Book Review: The Multi-Hyphen Method

The Multi-Hyphen Method

Recently, in companies I have worked for in the past, there have been a number of redundancies. I have yet to be made redundant in any role, but I am sure that the odds are stacked against me for the future. My current and my previous roles are both paid for by external funding, so it’s a very dangerous place to be in.

With that in mind, I picked up Emma Gannon’s book The Multi-Hyphen Method. I am a huge fan of Emma’s; she’s a thought leader in the future of working and has the kind of career I dream of having. She does talks, writes articles, makes podcasts. This would be the dream for me.

In her book The Multi-Hyphen Method she dissects this “new way of working” where the worker has several streams of income and is in charge of their own time and energy. I was keen to learn more about this, both to see if it might be the answer to redundancy fears, but also so I can advise students on what their work life might look like.

The first half of the book looks at the state of the working world today and compares it to the Multi-Hyphen career. Emma’s work is always extremely well researched and there are many extra resources I went on to look for following quotes or stats Emma used to back up what she was saying. She looks into generational divides, burning out, work-life balance to give a picture of what areas of modern work might make a person reject the norm and go Multi.

I was surprised that I found this first half of the book quite poorly written. Despite the extra research, the main message was that Emma had worked in one really awful job and now she works for herself and that’s amazing. Reading it, I felt that it would have been amazing to include other people’s experiences of working full time – not all full-time jobs are awful. By including other people’s journeys it might make things seem more achievable to the reader.

Emma’s current set-up really is amazing. As mentioned before, it’s one I dream of having and I follow a number of women on social media who have this kind of career. But I do think that you need to have a certain level of privilege to get there – either a partner earning enough to keep you both afloat when you’re not earning, or connections to get you those first gigs, even the confidence to think that you can. I hope that with the amount of people reading Emma’s book, the easier it would become to achieve this kind of career.

The second half of the book is more practical advice on how to succeed in a freelance career. Emma often said in the promo for this book that it isn’t a guide on how to quit your job, but she gives really good advice on how to do things like set your prices, how to network and how to deal with struggles. This half of the book is excellent, and I will be using a lot of her advice with students; they may be working freelance in the future too.

I reached out to Emma on Twitter because I was disappointed in how many times she references student debt as being a struggle on people. I told her that that isn’t the case, that even for people our age, we have a pretty good deal, and that it’s not healthy to talk about student debt this way as it deters people who could really flourish at university. I also linked to my post about student finance, of course. She replied, but not referencing the debt. I really hope all the reaching out I do to influencers about this will one day reduce the amount of scaremongering about university debt.

Overall, I think this is a really important book to read, and I belive Emma when she says that this is the future of work. We as workers must protect ourselves from things we can’t control – a multi-hyphen career is one way to do this.

Have you read this book? Is it on your list? Let me know in the comments if so!

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