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What Is a Multi-Hyphenate Career?

The (Many) Benefits of Having More Than 1 Career

One question I get asked on a regular basis is "what do you do?" and the answer is never simple. Like Chandler from Friends, most of my peers are unsure of my job title, or what I actually do on a daily basis. They know I like clothes and writing, but my array of different job titles proves difficult for some people to keep up with. Luckily, this changed slightly when the phrase "multi-hyphenate career" became more popular. It's now easier to explain why I might have half a dozen jobs on my CV at once.

So here it is: my name's Lauren and I have a multi-hyphenate career. Basically, that's a career that cannot be explained with just one job title. Instead, multiple roles can be hyphenated. For example, makeup artist-influencer-accountant, or lawyer-model-blogger; actor-director-entrepreneur, or even digital-strategist-ice skater . . . I think you get the gist. I describe myself as a writer-stylist-body positive activist, and I try to split my time equally throughout these three areas. I decided to do this because, quite frankly, I'm good at more than one thing and want to spend my time doing the things I love when it's possible to do so.

Each job is slightly different and requires a variable amount of time dedicated to it.
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This can be slightly tricky to manage, as each job is slightly different and requires a variable amount of time dedicated to it. To juggle multiple careers, you need to be organized and adaptable. For instance, styling work is really last-minute; brands will contact me a few days (sometimes even a day) before the assignment and I'll have to get everything in place in a short amount of time. However, once I'm on set, I'm all smiles. Writing is a little bit more structured: I'll get booked a few weeks in advance and sometimes I can even work from home.

However, as great as that flexibility might sound, I do catch myself working into the evenings and weekends, which is why I try to ensure my work and personal life are aligned and balanced. This can sometimes seem like a job in itself. I do try to take time out for myself, but sometimes the lines can be blurred, and I often realize that everything I am doing is work-related in some way. When you love what you do, it's hard to see it as "work," although my friends and family might think differently. For me, one of the hardest things about having a multi-hyphenate career is the constant juggling and ensuring I have enough time for everyone and everything. This is something I'll (hopefully) figure out further down the line, but for the most part I love doing so many things I enjoy, and am pleased I don't have to choose just one job anymore.

So what advice would I give someone looking to start a multi-hyphenate career? Firstly, balance is essential. Try to draw a line between work and play so you are making time for your loved ones as well as your career.

Next up, stay patient. Not everything will happen overnight and if you're struggling to keep up, don't be afraid to ask for help. You may find you get work in one area more than another during certain periods, or that you have busy periods and quieter ones.

Finally, be brave. Being self-employed like this takes courage and self-belief, but I think life's too short to do things you don't love. If you're able to support yourself, be brave and take the plunge. Even if it doesn't work out in the end, at least you tried. I for one am glad I did.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich
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