Multiple careers

Whereas a career includes the work activities that can be identified with a particular job or occupation , having multiple careers is the growing trend in the late 20th century and early 21st century. These multiple careers can either be a competitor or a sequential worker. Both may occur for different reasons.

Sandra Kerka (2003) reports that ” in the United States at the end of the seventies, which has already been demonstrated between the 10th and 30th centuries of the economically active population (Teixeria & Gomes, 2000, p.78) The phenomenon of one-third of the population in Germany, only one-third had continuous careers in the first 8 years after graduation. (2003) found that 62% of bachelor’s degree-holders who enroll in community colleges were seeking an associate degree or certificate in order to make a career change. [1]

Concurrent multiple careers

Workers with concurrent multiple careers adopt a “hyphenated” professional identity. A “teacher-painter” could refer to an individual who works for nine months out of the year as an Elementary School Teacher and three (summer) months out of the year as a painter . A “doctor-potter” could refer to an individual who works as an ENT- physician during the day, but works within a ceramics studio at night. Some consider the hyphen “- homemaker ” or “- caregiver ” as an alternative type of competitor. That is, a “lawyer-homemaker” Works as attorney and is also in charge of domestic duties at home. Increasingly, as adults must care for younger generation children and older generation parents, the “X-caregiver” worker has emerged – where a worker completes the tasks of career-X and simultaneously cares for the needs of children and elders. Some note that many members of the working class have long been competitors workers of economic necessity.

Workers can adopt multiple concurrent careers for a host of Reasons Including: economic (Such As poverty gold Striving for additional wealth), educational (Such As multiple degrees in multiple fields) or personal (Such As interest gold Lack of fulfillment in one career) . Economist, Richard Florida , among others suggests that some “hyphenates” pursue multiple concurrent careers in order to fulfill creative needs. A “doctor-potter,” for example, might pursue ceramics for creative fulfillment as well as profit and professional development.

Author and New York Times columnist Marci Alboher popularized the term “slash careers” to describe multiple concurrent careers in her book One Person / Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work Life Success(2007). Instead of hyphenation, Alboher uses slash to demarcate competitor multiple careers, as in “art dealer / yoga instructor” or “baker / comedian / web designer”.

Sequential multiple careers

Workers with sequential multiple careers adopt a changing professional identity over time. Thus, a worker may devote 10-20 years of his / her life to a career and then switch to a career or an entirely new one. As life-expectancy increases, as retirement benefits decrease, and as educational opportunities expand – workers may increasingly find themselves forced to fulfill the goals of one career and then adopt another. Some view this as an opportunity to expand meaning and purpose into later life, while others see this trend as an unfortunate economic and social reality.


Lloyd, Delia (June 20, 2008). “The job change’s bibles” . The International Herald Tribune .

Goldsmith, Marshall (June 23, 2007). “Unleashing Your Many Identities” . Business Week .

Savannah Guthrie (Correspondent). (2007, November 26). “Baby boomers juggling more jobs” . Today [Television Broadcast]. New York: National Broadcasting Company.

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