Generation Forward Slash Repping

One trend that finally seems to be everywhere is the exploding “slash generation/the future of work”.

Generation Forward Slash are people who eschew typical 9-5, sole employer status. Self-descriptions such as these I read in The Times now abound;

cafe owner / festival organiser

social entrepreneur / set builder

musician / holiday lets manager

A quarter-century after Charles Handy heralded “portfolio working”, the desire to “look for customers, not bosses” has gone mainstream.

This new ‘work’ life hinges on a very modern piece of punctuation. One which mercifully replaces the Latin construct -cum-.

It is not a way of hiding below-expectation employment. Nor justifying any rise of the “McJob”. Nor the denial of suggesting you’re a waitron/actor.

With many roles on the go, an “A job” pays the bills with “B jobs” the fulfilling ones which can lead to something big and a full-time career.

I’m not necessarily advocating you have a second job on the side.

Even though a mentor of mine two decades ago showed me how to set up your own business whilst holding down two software jobs. A short time later realised he didn’t have to work again. Which was incredible.

After all, selling what you sell has to be your passion else you’ll never truly succeed. Yet the concept of rep-slash… now that has real legs.

I remember the first time I worked for Americans. I saw business cards of their current team. Sales Representative was in proud italics beneath each rep’s name.

But that is not wholly what you are.

I’m reminded of the comedy business cards you see (there’s 19 here, with plenty more around the web). There’s been a movement lately to place “human being” below your name. And we’ve all seen the mock-up manager/dogsbody/do-the-jobs-no-one-else-will/miracle-worker cards.

From my earliest software days, I could have easily lit up a cheeky intro slide in my own presentations to prospects.

Sales/Business Process Re-engineer perhaps for when companies sought to strip out layers of redundant resource through new system automation.

Sales/Despatch Quickening for those who needed to reconfigure their warehousing to take advantage of super-fashion conscious new product hits.

Sales/Product Design when pitching a bespoke suite of modules for the ‘unique’ requirements of a demanding mega-corp.

The point is, you say you’re in Sales. And rightly so. For it should be something in which to take pride. Yet to a happy customer you are in something else.

Why are you selling what you sell?

Nail that, frame it so, then let any and all prospects know.

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