Tuesday, November 3, 2009

9 Big Ideas from Marci Alboher

In my constant quest for self discovery, I've been reading a lot lately. My first "Big Ideas" post was about Randy's Pausch's book 'The Last Lecture' (and mustaches). The latest book I finished was Marci Alboher's 'One Person/Multiple Careers: How the "Slash Effect" Can Work For You: A New Model For Work/Life Success' (Full disclosure: I actually started reading 'Your Money or Your Life' but felt like their ideas were too rigid for me and returned it to the library).

So unlike 'Your Money or Your Life', I finished 'One Person/Multiple Careers'. I'm glad I did because it was informative and inspiring to read about many different people who were able to find much more fulfillment in life by blending different types of jobs, volunteer activities, or interests. Which is basically where I (and many people I know) are at right now. At least the cool ones.

Part I: A Slash Career: Getting Started

Interesting side note: Marci spends no time defining the "slash effect" or addressing the idea that EVERYONE has multiple facets to their personality, including what the do for money, for joy, or for other people. For me, this book was about realizing that the different slashes of a person don't necessarily have to be compartmentalized. Or that everyone is beholden to the system of being defined by a job or needing to work a 40 hour/week job to have a career or be 'successful'. Or even having a stock answer to the question "So what do you do?"

Chapter 1: Begin, Improve, Reinvent. Repeat

Slashes are usually entrepreneurial, are required to constantly tinker and adapt to changes and new beginnings, and generally follow a different path.

Chapter 2: Slash Breeding Grounds: Starter Professions, Volunteering, Passions, and Detours

It isn't bad to have learned something and then decide that you want to do less of it, or none of it. Even unrelated slashes you try later can benefit from your starter profession

Chapter 3: Thinking Like a Modern Moonlighter

There are many different ways of incorporating slashes depending on how you want to structure your life. I'm working on the "job plus entrepreneur" model to work part-time and do something else part-time.

Chapter 4: Writing, Teaching, Thinking, and Consulting: Four Slashes That Go With Anything

I think teaching would be super fun.

Chapter 5: Anatomy of a Slash Combination: An Exercise

Thinking about anchors and orbiters is an interesting way of changing what you do so that different activities are balanced. For instance, my job is an anchor to me because I am paying back a 401k loan and get health insurance. But it could become an orbiter if I could get external insurance and pay back the loan.

Part II: Succeeding in a Slash Life

Chapter 6: Presenting Yourself: Introductions, Resumes, Business Cards, and More

A slash identity should be actively cultivated.

Chapter 7: Synergies, Leveraging, and the Power of Incongruous Combinations

"Always work to turn anything that could be a handicap into an advantage."

Chapter 8: Working the Twenty-First-Century Workplace

There are a plethora of flexible work options - both on the company books and customizations, but it is imperative that your supervisor is on board. Being a high performer doesn't hurt.

Chapter 9: Overcoming Overload, Naysayers, and Other Slash Stumbling Blocks

Developing systems to keep yourself focused and responsible is the key to creating a work/life balance such that work doesn't feel like work.

Chapter 10: Special Considerations of Parent Slashes

Why only 9 ideas? Because I didn't even read this section.

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