What is the antidote to boredom, burnout, job insecurity, and other workplace woes? The answer is to branch out into real estate investing in your spare time, while still keeping you day job.
A New Model
Author Marci Alboher, in her book One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success, shows how multiple professions and multiple identities can converge into a unified, and better, life.
Since I am a real estate investor/author who also works a regular 8-5:00 job, I identified with the examples of people in slash careers that were most similar to my own. One such person described in the book was Robert Sundaley and earth science teacher in middle school for more than twenty years. During his summer vacations, he began investing in real estate. He was so successful that now he teaches other teachers how to do it and has self-published a book about his experiences.
When I began my second career in 2002, I was motivated to change because my day job didn’t give me the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that I desired, and because I wanted an additional source of income. Yet, I wanted to hang no to my regular job for the security it provided.
One Career Flows from Another
My second career involved buying fixer-upper houses and renting them out. After successfully doing it for seven years, I felt like I was the master of my own mini-universe. I wrote a how-to book about my experiences (my third career), and I also make presentations (my fourth career).
However, reading One Person/Multiple Careers made me realize that I wasn’t alone in the actions I took. I now see that it’s not uncommon for people to follow a multi-track career as a way to balance their lives, as I did. Like when you buy a new car and suddenly you see a lot of cars just like yours on the road, I’m suddenly discovering a lot of people who have slash careers.
First Develop an Expertise in One Area
As Alboher points out writing, teaching, speaking, and consulting are four slashes that go with any other kind of work. Once you develop the expertise in one area, it’s only natural to deliver that know-how to students, clients, and the public – and to do than may involve wearing different hats.
The unvarnished truth is that a single identity can be a liability. It leaves you vulnerable to the sudden winds of economic change. To be successful and healthy, we must develop multiple identities, that we can rely upon when conditions change. Slash careers can also be a invaluable fortress against mental and physical illness.