It’s feast or famine in the future of work

Article by Financial Coach Rebecca Pritchard

As white-collar workers, we haven’t been that upset about the blue collars losing their jobs over the last 200 years through the industrial revolution.
So why are we getting so antsy now?
Because it’s happening to us.
Technology can do so much of our work, and it’s getting smarter. And companies have to keep changing so quickly that having long-term staff in the same roles with the same skills just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
If you’re holding onto the idea of ‘I want to work 9 to 5, I want to have my long service leave’, then probably don’t read on! I think you may be in trouble because the world’s not going to stop and wait on this one.
There’s a new way of working on the way, and if we’re not ready, we’ll be left behind.

Goodbye 9 to 5

Before long, the concept of an employee will be redundant. Work will all be contracted or freelance. A big change is that we’ll be getting paid for the value that we offer, rather than being a bum on a seat for 40 hours a week.
We’ll also see the rise of the convenience and sharing economy.
This all means our incomes will be like feast and famine — sometimes we’ll be working and earning constantly other times it’ll be lean.
This is already normal for people in sports, acting, music and art. One of my members clunked from earning over a million dollars one year to about $50,000 the next.

Wait, this actually suits us

It might seem overwhelming to think that a steady income won’t be forever.
But the good news is, this fluid work style actually aligns better with our values and lifestyles as millennials. There’s a huge opportunity to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and to use this as a chance to do exactly what we want!
I transitioned from being an employee to contractor, and the world didn’t come crashing down. In fact, it’s a hell of a lot better for me than it was before.
As millennials we also have a bit of time to decide what side of the fence we want to be on when the workforce changes. I want to be on the ‘electively unemployed side’. As in, I want to be financially free to do high-value work that doesn’t necessarily have high-value income.
So, in this world, do we want our glass half empty or half full?

Back to basics

If half full is the answer, we have to capitalise on the feast times so we don’t hit that massive clunk in the famines.
The first way to do this is to know exactly how much money you need to live both a basic life and a more comfortable life. Someone earning $150,000 might be comfortable on $70,000, so they can save the rest for the famine.
The next step is to get stuck into some serious cash ‘carb loading’ to layer up those financial six packs that we talked about in The Dorito Effect. Building this buffer is the least sexy of your financial strategies, but it’s really important. We can plan until the cows come home, but life is guaranteed to throw curve balls and holding some cash is the best way to handle this.
Third is building a passive income, which is about making sure your income is not 100 percent determined on your personal services. The more of your household income that comes from investments, the more freedom and flexibility you have.

Build your empire

There’s one more move — growing your portfolio of incomes.

Historically with a portfolio of incomes, we’ve thought of it as a passive income. But in this new workforce, it’s about, how do you build your work income from different places up to your basic or comfortable standard of living?

I have a folder on my computer called ‘Pritchard Empire’. I plan out how I can earn 70 percent from financial coaching, 20 percent from writing or speaking, and 10 percent from royalties or consulting. This way, my consulting work could be having famine, but I’ll make sure I have a feast happening somewhere else.

A portfolio of incomes might sound ambitious, but it’s a necessary defensive play in the face of major change. It’s actually the ‘least risky’ thing to do.

Let’s get flexible

Even if you’re in a solid 9 to 5 now, you can challenge yourself in small ways to get ready for what’s coming.

What if we can all generate more income now, and fuel that into our investments, compound the shit out of that, and know it’s there for when the crunch comes?

Maybe it’s selling your crap online, or earning cash from being a social media influencer. Or driving Uber on weekends. Or leasing your car out when you’re not using it. I made cash in my first week with Car Next Door and I was pumped. In today’s economy there’s no excuse not to have income diversity if we want to.

It’s not if, but when

This new world is coming fast. We’re going to live for 100 years. Right now, we still get a choice between getting ready for this, or getting buried by it!

People are scared of technology and losing their jobs, because their whole existence currently relies on one income stream. But change has been happening for millennia, so we shouldn’t be afraid of it. We have a chance to start building up our reserves.

Is your bum off the chair right now? Are you getting pumped for the future of work?

Get in touch if you want to be ready.