Across Britain over 320,500 self-employed people are working multiple jobs. While having more than one job can be a way to supplement your income, many people are opting into holding two or three jobs by choice and not out of necessity. Self-employment is on the rise and it's completely changing the way in which careers are viewed.
According to a study by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), "The number of people working in the self-employed sector has grown, so too has its importance to the UK economy. The solo self-employed contributed £271bn to the UK economy in 2017: enough to fund the NHS twice over."
"Slashies", a name given to those with multiple jobs, i.e an actor/chef/potter, are able to harness the flexibility of being freelance in order to have a number of jobs of interest rather than sticking to, and climbing, a rigid career ladder. This can give freelancers the freedom to follow more than one passion and work in a style that is more suited to an individual's needs than one-size-fits-all traditional 9-to-5 set up.
Having multiple jobs can also be more fulfilling — you can continue working your regular job while monetising a hobby or a passion project for a secondary career on the side. As Forbes reports, Being freelance can also be very attractive for parents who need flexible hours for childcare, and it can also means reduce the fear of children being a detriment to furthering your career.
According to the BBC, Naeema Pasha, director of careers at Henley Business School and part of the Association of Business Psychologists says having more than one job isn't a new concept but social media could account for the recent rise. "You're influenced, perhaps, by watching something like Masterchef or make-up programmes and thinking, my passion in food or my passion in making people look good, I can use [social media] this as well and access customers and move things forward quite quickly."
Although having a number of jobs and working around the clock is the new sign of success, unfortunately this can lead to burnout. Research shows that Millennials, who, as the Financial Times reports, are more likely to be part of the "gig economy", are also less likely to take holiday time than older workers according to a 2018 study by the US Travel Association. And as Study Finds reports, a 2017 study also found that three out of five of the 2,000 Millennials surveyed by CBD oil company Endoca believe their lives are more stressful than the average person. This could partially due to the economic climate but social media is often cited as a factor too, as International Business Times reports. Instagram and Twitter are becoming a place to develop personal brands, and emails are on our mobile devices 24/7, which means there's no escape from work life.
And according to the Guardian, the nature of their careers can mean "slashies" risk working too long. As the publication reports, Working Time Regulations say that we should work no more than 48 hours a week and have at least a 20-minute break every six hours. But for those with multiple freelance jobs, hours can easily rack up.
On top of that, chasing payment as a freelancer can be tedious. A recent campaign from freelance journalist Anna Codrea-Rado calling for publications to pay their writers on time gathered several thousand signatures, suggesting that in the media industry in which, as Campaign Live reports many "slashies" work, late payment is still a problem. The Financial Times explains that although freelancers can claim late payments under the 1998 Late Payment Act, "the only way to enforce the fee is through the courts, where the freelancer must be able to prove a contract was in place and that the work was delivered."
Having multiple jobs just might well be the future. It completely changes the way people view careers, proving it's no longer necessary to work entirely in one field and stick to that for the rest of your life. People are multifaceted and our careers can reflect that. But, on the flip side working more than one job can be tiring and can lead to burnout. It's important for those working multiple jobs to check in on themselves, take breaks, and practice self-care.