It has been seven years since Gary Chung left his job in finance and product administration.

The 44-year-old is now a self-professed “slashie” — somebody who pursues a number of careers in lieu of holding a conventional full-time job. 

“I made a decision to be a slashie as a result of … working in Hong Kong, the additional time work, the depth — I could not stand it for fairly a very long time,” he instructed CNBC.

Since taking the “leap of religion,” Chung has labored as a marriage cameraman and phonics trainer — however for now, he is chosen to give attention to being a Taekwondo teacher and sports activities merchandise gross sales coach.

What’s a ‘slashie’?

American writer Marci Alboher is usually credited for popularizing the time period “slash profession.” She wrote a e-book about individuals who pursue a number of pursuits and revenue streams in quest of a satisfying work life.

One different instance is Hugo Ho — a private coach/social entrepreneur/monetary planner who lives in Hong Kong.

“I do not do the identical factor day in and day trip. On daily basis is totally different,” the 31-year-old instructed CNBC. “I’m so refreshed and motivated day by day.”

The idea of being a slashie is considerably just like being a freelancer — but totally different, stated Vicki Fan, CEO {of professional} providers agency Mercer’s Hong Kong enterprise.

“Freelancers are typically … hour- or project-based, and they’re pleased with type of troughs and peaks when it comes to work,” she stated.

Being a slashie is “extra formalized,” she defined. “They might be making use of for related roles that full-time individuals available in the market shall be making use of for as effectively.”

Rising pattern

Anecdotally, this path appears to be more and more frequent in Hong Kong and all over the world.

Chung, the Taekwondo teacher/sports activities merchandise gross sales coach, stated lots of people need good work-life stability.

“As a slashie … I might suppose that may be simpler to stability,” he stated, including that many individuals additionally need to be YouTubers/web influencers.

Ho, the non-public coach, stated technological developments enable individuals to hunt totally different profession alternatives simply.

For slashie work tradition to be extra embedded, two enablers must be in place, and that is from an employer’s perspective.

Vicki Fan

Mercer Hong Kong

Based on Mercer’s Fan, there was a rise within the variety of slashies, particularly on account of the pandemic.

Nonetheless, she doesn’t see slashies changing the mainstream workforce.

“For slashie work tradition to be extra embedded, two enablers must be in place, and that is from an employer’s perspective,” she stated.

The primary is a redefinition of labor to focus extra on expertise or duties, and fewer on working hours and processes. “Many firms’ current roles don’t work like that,” Fan stated.

Secondly, slashies must have alternatives and entry to advantages corresponding to well being care. In any other case, there’s prone to be a cap on the variety of individuals prepared to be slashies.

Concerns for potential slashies

Chung is beneath no phantasm in regards to the trade-offs between a conventional career and his personal unconventional profession selection, having given up a steady revenue and a job with medical health insurance to be a slashie.

“It is fairly an enormous threat,” he stated. “As a father of two, it is actually a … large leap of religion.”

The coronavirus disaster additionally hit him. With retail companies struggling, he didn’t get a lot work as a gross sales coach. On the similar time, the Taekwondo gymnasium the place he coaches additionally needed to shut briefly, and lessons have been moved on-line.

We’ve got been working so laborious, I might say thrice as laborious, however incomes perhaps half as a lot.

“We’ve got been working so laborious — I might say thrice as laborious, however incomes perhaps half as a lot,” he stated.

It is vital to be financially prepared for a drop in revenue, particularly firstly, Chung stated.

“As soon as I give up my job to change into a slashie, I feel I used to be incomes just one third of my (earlier) wage,” he stated. Slashies-to-be should even have good data of the roles they take up, be disciplined and have help from their households, he suggested.

Mercer’s Fan stated employers may additionally view slashies otherwise in the event that they apply for a full-time function.

Evaluating the resumes of a slashie and a conventional worker, hiring managers could query whether or not a slashie will be devoted to the job.

No turning again

That is unlikely to be a priority for Chung and Ho — each males say they are not excited about going again to common 9-to-5 jobs.

Ho stated he would “undoubtedly not” return to a conventional full-time function.

“I get pleasure from being a slashie as a result of I can have my flexibility,” he stated.

Chung stated he now earns greater than he used to and enjoys what he does.

“I actually love what I do now,” he stated. “As a slashie, as a Taekwondo coach, I haven’t got to work a lot, so … I can spend extra time with my household.”

— CNBC’s Vivian Kam contributed to this report.

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