More and more people are identifying as Slashers – are you one too?
The ‘new’ title no doubt reflects our human fascination with labels. From generational ones like Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomer, to snappy ones like Yuppie, Dinky, etc. Ironically, by its nature, the ‘Slasher’ title effectively implies that one label is not sufficient as we are more than one thing!
I came across the term in a recent presentation by a reinsurer – and found it quite amusing. And given how popular Halloween has become in the UK over recent years, I thought now would be an opportune time to share it with you.
The need for another label very much points to the growing sense that there is a new breed of flexible workers, those who don’t like to be defined by the previous categories from a jobs-for-life era. We’ve seen tremendous growth in the sharing economy, fuelled by our belief that an individual stranger (reviewed by other strangers) is more trustworthy than an institutional behemoth. We’ve seen the concept of ‘gigs’ spread from the artistic industry into more areas where ‘one time only’ works well, like taxi-rides, furniture assembly, food delivery and queuing-by-proxy.
Over time, we’ve also seen the desire to do different concurrent jobs rise. The historical reason was to supplement income, but reasons like a need for variety, a preference to use multiple skillsets and a way to diversify income streams are encouraging more people to work like this. Older terms like “moonlighting” are being joined by “portfolio careers” and “multi-jobs”, and now “slashers”.
The Taylor Review in the UK (2017) quoted official data that 3.5% of people have a second job. But, the report notes that this is unlikely to include the increasing number of people earning additional money in a more casual way, through the use of online platforms for example. It cites a McKinsey Global Institute report (“Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy”) which estimates that 20%-30% of the working age population are engaged in independent work.
So what type of slasher are you?
A more traditional model/actor? A banker/designer like an office worker by day and a superhero by night? A consultant/blogger? An actuary/entrepreneur? A lawyer/activist? A property baron / accountant? A doctor/orator? Please let us know in the comments.
PS: I was fortunate to be in the US last year for Halloween (New York City) – quite a spectacle indeed! Everything was decorated in line with the theme (including an orange Empire State Building) – I was particularly surprised to visit a church on the 31st and find that it too had been decorated with cobwebs, ghosts and skeletons!
On Wednesday evening I attended a thought-provoking panel discussion on different aspects of Intergenerational Fairness, chaired by Paul Sweeting, and with Louise Pryor, Fiona Morrison and Peter Tompkins as panelists. The wide-ranging Q&A session was great.
One question that particularly stuck with me was from a newly qualified actuary within the Pensions specialism. He asked about the future for pensions actuaries, expressing his long-term career concern for those who have specialised in the pensions field, based on the challenging dynamics covered during the panel, including for example the shift from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution, low savings rates, sustainability and regular rule changes.
The responses from the panelists covered:
I'm not quite so sure that career transitions for actuaries are that straightforward... A number of PROTAGION's members tell us they feel typecast in their specialism (Life, General, Pensions, Healthcare etc), especially as they get more post-qualification experience. In contrast, transitions for actuarial students are far more common. Are there enough role models like Louise to show that these changes are indeed possible for qualified actuaries?
I also worry that it's more limited for those qualifying more recently. If I think back to the breadth of Specialist Technical subjects I was required to complete (Life Insurance, General Insurance, Pensions and Investments), versus the opportunity for current students to choose two from an admittedly wider list, do today's qualifiers have sufficiently broad specialist understanding to be able to transition? They do have a good generalist asset and liability understanding from the Core Applications modules though.
I'm interested to hear your views too, including from:
- actuaries who've considered and/or made a transition
- recruiters who've helped qualifieds move between specialisms
- coaches who've guided these experienced professionals through the change
The CFA Institute Magazine article below sets out the routes to the C-suite for seven investment management professionals. Entitled “What Does It Take to Reach the Executive Level?” it covers career histories and tips from individuals who now fill roles like Chief Investment Officer, president, Chief Operating Officer, and CEO/co-founder.
A broad range of starting points for these individuals, including accounting, computer science, economics, mathematics, and finance/investments itself. And, interestingly, a number of them passed through management consulting during their respective careers.
The article also touches on themes like:
"What Does It Take to Reach the Executive Level?" www.cfapubs.org/doi/full/10.2469/cfm.v28.n3.3