Whole Life Magazine

October/November 2014

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/390790

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Page 19 of 43

success track O ur professional lives are changing. While it was common for our grandparents to have only one job their entire working lives, the expectation that a person stay with a single occupation is increasingly rare. Instead of having one full-time job, more and more of us have slashes connecting our various titles. Writer/teacher. Singer/fi tness Instructor. Coach/consultant. Shelley Hiestand, a self-pro- fessed slashist who recently completed her Ph.D. in Sexology, is a per- fect example. When she's not giving sem- inars on how to maintain healthy intimate relations, she and her husband Denie are busy promoting their skin cream line or holding healthy living workshops. Hie- stand, who describes herself as a business woman/sexologist/holistic lifestyle advo- cate/author/seminar presenter, says she loves the diversity and coordinates all her projects around her primary goal: "I hope to bring more joy and well-being into the lives of the people I meet. I think I would go crazy in my original career as a lawyer." Having a slash career makes sense for a variety of reasons. Today's workforce is history's most educated, with a variety of skills and thousands of dollars in student loans to prove it. In return, we expect our work to fulfi ll us, and often one job just doesn't tick all the boxes. Our motives vary, from avoiding the life of parents who slaved miserably at corporate jobs to longing for personal fulfi llment. Or we may have such an ur- gent need to save the planet that we can't decide on just one way to contribute. Of course, in an economically unstable time, it's useful to have alternative sources of income. For Penelope Trunk, an entrepreneur/ career advisor/blogger, fi nancial stability is a big motivation for pursuing a slash career. "As the breadwinner, having a back-up career makes me less anxious. And I always write because it keeps me sane." Her advice for people looking to get into multiple careers is to specialize in one, then add another later. "The slash career works best when you add some- thing smaller to a specialty that is earning you money." Nancy Collamer, a career consultant/ speaker and author of Second-Act Ca- reers: 50+ Ways to Profi t from Your Pas- sions During Semi-Retirement, recom- mends focusing on similar interests when building a slash career. "[By] fi nding multi- ple income streams within the same niche, you won't have to continually market your- self to different customers." She uses the metaphor of a tree: the trunk is her main profession of career consultant, and writ- ing, speaking and coaching are branches. She can concentrate on her passion while enjoying the variety and benefi ts of a slash career. Branching out was easy for Cinda Phelps. A European-trained skin care therapist who created her own organic line, Cinda's Botanical Blends, Phelps de- scribes herself as a cosmetologist/ artisan/educator/business woman. Not only does she craft her own products, she teaches others her alchemical secrets. But steering all of our passions into a single niche isn't essential. Hiestand's interests—skin cream, sex therapy, nutrition—may seem wildly divergent, yet because they are all elements of a holistic life- style, she can invite clients already interested in one to explore other areas of healthy living. Trunk prefers to have a fi nan- cially stable base (career coaching) so she can pursue writing without having to worry about income. Her blog simultane- ously advertises her base and publishes her creative writing, allowing her to promote her various skills without stretching herself too thin. While some people thrive in a slash career, it's not for everyone. Continually learning new skills, establishing yourself in a new fi eld and fi nding a balance between work and down time can be a challenge. Hiestand says managing her own hours is both the benefi t and pitfall of her work. "It's easy to work crazy hours and burn the candle at both ends," she admits. How- ever, working long hours hasn't deterred her. "I think I was destined to have mul- tiple simultaneous careers," she says. "I was always a busy bee, doing many dif- ferent jobs, sports and artistic pursuits at the same time. So I was never going to be satisfi ed with just one career." Though having varied work can require a lot of effort, especially in the start-up stages, it also has the potential to be ex- tremely rewarding. Whether it fulfi lls your passion or just makes you less anxious about fi nances, a slash career may be your ticket to a happier you. By Larissa Peuckert-Coleman Multiple titles and income streams offer challenges and rewards THE SLASH CAREER 20 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

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