Slashies on the Prowl

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SummaryCall them multi-taskers or do-it-alls, the slashies pack every living second with activities and tread on multiple passions simultaneously. Indian marketers and advertisers would do well to take note of this new crop of millennials

Sanchita Mehra, 26, spends five-days a week as a paralegal at a renowned corporate law firm. After dealing with contracts and legal matters all week, she tutors a bunch of starry-eyed kids on Saturdays in free-style Bollywood dance. Other evenings, she spends time with her neighboUr learning to cook authentic Italian fare. And, above all of this, Sanchita is half-way through writing her first novel, fulfilling her dream since she discovered J.K. Rowling as a teenager.

This lawyer-slash-dancer-slash-cook-slash-author is part of a burgeoning new population called “The Slash Generation.” These multi-taskers tend to pack every living second with activities and tread on multiple passions simultaneously. They are in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top, under-the-radar, behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, riding the wave, dodging the bullet, pushing the envelope: George Carlin’s breathless modern man has procreated and how.

The UK’s leading trend-spotter, The Future Laboratory, has unearthed a rationale behind the mushrooming of this new crop of millennials: “Coming of (work) age in the post-digital era, the slash generation—or “slashies”—are the result of the democratization of the creative industries where anyone, with the right application and drive, can make it.”

India has only recently become witness to the rise of this particular species of youngsters. The people in this group draw inspiration from icons like Gul Panag (who describes herself on Twitter as an actor/ activist/ aviator/ animal lover/ adrenalin junkie/ adventurer/ avid traveler/ automobile and fitness enthusiast/ biker/ entrepreneur/ student/ writer), Farhan Akthar, Karan Johar, and others who similarly don multiple hats. Another example is Amish Tripathi, author of the Meluha Trilogy, who was a historian, did his MBA from IIM-C, worked at banks, and finally wrote the three blockbuster novels.

A cursory investigation into the rise of the slashies point to multiple directions: Firstly, India’s economic liberalization opened doors to many unique businesses and job opportunities. This has given rise to job profiles like Web Evangelizer, Digital Strategist, Chief Belief Officer, and more. Further, recruiters are waking up to the fact that intrinsic passion bodes well over the education strand in an applicant’s DNA and their long-term success.

Even parents of slashies have become far more accepting of these new career trends than their predecessors. They are fairly comfortable with the idea of their young ones dabbling with multiple professions since they themselves are financially stable. Consequently, slashies have become the first generation in India to not

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