Are you a slash?

May 4th, 2007

smbz_shiftcareers_190x190.jpgAlso hot of the presses this week: The New York Times launched a new column by Marci Alboher, attorney and author of One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success, on “slash” careers (aka portfolio careers, or what I like to call patchwork paychecks). I, for one, was thrilled to pieces to see this topic given full-on column space in the NYT.

Variety isn’t only the spice of one’s worklife. It’s the key to greater flexibility and autonomy. And you don’t need to be a rocket-scientist-slash-brain-surgeon to realize that the more sources of income you have, the more secure your (patchwork) paycheck is. If one well dries up, you still have the other(s). This is the way many creative types and freshly self-employed folks work, often without consciously deciding to embark on a hybrid career path. Having a dual income track is just what we need to do to survive.

Some fun “slashes” I’ve interviewed in the past couple of years (and featured in The Anti 9-to-5 Guide):

  • A stand-up comic/literary agent
  • An engineer/ghost tour guide
  • A realtor/home stager
  • A graphic novelist/art school admin
  • A B&B owner/sustainability activist
  • A dominatrix/adult web content writer

What about you? Are you a slash who’s pulling in a patchwork paycheck? Here — I’ll go first. My name is Michelle. I live in Seattle, where I work from home as a freelance journalist, author, copywriter, copyeditor, and instructor on the freelance life. OK, now you. Go.

Entry Filed under: Balance

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jobmom  |  May 4th, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    i’m a slash/mom. (otherwise known as a freelance writer/editor/blogger/mom).

  • 2. Rhebe (Michelle's mom)  |  May 4th, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    After retiring from 21 years as an art director/systems specialist at a major metro daily newspaper I am now a computer consultant/trainer/backoffice assistant for online content/house remodeler/landscape designer/ mixed media artist and mosacist.
    I guess it runs in the family.

  • 3. Nicole  |  May 4th, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Hi my name is Nicole and I live on Bainbridge Island where I work full time (for someone else) as and editor/writer and work for free (for myself) as a blogger/book author/dog mom/yoga instructor/artist. Oh, and someday I hope to add /mother to that list.

  • 4. Karmz  |  May 5th, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Just moved to DC from Boston. Auditor/Photographer/Traveler!

    Too bad I’m going to miss you in DC on 5/7, I will be traveling to SF for work.

    Good luck.

  • 5. C.  |  May 10th, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I’m a would-be slash…twelve year mom nearly finished with a marketing degree, entering a nursing program so that I can work/ attend school full time to get a Masters in Education. Eight year plan ending in three degrees, two full time jobs, with plenty of money and time on my hands to travel…by the time I’m fifty and a near empty-nester.

  • 6. Nichelle  |  May 10th, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    I am a slash. I am a bookkeeper, blogger, comedy producer and publicist. I will try to make it to your reading in NYC on the 14th.

  • 7. Michelle Goodman  |  May 11th, 2007 at 6:53 am

    great to hear from everyone! nichelle, i just read about you in marci’s latest column — congrats!

  • 8. Kare Anderson  |  May 11th, 2007 at 8:05 am

    I, too read about you in Marci’s blog. I am a speaker/author/ pro bono communicaiton coach for three human rights orgs/ sculling instructor…. former Wall Street Journal and NBC reporter. What a fun blog this is… I’m going to buy your book.

    I recommend to everyone: get one work-from-home assistant (who is probalby a “slash”) and, for each profit center you create (hopefully around your content/idea) that others can help sell and improve and getting an increaasing cut of the profit pie as they sell more…. you get an increasingly smaller piece of the bigger pie they create… thus you are all inspired to do what you like to do most – and make more money while you are at it – and enjoy the kind of camaraderie that comes from that spirit and system.
    ..and/or partner with others who serve the same niche market as you do to attract more customers and spending while marketing less. – Kare, author, SmartPartnering

  • 9. Mikhaela Reid  |  May 11th, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    I do have an awesome 9-5 doing graphic design and production work.

    But I’m also a self-syndicated political cartoonist and illustrator, writer and information graphics designer and just got a random gig painting a big mural. No, I don’t ever get sleep! I can’t wait to check out your book–I’m going to try to make your Bluestockings or Book Court signing.

  • 10. Michelle Goodman  |  May 28th, 2007 at 11:23 am

    thanks for writing, everyone. i love all this chiming in.

  • 11. Charlotte Webb  |  September 18th, 2008 at 5:46 am

    I’m an author/illustrator/poet/photographer/cartoonist/lyricist/artist/instructor/motivatrional speaker, oh yes I also clean house abnd take care of my husband and myself. The kids are now grown and on their own. I teach college and I have this semester off.

    Oh, I’m also a seamstress by trade. I’m currently looking for an agent. I think? My name is Charlotte Webb, my given name. I use it for my profession now. Got any advice?

  • 12. Michelle Goodman  |  September 18th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Charlotte, are you asking for advice for looking for an agent? (Or something else?) If an agent, what kind? Books? If books, look in the books most like yours at the bookstore and see what agent they thank in the acknowledgments. Then research how to contact that agent — and what projects they’re looking for — on the web. Check out http://www.mediabistro.com too.

  • 13. Carolyn  |  September 24th, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I am a piano instructor/part-time library assistant/freelance copyeditor, and book transcriber.

    I used to teach in a music studio and copyedited on the side. I entered into copyediting by taking an online continuing education course and I am presently taking a creative nonfiction writing course. I am transcribing a book for my brother-in-law who is writing a book. He is a roofer/home remodeler/home inspector/author/photographer/hockey coach (and former English teacher).

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Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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