Book Review: One Person, Multiple Careers (Marci Alboher)

Ever heard somebody describing themselves as having a “slash career” before?  Mark my words, it might become part of the standard business lexicon now that the author of this book, Marci Alboher, is championing the adoption of this catchy phrase to describe the growing number of people who split their time across two or more different careers, simultaneously!

Why the “slash” part?  It sounds so violent, at first, but simply describes anybody who would tend to have multiple job titles listed on their business card, separated by a slash character.  You know, kind of like that neighbor of yours who is an attorney by day and teaches cooking lessons at night (i.e. attorney-slash-cooking teacher) or that flight attendant who moonlights as a real estate agent (i.e. flight attendant-slash-real estate agent) when they’re not up in the sky pointing out emergency exits.  Previously, I’ve seen such people described as having “composite” or “portfolio” careers, but “slash careers” is definitely a more distinctive way to put it, so it might very well catch on in the days to come.

At any rate, Ms. Alboher’s claim is that such careers are becoming much more commonplace, stemming from the growing desire of many people to diversify their income streams, as well as find a way to exercise multiple passions in a professional context.  Certainly, there do seem to be many more people out there these days who fit this description, and the author does an excellent job of outlining this emerging career option in tremendous depth.  Throughout the course of the book, she profiles dozens of different people who are holding down 2 or more different career roles, concurrently, and she also provides excellent advice on how people can successfully plan, manage, and balance this rather unique career choice.  In this sense, she’s provided not only a book full of inspiration, but also of very practical insights and  recommendations.  The chapter-ending “key points” summaries she wrote, in particular, were some of the best I’ve ever seen, in any book!

At the same time, Ms. Alboher certainly doesn’t claim that a dual-career track is for everyone, and I appreciated the frank chapters near the end of the book that talked about how such careers can be harder for people who are the parents of small children — and that outlined some of the other hidden stresses that can come from needing to be on top of your game in two totally distinct areas of expertise.  Additionally, she provides an array of useful websites related to the “slash career” concept, as well as a number of actual resume samples from the people profiled in her book, ranging from the Rabbi/Stand-Up Comedian (tagline: “the world’s only practicing clergyman doing stand-up comedy…intentionally!”) to the gentleman who is a gardener by day and a police offer at night.  The name of this person’s gardening business?  “Lawn Enforcement” of course…

So if you’re feeling that your talents would be too constrained by devoting your days to just a single occupational path, “One Person, Multiple Careers” might be a great read for you!  Without question, we’re going to see even more “slashees” in the days to come, given the changing nature of today’s world of work…

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One Response to “Book Review: One Person, Multiple Careers (Marci Alboher)”

  1. I resemble the “slash career” so I completely understand the notion of one person, multiple careers!

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