it is your day job and saying what you really want to do – which doesn’t really apply to me) for expanding it.

    And I love slashes anyway…so that makes it even better. I am glad to hear it is a thing and I’m excited to have found your blog to learn more. My biggest issue is the disconnect between the slashes (or seeming disconnect) in daily life.

    Here is my initial slashes – something more for me to think about:

    Administrator/Writer/Musician/Wanna-Be Nun

  2. Hi Jennifer! Yes, this is totally a “thing” – and there are a lot of slashers out there! It’s time to stop feeling like there’s something wrong with us and rock the fact that this is naturally who we are. More posts coming soon on the opportunities and challenges of being a slasher. Stay tuned!

    And in the meantime…get thinking about some maybe-connections between your slashes. They are absolutely all connected because they are all expressions of who you are. This is exactly the kind of thing that my clients work through with me.

  3. Stumbling across this post (via the awesome Laura Sims) just made my morning and I almost cried with relief. I’ve been a “slasher” my whole life and it always made me feel so lost and scattered and in a constant state of self-identity crisis. Lately, on my IG feed I’ve come acroos so many others who identify themselves on their profiles with multiple job titles, which made me feel a little better about my different roles, but no one’s ever really articulated the way you have. Yes, I am exhausted, yes, I’d love to consolidate all my interests into a more cohesive whole, and for now, I need to hold onto my “paycheck” to help finance the other “slashes” that make my life whole. Not to mention that I’m also proud of my so-called day job and not quite ready to walk away from it as a career, either. Thank you so much for this. You just got another follower.
    Teacher/Photographer/Olive Farmer

    • So nice to meet you, Nuvea! It can be exhausting to be a slasher (post on that topic coming soon) but there are some tricks to juggling these separate identities. Even just the validation that this is “a thing” and there are other slashers out there is comforting!

  4. Love this! I’ve read Renaissance Soul and Refuse to Choose, and I’m the same – unable to stick with just one thing because I’m so pulled in lots of different directions with lots of different passions! I thought there was something wrong with me too: all my friends and family tend to have one career and it made me feel like I was a bit broken because I couldn’t seem to find mine… now I realise that this is me, now – all the bits and pieces together in one place! Love this and so glad I found your website 🙂

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