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What are 'Slash' careers and why you need one now?

James Huang | 2020.12.08

I had the opportunity to give a keynote at a small conference.  I mentioned to the group that I am a type of person which is boring (personal lifestyle) and at the same time easy to get bored (at work).

You have to balance your passions (to what you love) and not your time. 

I shared my story of my own slash career in the keynote..  While working in IT department of a bank, I didn’t feel fulfilled creatively nor the importance of the job, so I began learning about topics I loved including graphics design, business writing; in parallel, I literarily destroy my job duty in the bank, but removing all daily issues away. 

While working as a Solution Architect in an MNC, I didn’t feel I am able to balance my own career dream, so I began to foster my own business which I can fulfil my own business idea and also market.  While working as a General Manager in a stated-owned Enterprise,  I spot on different market segment which is different to the company direction, I therefore setup an alternative business line in parallel.  for 2 years, I managed both careers before deciding to leave my full time job to run MERCURY.

My definition of balance, and managing simultaneous careers to achieve fulfilment, slash careers could be a step in the right direction for greater work-life satisfaction.

What Is A Slash Career?

Slash is a punctuation mark, meaning “or” or “and”. 

I my opinion, it is “and” rather than "or".  People with slash careers are those making multiple income streams simultaneously from different careers.  'Slash career' isn't just taking up multiple part-time jobs.  From my point of view, slash does not meant to give up your full time job.  A slash career is not for everyone, your have to be really disciplined and provide double (or triple) effort at the initial stage to make both (or more) careers work.  You may need to give up your personal life style to make the thing works.  50% of new business can't survive 1st year; 70% of new business can't survive in 3rd year.

My Philosophy on Slash

My view to setup a new self-fulfilling business should be in following 5 stages:

  1. Build the structure and develop the market

  2. Streamline the operation and further develop

  3. Delegate the operation and trust the team

  4. Monitor and growth the team

  5. Restart from Step 1 for next business. 

I am relatively lazy to do repetitive work, generally speaking, I spend about 12 - 18 months to complete stage 1 to 3 and delegate to the team.  My "Slash" may be more incubating rather than "multiple" jobs concurrently.

My New Slash

 In additional to the MERCURY business architect role and two other companies I setup (and still running) 12 years ago, my new ambition is to setup a property development company in United Kingdom.  So, I am learning Town Planning, Architecture, Regulatory on the Town planning, Lease, Financial Planning, Mortgage, Taxation, Construction Management and more...


Being a "Slash" is exciting and it is very likely you need to continue to learn something new and explore the new world.  Once you got your stable income stream, being a 'Slash' allows you to experiment, find direction and hone different skills.  From my perspective, the key to be a "Slash" is to fulfil your own passionate.

I am now a:

Business Architect/ Software Developer/ Network Architect/ Project Manager/ Business Analyst/ Contact Center Expert/ Logistics Planner/ Supply Chain Planner/ Finance Planner/ Business Development/ Digital Creator/ Digital Marketer/ Writer/ Culturist/ Property Developer

Interesting huh?

What are 'Slash' careers and why you need one now?
MERCURY TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION, James Huang 8 December, 2020
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