Posted Jul 8, 2022, 12:07 PMUpdated on Jul 8, 2022 at 12:40 PM
Boredom. This is the main cause that pushes Frédéric (the first name has been changed) to work in addition to his salaried job as a lawyer. “The metro-work-sleep rhythm is not a myth, he storms. In addition, I feel a lack of recognition: in my company, lawyers are poorly perceived, considered as a hindrance to business, and legal subjects are not prioritized at all, or even taken seriously by management. »
So three months ago, the 26-year-old started freelancing as a regulatory strategy consultant. 35 hours per week preserved for his employer, 5 hours for his first client. The business is going so well that very quickly, he pushes this contract to 10 hours per week. “I accepted this “sacrifice” because I know that I will be rewarded for this investment. » For the moment, he does not want to switch to 100% freelance. He uses his salaried job to build skills on certain technical subjects, and “Building up a nice network, very useful for the rest of my career, especially if I switch 100% to freelance”.
Like him, nearly 2.1 million people simultaneously hold several jobs according to an INSEE study published in 2021. Among them, not all of them choose multiple activities and many suffer from the accumulation of part-time work. Employees who carry out a salaried activity as their main activity, supplemented by a self-employed activity are in reality 1.5%. Conversely, 4.2% exercise a salaried activity on a secondary basis in addition to another on their own account.
Three jobs, two for fun
Linda, 36, had not left to accumulate. She resigned from her highly paid job in finance to go live with her husband and two daughters in their second home in Artenay in the Loiret, 1h10 from London by train. “Three years ago, it was the big ras-le-bol. We were working a lot and we couldn't see our binoculars enough. » Not to mention the problem of the hierarchy specific to the banking sector which weighed on him.
The project: settling down to prepare an entrepreneurial adventure in Cambodia, where it has its origins. This dream is shattered with the covid crisis and the family then asks itself the question: what to do? “My husband then told me the sentence that will trigger everything: “do the training that makes you happy””. Linda has always loved sports but never considered it professionally. Neither one nor two, she enrolled in a six-month training course to become a sports coach.
Today, she juggles between strengthening muscles, stretching and choreographed activities. In all, seven hours of lessons per week. Only here, financially, the account is not there. Even if the cost of living here is much lower than in London, the family has to be supported. What if she resumed her missions as a financial consultant? Far from her the idea of signing a full-time permanent contract. Just a few missions here or there. She reactivates her network and lands one-off fixed-term contracts, which are still well paid.
These sporadic contracts finance the lifestyle of the family. Linda then juggles her two professions, before adding a third. This hyperactive becomes a correspondent for the newspaper La République du Centre. Always for fun, and not really for the money. “Missions with banks represent 99% of my income”she summarizes.
Salaried employment = main source of income
For Matteo (the first name has been changed) either, accumulating (also called “slashing”) is not motivated by money. This just thirty-something is a railway security officer at the SNCF. Plus, he's a volunteer firefighter. Three times a week, he provides twelve hours of guard duty at the barracks, each paid 90 Pounds. “A sum certainly welcome but if I had wanted to earn money, I would have done something else. »
He likes this job for the technical side, the handling of spears, of the ladder. But he especially finds in the barracks an esprit de corps, which he lacked at the SNCF. “Everyone lives close to the barracks, there is real cohesion between the firefighters”he adds.
Matteo like Linda or Frédéric do not want to leave their main job. In any case not immediately. It brings them stability, skills and above all a financial base. To emancipate himself from it little by little, Frédéric, the lawyer, began to build up savings and invest in the stock market in order to diversify his sources of income. In the meantime, he “slashes”.
According to Elodie Gentina, this phenomenon of slashing is part of an underlying trend. “Multi-activity has doubled in ten years, as has freelancing”, underlines the teacher-researcher at the Ieseg School of Management. For those who dissect the behavior of Gen Z (born between 1997-2010), it is above all a story of level of interest. No sooner does boredom show than they look for another activity to pursue. “The challenge for the manager is to succeed in maintaining this state of euphoria and strong passion for as long as possible by offering them tailor-made, different assignments that match their aspirations. The important thing to retain the Z is to make them evolve quickly according to their aspirations and their abilities. What Zs are looking for is a “cool” but also challenging job. » Otherwise, they will leave. Or they'll slash, waiting to get their hands on the perfect job.
The intellectual professions also multiply the jobs
We discover that the combination of jobs hitherto reserved for the most precarious workers, forced to multiply jobs to approach a full salary (as illustrated by the book “Le Quai de Ouistreham”, by the journalist and writer Florence Aubenas, Editions de l'Olivier, about housekeepers), now attracts some young graduates, determined to break the linearity of their careers.
This multi-cap career requires some diary gymnastics. Matteo places his 36 hours of weekly care on his paid vacation from the SNCF, or between two working days. He acknowledges that it is not always easy, but “single, without children, it's easier. » He even allows himself to prepare a BTS in human resources in parallel, which he sometimes revises on the quiet moments of his guards.
Others demonstrate straightforward organizational prowess. At the age of 22, Arthur does not combine two, nor three, but four activities: interim CEO of the start-up Optimiz Construction, investor in the student fund G Ventures, head speaker at TEDxSkemaParis and general secretary of a conglomerate of associations of this same business school. “The key to success in combining these activities is discipline. It compartmentalizes to the nearest quarter of an hour. One rule: never work after midnight.
What his diary doesn't say is that he wants to go out almost every night. On the food side, at least one well-balanced meal a day, “to keep up the pressure”. “And I don't compromise on my six hours of sleep!” Otherwise, I'm not productive. His trick to gain two minutes of mental load? Everyday similar clothes.
“When I'm bored, I waste my time. » Arthur explains that he lost loved ones very early on, developing an acute awareness of death, and therefore of the passage of time. “I can die tomorrow so I need to be productive. And then, running after several activities stimulates the mind. »
This ease that this generation has in moving from one activity to another has a virtue: allowing them to explore their desires, a passion. For Linda, the sports coach, there is no question of stopping on such a good path: ” Now that I have discovered a sporting career, there are other things that I want to discover. I won't be able to stop. »
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