Have you ever come across the saying, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”? This phrase is intended to be a compliment, meaning that a person is a generalist rather than a specialist, and is versatile and adept at many things. But in many instances of life, (think school, work, and even personal hobbies) we are subtly pushed towards focusing our skills and learning just one thing, with the goal to become an expert in your field. While being an expert is not a bad thing, there are actually many benefits to knowing, understanding, and being skilled in several categories.
Throughout the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and had to pivot unexpectedly to keep earning a paycheck. And if your industry was suffering as a whole, finding new work was probably challenging. This caused an uprising in a new job trend called ‘slashing.’ Basically, it’s a group of people (slashies) who have decided that they can be many things. Just think, you can be an engineer and also a circus performer, or a construction worker and an artist. Or maybe even an account executive and a yoga teacher. The goal of slashing, or being a slashie, is to flourish in more than one job while enjoying the stability of a regular income, just from multiple sources.
“Being a Slashie is not the same as babysitting in order to become a dancer or reluctantly waiting tables while pursuing an acting career. Being a Slashie means weaving together a patchwork career that you enjoy every element of. It’s a lifestyle that aims to enforce a better balance between maintaining a successful career, while feeling genuinely happy.” – medium.com
There’s a lot about this trend that fits in nicely with the philosophy we practice in yoga. Summed up: We are not just one thing, we are many things. Being a slashie myself has allowed me to live an abundant life pursuing my passions and always have a stead income. Here are the top three benefits to joining the club.
Finding Your Purpose
You might have heard the word ‘dharma’ tossed around in yoga classes, but what does it really mean? Dharma is a Buddhist teaching that’s used to improve the quality of your life and to help you discover your life’s purpose. Basically, we all have a dharma, and sometimes it aligns with our job and sometimes it doesn’t. This new trend is helping people become more aligned with their dharma in ways that also pay the bills.
We are taught from a young age that we should go to school and get good grades, head off to college to learn a skill, and then find a job where we can spend our career excelling in that industry. But for many of us, it’s hard to pinpoint just one thing we feel passionately about. Or even just one thing we are good at. And I know this from personal experience.
I’m a yoga teacher, yoga teacher trainer, copywriter, editor, marketer, and project manager. I perform these roles across a few different companies, in different capacities. But that’s just how I make money. I’m also a dog lover, avid reader, fitness enthusiast, Grey’s Anatomy super fan, and anatomy nerd. I’m not just one thing, so there’s just no way I could spend my life making a living by doing just one thing.
Living with Intention
I didn’t purposely become a slashie, it was something that evolved organically when I started to listen to my gut rather than my head. I started to think bigger, see my dreams as realities rather than far-off fantasies, and decided that I could do just about anything I put my mind to.
I was working in marketing for several years when I came across some writing I had done back in college while cleaning out files on my computer. I read these pieces and felt immediate pride in my college-aged self, but then the pride faded into sadness as I realized it had been years since I used my skills as a writer. I decided right then and there that I would find a way to bring my love of writing back into my daily life. And then my world shifted.
I continued to work my 9-5 marketing job but started doing freelance writing in my free time. My journey into teaching yoga was similar. After being a student for a year and seeing first-hand the benefits that yoga can bring to your life, I knew this was something I wanted to offer others. From there, I found a 200hr training that fit my lifestyle. And I continued my education for the next several years, working my way through a 300hr training, Yin trainings, mentorships, and more.
I now use my marketing knowledge in my yoga business, my project management skills to help organize my everyday life, and I have taught yoga classes in corporate environments through my client contacts. I work with businesses in many different fields and pick up more tools and skills during each engagement.
Just recently my dog and I were working with our long-term trainer on some new behavior skills. The trainer told me that my dog has been progressing well, and a large part of that was because I was able to properly teach him. He said that if I ever wanted to become a certified dog trainer he would be happy to mentor me through the process. I immediately brushed this off as a crazy idea. I can’t be a dog trainer, that’s not what I do! It’s not a skill I have. But after more thought, I realized it’s not crazy at all. I’m deeply passionate about dogs, I love teaching, and it would allow me to combine a few of my current skills while learning more along the way. As someone who hopes to always have dogs in my life, maybe this would help me be a better owner and dog advocate.
I won’t be adding dog trainer to my resume just yet, as I have other more immediate goals and projects in my near future. But it doesn’t mean it’s off the table completely.
Planning Your Journey
You don’t need to make a huge change overnight to start reaping the benefits of the slashie lifestyle. Start by listing out the things you love, your skillset, what you would like to learn or get better at, and then see if there is a connection. Maybe you’re on the way to completing your 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and want to figure out how to make teaching a bigger part of your journey.
And if you love your 9-5 but think having a little side hustle could be a great way to earn some extra money or dive deeper into a hobby, go for it! The possibilities are endless, so start thinking big.