10 Thoughts: The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon
The Multi-Hypen Method by Emma Gannon aims to demistify and celebrate the current trend for people of all ages to be and do more than one thing. The strap line tells us to ‘work less, create more, and design a career that works for you.’ Here’s what I thought:
I listened to this book on Audible. My first ever audio book. It felt quite light and easy consume so I imagine I would have read it quite quickly.
Emma Gannon is the self-proclaimed poster-person for the Multi-Hyphenate career. Through this book she shares quite openly and frankly about her own experience navigating through these murky waters and coming through the other side with a clearer sense of self. It’s always good to hear from someone who’s been there, done that.
Emma does a great job at celebrating those who are juggling more than one profession or passion - the Multi-Hypenates, as she has named them. In a world where zero hours contracts have only negative connotations whilst millennials are often regarded as work-shy and entitled. It’s refreshing to see an alternative appproch to work being so vehemently supported.
She does however make it clear that it’s not all brunches and coffee dates followed by an hours work and a big fat day rate. She also firmly steers clear of the Influencer realm which I rate her for. (I have nothing against influencers as such, however there are people doing a myriad of great side hustles who deserve to be celebrated equally. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the Instagram sauce.)
Some of the advice felt a little bit too idealistic. She speaks of all workers being entitled to request flexible working. Which is true and valid. However I can only imagine how difficult my job would be if every member of my team were working different hours in order to persue a passion on the side. All flexible working requests need a reason - the most common is probably childcare - however, how does a business decide which reason is worthy? Or perhaps all reasons are worthy and I’m just missing the point. I may be on the wrong side of the millennial hill to fully buy into that one.
I’m not entirely sure who this book is aimed at. Whilst there are interesting facts and figures littered throughout, there isn’t enough research to make it a think-piece for those interested in learning our changing economy and job market. But it’s not strong enough to be solid handbook for someone stepping into the world as a multi-hyphenate either. Most people reaching for this book are probably looking for the latter, but I don’t think it quite hits that mark.
HOWEVER. If you’ve been doubting your inclination to try out a few new things and you need someone to hold your hand as you take the leap into the Multi-Hyphenate world, this is a good book. It will reinforce much of the things you’ve been thinking and reading, whilst giving you a few tips to get you started.
Emma is adamant that a side hustle, hyphen, string - whatever you want to call it - needn’t be about making money. This was my biggest takeaway from the book. She reminds readers that it can just be a creative outlet, or the opportunity to learn a new skill that will in turn further your career/main hustle.
There are nuggets of good advice for anyone starting out i.e. how to plan meetings, ideas for attending networking events, invoicing tips etc.
My last point is another main takeaway for me. The reminder that I am not my job. My sense of worth, my measure of success and overall sense of self should not be connected to my job. If nothing else, adopting the Multi-Hyphen lifestyle allows you excercise multiple facets of your character so you don’t limit yourself to being one thing, for one company. It’s about carving out a little bit of space in the world/the internet/your mind where you’re not limited or guided by rules, red tape or someone else’s vision. Where you can try out new ideas, processes and spaces which will only add to the glory that is you. It will also give me something a little more interesting to put on my dating profile. Winner.