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Are you a ‘xie gang ren’ (slasher)?

Chinese words, Chinese slang, learning Chinese

Liu Yang, 29, works as a business consultant at a Beijing-based listed company from 9 am to 6 pm. But her working hours don't end there. She makes bow ties manually in the evening to sell at her own brand store, Winz. She is also operating a WeChat public account.


Extra jobs, like the ones Liu juggles, used to be called sideline occupations. But now people like Liu have their own special title: slashers (斜杠人, xié gàng rén), a term coined by US columnist Marci Alboher in 2007. Slashers balance multiple careers or vocations simultaneously.


Now the idea of having a "slash" career has also gained momentum in China. A 2015 survey conducted by 51job.com shows that four out of 10 office workers have two jobs simultaneously.

现在有份"斜杠 (xié gàng)"工作在中国也成为一种趋势。2015年求职网站前程无忧曾做过一个调查,发现每10个上班族中就有4个人同时干着2份工作。

This wave of "slashers" happened for a number of reasons, according to Hu Xiaowu, deputy director of the Institute of Urban Science at Nanjing University. "In modern China, economic security no longer exists, unless you create it," he said. "To some extent, having multiple income streams is one of the best ways to create stability."

南京大学城市科学研究院副院长胡小武认为,多种原因促成了"斜杠 (xié gàng)"潮的兴起。他说:"如今,'铁饭碗'在中国已不复存在,稳定的收入需要自己去创造。从某种角度看,收入多元化是营造收入稳定性的最佳方式。"

He also pointed out that it's becoming more common for people to combine work that offers economic security with work that feeds a passion. "Since there is so much work that can be done flexibly now, it's easy to do many kinds of work in the same workweek or even the same workday," he said.



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