For those of us who have lived long professional lives or who’ve been forced to reinvent ourselves due to a stagnant or disastrous job economy, the challenge is to think outside the box and discover new interests to parlay into a “job,” one that, hopefully, provides ample satisfaction and financial security.

In her book, One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model For Work/Life Success, Marci Alboher suggests that we all become a “slash.”  Slash as in “lawyer/minister, recruiter/innkeeper, CEO/mom.”

“The true winners in today’s workplace are those who cultivate multiple passions, talents and income streams to create satisfying work lives.”

Are you a “slash”?  Take a few moments to list all of your past and current “jobs” and income streams.

I’ve done my homework and think I fall into the  “half a slash” category.

English teacher/newspaper reporter, A/V producer/TV researcher, author/radio documentarian.  (Oops, I forgot “mom.” English teacher/mom.)  And I’ve skipped over summer jobs:  Office worker (Thanks, dad!)/swimming instructor/lifeguard. There may a few I’ve forgotten, but I’m a senior and can be forgiven for the lapse in memory.

To do a longitudinal study of a sample of Americans would involve following them from their first job to their last.  Such an undertaking has, to date, proved Herculean.  However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest data on workers who are now ages 46 to 54 said the average member of that group has had 11.3 jobs in his or her lifetime. The people in the survey were born between 1957 and 1964, and constitute the latter part of the baby boom.  On average, men held slightly more jobs than women.

What are the advantages of being a “slash”?  (That’s slash, not slasher.)

  • Keeps those brain synapsis firing
  • Gives you something new to talk about.  Friends, partners, family may even look forward to 16918368028089039378having you around.
  • Allows you to expand your wardrobe.
  • Increases the number of steps you take daily as monitored on your stylish Fitbit.
  • Reintroduces you to public transportation or to car sharing.

And, most importantly:

  • Gives you a reason to get up in the morning.

If you want to read about a host of folks 50+ who reinvented themselves, check out this article in the Huffington Post:

As for me, my next slash will read author/New York Times op-ed contributor Gail Collins look alike/write alike.

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