Philippe, 56 years old, has been a merchant for more than thirty years. Several years ago, he gave himself the “leisure” to develop other skills, to the point that today he presents himself as a merchant/CEGEP teacher/trainer/musician. You will understand, the “slasher” label comes from the accumulation of angled bars, slashes, on the presentation.
Like more and more people in Europe and North America, Philippe recently changed his professional life by juxtaposing several paid activities. Although some do so out of economic necessity, more than two-thirds become so by choice.
“People do it out of a desire to not confine themselves to a single activity, the desire to deploy their multiple potentials and skills and to be able to use different forms of intelligence,” explains Marielle Barbe, slasher (coach/consultant/trainer/author/speaker) and author of Slasher Profession: Accumulating Jobs, a Profession of the Future, at Éditions Marabout.
Phenomenon of Generations Y/Z?
“Not at all,” responds Marielle Barbe. “Without having the title, our grandparents also accumulated jobs to make ends meet… For my part, I thought I was unstable and indecisive until just recently.”
Unlike their elders, many young professionals of Generations Y and Z choose to be free of the expert label, or the “monoprofessional”. “To be professionally fulfilled, activities must involve the heart, the body and the head, thus creativity, social interaction and movement,” explains Marielle Barbe. “This is a reinvention of the relationship to work that is spreading at great speed.”
According to Marielle Barbe, companies will have to adapt to this evolving reality. “Slashers are no longer the ugly ducklings, or the chronically unstable, but profiles that will be the most sought after thanks to their agility and their understanding of complexity,” she explains.
In the winter of 2018, the Government of Canada launched a “free agents” program to assist in recruitment and retention of young public servants. This program offers greater professional mobility within the public service through targeted projects and roles.
Who can be a slasher?
“Everyone… provided you have the right mindset!,” says Marielle Barbe.
Like Philippe, you must have an insatiable curiosity/be carried by discoveries/be enthusiastic and a self-learner/be able to learn from failures and mistakes/value freedom/develop many skills/etc.