My life as a ‘slashie’

My ‘slashie’ lifestyle means having lots of free time

When people ask me what I do for a job I often hesitate, unsure which job to tell them about first. I have several jobs. We refer to this as a portfolio career which makes it sound rather glamorous, but it’s often not! There are around 320,000 of us in Britain, with a multiple income stream. This has become an increasingly common employment pattern for many in recent years, creating the term ‘slashie.’ We are the slashie generation and even though I no longer apply for jobs I could describe myself as a slashie on a dating profile! I’m a funeral celebrant/author/carer/landlord/Airbnb proprietor.

There must be lots of reasons why people have several jobs. Some people have no choice and for others, needs must. Wages are low in some sectors of the economy and to make ends meet some people work incredibly long hours, flitting from their day job to their evening job. When I worked at a care home, some of the night carers dashed home for breakfast, then went on to day jobs. Life is hard. They do what they need to, in order to make ends meet.

I fell into this pattern of work, not through choice, but as time’s gone by it’s become my preferred way to live because I love the flexibility. It means I’m there for my daughter when she needs lifts to the doctor or orthodontist and when it rains I can drive her to school. It also means I don’t have to rely on one source of income. There’s so much uncertainty in every area I work in and constant change. It’s about keeping ahead and trying to predict change. It’s also about trying to be the best and that means training, development and courses to improve your skills. In an ideal world I’d like to be the best in just one of the fields. I have had a varied career from teaching to childminding to office work, but seven years ago when I found myself at a career crossroad I trained as a funeral celebrant. I love this work. In fact it’s the best job I’ve ever done. It can be quite seasonal; busy in January and February (that’s the dying season!) and flat in May/June which means I try to pick up more care work in the summer months. I take in lodgers because I can’t always predict what I will earn and they help to pay the bills.  Since the referendum of 2016 it’s become very hard to find lodgers though. Most of mine came from Eastern Europe and that is why I started doing Airbnb – because I couldn’t fill my two rooms with permanent lodgers. Airbnb is great but if I get busy with funerals, changing beds is time consuming!

Most of my free time is spent doing what I most enjoy – writing family sagas. I earn a small amount from selling these on Amazon but again this income fluctuates from month to month and Amazon’s advertising costs are rising all the time. Amazon give us the platform to sell our books, but with the hand they fleece us!

And when I’m not writing I’m promoting my books – I guess that counts as another job on the list although it’s unpaid! Here is a link to my page on Amazon and here is a link to my funeral business.

Thank you for reading!

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