"Slashers": When Your Career Is Three Careers

You've got your main hustle, your side hustle, and your side-side hustle. Sounds tiring, but increasingly that's how you build a portfolio—and stay in the black in case one dries up.

What do you call someone like Russ Juskalian, a travel writer/photographer/instructor?

Over at LearnVest, Alyssa Goldman provides a descriptor: Juskalian is a "slasher," a person with a "portfolio career," usually a combination of part-time employment, temporary work, and freelance gigs—or, alternatively, a full-timer with a side hustle.

The way we slash now

The "portfolio career" has caught on for a few reasons, Goldman says:

That said, taking on multiple rackets demands slightly different psychological resources than running just one: time management, organization, and being open to opportunities are all immensely important.

If you have that diverse skillset—and demand diversity in your life—then you might be ready to make the Gen Flux leap. If so, Goldman's got the prep-sheet:

  • Foresee conflicts of interest: Forecast whether your side hustle will take you away from the full-time job—if so, you may need to have a hard and honest talk with your manager.
  • Have one consistent revenue stream: It'll act as a home base from which you can branch out and find new work.
  • Amass the rainy-day fund: A multiplatform hustle doesn't guarantee you'll always be bringing home the bacon. Have some in the freezer for unforeseen circumstances. And if you've got dependents, make sure you've got a lot in storage.
The Hot New Work Trend: Portfolio Careers

Drake Baer covers leadership for Fast Company. You can follow him on Twitter.

[Image: Flickr user circulating]

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  • Barrie Hopson

    Over in the UK we have problems with the word 'slash' as that is slang for going for a pee! I have now explained that to Alyssa Goldman who interviewed me for the article. Before we wrote a book on this in 2010: And What Do You Do? 10 Steps to Creating a Portfolio Career the term was hardly used here either in spite of the fact that the concept was defined by one of our leading management writers, Charles Handy, in 1993. It is becoming increasingly a career pattern of choice especially for the Gen Y's and increasingly and most interestingly for the 60+ group. But it is not for everyone. If you look at our website, portfoliocareers.net, you can take a free test to see if you might be suited to it. There are many pluses but the people who we interviewed all see that it gave them more security since 2008 as all their occupational eggs were not in one employer's basket.

  • Chris Reich

    Actually, it's called struggling. People must do as much as they can to keep their head above water.