Hong Kong ‘slashies’ reject conventional jobs to pursue a number of careers

It has been seven years since Gary Chung left his job in finance and product administration. The 44-year-old is now a self-professed “slashie” — somebody who pursues a number of careers in lieu of holding a standard full-time job.  “I made a decision to be a slashie as a result of … working in Hong


It has been seven years since Gary Chung left his job in finance and product administration.

The 44-year-old is now a self-professed “slashie” — somebody who pursues a number of careers in lieu of holding a standard full-time job. 

“I made a decision to be a slashie as a result of … working in Hong Kong, the extra time work, the depth — I could not stand it for fairly a very long time,” he instructed CNBC.

Since taking the “leap of religion,” Chung has labored as a marriage cameraman and phonics trainer — however for now, he is chosen to concentrate on being a Taekwondo teacher and sports activities merchandise gross sales coach.

What’s a ‘slashie’?

American creator Marci Alboher is usually credited for popularizing the time period “slash profession.” She wrote a e book about individuals who pursue a number of pursuits and revenue streams seeking a satisfying work life.

One different instance is Hugo Ho — a private coach/social entrepreneur/monetary planner who lives in Hong Kong.

“I do not do the identical factor day in and day trip. Daily is totally different,” the 31-year-old instructed CNBC. “I’m so refreshed and motivated day-after-day.”

The idea of being a slashie is considerably much like being a freelancer — but totally different, mentioned Vicki Fan, CEO {of professional} providers agency Mercer’s Hong Kong enterprise.

“Freelancers are typically … hour- or project-based, and they’re pleased with form of troughs and peaks by way of work,” she mentioned.

Being a slashie is “extra formalized,” she defined. “They might be making use of for comparable roles that full-time folks out there shall be making use of for as nicely.”

Rising pattern

Anecdotally, this path appears to be more and more widespread in Hong Kong and world wide.

Chung, the Taekwondo teacher/sports activities merchandise gross sales coach, mentioned lots of people need good work-life steadiness.

“As a slashie … I’d assume that may be simpler to steadiness,” he mentioned, including that many individuals additionally need to be YouTubers/web influencers.

Ho, the non-public coach, mentioned technological developments permit folks to hunt totally different profession alternatives simply.

For slashie work tradition to be extra embedded, two enablers must be in place, and that is from an employer’s perspective.

Vicki Fan

Mercer Hong Kong

In response to Mercer’s Fan, there was a rise within the variety of slashies, particularly because of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, she doesn’t see slashies changing the mainstream workforce.

“For slashie work tradition to be extra embedded, two enablers must be in place, and that is from an employer’s perspective,” she mentioned.

The primary is a redefinition of labor to focus extra on expertise or obligations, and fewer on working hours and processes. “Many corporations’ present roles don’t work like that,” Fan mentioned.

Secondly, slashies must have alternatives and entry to advantages corresponding to well being care. In any other case, there’s prone to be a cap on the variety of folks keen to be slashies.

Issues for potential slashies

Chung is underneath no phantasm in regards to the trade-offs between a standard occupation and his personal unconventional profession alternative, having given up a secure revenue and a job with medical insurance to be a slashie.

“It is fairly a giant threat,” he mentioned. “As a father of two, it is actually a … massive leap of religion.”

The coronavirus disaster additionally hit him. With retail companies struggling, he didn’t get a lot work as a gross sales coach. On the identical time, the Taekwondo gymnasium the place he coaches additionally needed to shut briefly, and courses had been moved on-line.

We’ve got been working so arduous, I’d say thrice as arduous, however incomes perhaps half as a lot.

“We’ve got been working so arduous — I’d say thrice as arduous, however incomes perhaps half as a lot,” he mentioned.

It is vital to be financially prepared for a drop in revenue, particularly in the beginning, Chung mentioned.

“As soon as I stop my job to turn out to be a slashie, I feel I used to be incomes just one third of my (earlier) wage,” he mentioned. Slashies-to-be should even have good information of the roles they take up, be disciplined and have assist from their households, he suggested.

Mercer’s Fan mentioned employers might also view slashies in another way in the event that they apply for a full-time position.

Evaluating the resumes of a slashie and a standard worker, hiring managers might query whether or not a slashie may be devoted to the job.

No turning again

That is unlikely to be a priority for Chung and Ho — each males say they are not fascinated about going again to common 9-to-5 jobs.

Ho mentioned he would “undoubtedly not” return to a standard full-time position.

“I get pleasure from being a slashie as a result of I can have my flexibility,” he mentioned.

Chung mentioned he now earns greater than he used to and enjoys what he does.

“I actually love what I do now,” he mentioned. “As a slashie, as a Taekwondo coach, I haven’t got to work a lot, so … I can spend extra time with my household.”

— CNBC’s Yolande Chee contributed to this report.



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