The Art of Simultaneous Professions
“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” – James Matthew Barrie
According to a guest post by A.J. Jacobs on Brazen Careerist, he predicts that the double-job trend is making a comeback! Who wants to be pigeonholed into just one profession during the paycheck collecting phase of life? Pity the doctor, the lawyer, the accountant. Hooray for the mortgage broker who does stand-up or the sales rep who peddles landscaping talents on weekends.
Jacobs writes, “All the great figures of the eighteenth and nineteenth century had at least two simultaneous jobs, maybe more.” Modern work is starting to learn from history.
Penelope Trunk introduced the concept a year ago when she wrote, “Most people have skills that cross into more than one profession. And if you take any one of the popular personality tests offered by web sites and career counselors you will find that peoples’ personalities do not fit neatly into one type of profession either. So the idea of having to choose one single profession is frequently unappealing.”
Marci Alboher, the author of the book called One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model For Work/Life Success, believes that, “When the disparate threads of one’s life are woven together in this way, the whole of you comes out.” She calls this the “slash” phenomenon – when you add a slash or two to your job description. As in:
- Pharmacist / jewelry maker / eBay seller
- Mgr of human resources / caterer / art collector
- Systems engineer / Champaign importer & connoisseur
Here’s a real life example: Fritz Klein, a bisexual psychiatrist and inventor of the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid also dabbled as an actor and felt that the two careers were very complementary. See the picture of duality?
Jane M. Von Bergen interviewed Alboher in The phenomenon of slash / careers. She writes, “Alboher used to be slash-less, just a plain old lawyer in New York. But once she got interested in people with multiple careers, she noticed them everywhere – just the way pregnant women suddenly notice that everyone at the mall has either a belly or a buggy.”
So what’s on either side of your slash? How are you making money in more than one profession? Share your thoughts and slashes below.