Goodbye one income, uh oh!


Most of us have been used to backing the ‘single income source’ horse in the race of life.

In today’s supercharged changing world of work, this a risky bet.

We have been sold certainty by the mythmakers of the industrialised system. They have sold us such myths as full employment, jobs for life, rising incomes, safe pensions, rising standards of living, safe investments, and so on. They are all just evaporating myths, that were never anything more than a story to increase compliance. Now we are petrified of uncertainty, the slightest hiccup causes panic, anxiety and meltdown.

In just 4 years, it’s predicted, that 45% of the job functions in the US could be done by AI. That’s 4 years, not 40!

All unskilled, semi-skilled and some skilled job functions are at risk to AI, what will we all do when work is no longer there?

The reliance on a single source, usually in the form of an employer, is no longer the safe option. Multiple income streams will increasingly be the only way to allow some security.

There are some fundamental challenges for people to adapt to a multiple-income life from a paid, single source, employment life. It will require learning new skills, becoming able to break away from shallow knowledge-based work to a much deeper focused meaningful work life.

Many will not be equipped emotionally or skilled enough to make this change.

The solution though is to look at what we need our income for, do we ever stop to question that?

If we need our income to service debts for houses and consumption of shit we don’t need, then perhaps the loss of a single substantial income coming from a safe job is going to be a real shock to many.

If we assessed our lives differently,looked to see that beyond the essentials, we really only need money to fund activities with the people who matter and to create happiness, memories and legacies that are meaningful for ourselves and the other humans we share the planet with. Then having a lower income coming from a range of flexible activities and less time at work is hugely more soulful and rewarding for all and more appealing.

After all, we are never going to say at the end of our journeys ‘shit, I wish I’d work longer’ or ‘if only I could have owned more stuff’ or ‘I am so glad I had that big house, big car, big….’

We are all going to have to say goodbye to a single income and accept that work will be more scarce.

Who knows, perhaps we can allow AI to do the work and we can do better things for ourselves and the human race.

Pret a working

I had some time to kill, as the train I was going to catch was cancelled. I decided to go and do my writing in Pret’s by Victoria Station.

So I got a ‘dash’ tea, which I have learnt is Pret speak to avoid getting a rancid milky tea. I have my headphones in and volume is pretty much on bleeding ears level and I still get their bland irritating pop infiltrating my head.

Anyway, I added a Pret Bar to my order, looks healthy, but once you bite into it and it tastes really good, you know that it is going to be about 500 calories.

Someone opposite, who was working away on her super shiny Mac, has packed up, but saved her seat by leaving her coat. It’s funny that, if this is your permanent workspace, then the toilet trip is a regular nightmare.

Pack up and risk losing your seat or take you laptop to the toilet? I guess you’d always opt for keeping the laptop over losing your seat. Losing her coat is clearly a risk worth taking versus the prime comfy seat she has by the window.

I am sooooooooo glad that I’ve opted for a seat right under the speaker, where the shit bland crap is coming from.

Looking round there are people having meetings, people working on laptops, people reading and few people who look like they are taking a well deserved rest and just having a coffee.

coffee shop working

The women’s back – wasn’t a toilet break, she has restocked with drinks and stuff to eat, clearly she’s been here a while and the guilt was starting to takeover. She felt that it was time to justify her seat for another hour or so by buying something.

The people nearest to me are having a meeting, discussing the ins and outs of the handling of what sounds like an HR type situation. Thank god I only worked in that corporate world for a few years.

It strikes me however, that this kind of conversation would be better off being held in somewhere slightly less open. But I guess like me, no one is really that interested in what others have got to say. It is a pretty dull issue, maybe I might have listened a bit more if the person they were discussing had been caught doing something on the board room table.

On the other side is a woman making what sounds like business related calls. Hopefully they aren’t ones to clients, as I doubt they’d be overly impressed by the background music. She is very smartly dressed, so imagine this is your lawyer calling you from what sounds like a Soho wine bar. Wouldn’t bother me, but many wouldn’t be too impressed.

So I’ve eaten my Pret Bar yummy and I am half way through my tea. Shit I’ve not got the hang of this yet. People are circling in uniforms clearing tables, if I finish too soon, they’ll clear my stuff and then I sit here with my laptop and nothing else.

I imagine a light will start flashing about my seat ‘free loader alert’ ‘free loader alert’ will come up.

I think it is slightly worse having headphones in, as their music is combining with mine to create the worst mix ever made.

The other thing, I am a people watcher in these kinds of environments, so I am finding it a little difficult to concentrate as people move in and out.

If I was here for any length of time, it would be weird not to have any conversation, as normally when you’re in a working space with others, then you stop for a chat now and again.

Can you strike up a conversation in a coffee shop? I think if I got up and went over to someone else’s table and started a conversation,that they might think I’m a bit odd. So I’ll stay here pretend to drink my empty tea and put my head down to avoid contact with the staff.

I have been here about 20 minutes and done my writing, drank my tea, eaten my cake and now I am probably ready to move on. I know many do work regularly in this environment, but it’s not for me. I guess it’s fine for a quick stop, catch up on emails or a short informal meeting, but for a prolonged period it would be hard.

I am using my Mi-Fi as trying to log on to their’s was a hassle and hassle is not what you want.

OK and the other thing, I run a co-working space, so I might be a little less than objective. But I do genuinely believe that all the people working in here would be happier, more productive and more creative working from a co-working space than from a coffee shop.