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 additional time work, the depth — I could not stand it for fairly a very long time,” he informed CNBC.

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

What’s a ‘slashie’?

American writer Marci Alboher is usually credited for popularizing the time period “slash profession.” She wrote a ebook about individuals who pursue a number of pursuits and earnings streams in quest of 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 time out. Each day is totally different,” the 31-year-old informed CNBC. “I’m so refreshed and motivated on daily basis.”

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

“Freelancers are usually … hour- or project-based, and they’re proud of type of troughs and peaks by way of work,” she mentioned.

Being a slashie is “extra formalized,” she defined. “They’d be making use of for related roles that full-time individuals available in the market will likely be making use of for as effectively.”

Rising development

Anecdotally, this path appears to be more and more frequent in Hong Kong and around the globe.

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

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

Ho, the non-public coach, mentioned technological developments enable individuals 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 keeping with Mercer’s Fan, there was a rise within the variety of slashies, particularly on account 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 tasks, and fewer on working hours and processes. “Many firms’ present roles don’t work like that,” Fan mentioned.

Secondly, slashies have to have alternatives and entry to advantages reminiscent of well being care. In any other case, there’s more likely to be a cap on the variety of individuals prepared to be slashies.

Concerns for potential slashies

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

“It is fairly a giant danger,” 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 similar time, the Taekwondo fitness center the place he coaches additionally needed to shut quickly, and lessons have been moved on-line.

We now have been working so onerous, I’d say thrice as onerous, however incomes perhaps half as a lot.

“We now have been working so onerous — I’d say thrice as onerous, however incomes perhaps half as a lot,” he mentioned.

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

“As soon as I give up my job to turn into 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 help from their households, he suggested.

Mercer’s Fan mentioned employers may additionally view slashies otherwise in the event that they apply for a full-time function.

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 don’t seem to be occupied with going again to common 9-to-5 jobs.

Ho mentioned he would “positively not” return to a standard full-time function.

“I take pleasure in 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 Vivian Kam contributed to this report.