This video puts into perspective what the activities of our lives represent in terms of the time they take:
I want to focus in on the time that is employment-related:
“We’ll be at work… for the equivalent of 3,202 of those days.”
Depending on what you do for a living, this may be a conservative estimate. When I calculated for 50 work weeks per year and a 45-year career, I got a little more than 34 working hours per week, but we’ll go with it.
Given that it is estimated that we start with 28,835 days, time at work accounts for just over 11% of our lives.
“1,099 days will be spent commuting or traveling from one place to another.”
According to the Census Bureau, the average one-way commute for American workers is 25.5 minutes. So the calculation for time spent commuting would go like this:
51 minutes round-trip commute X 5 working days per week = 255 commuting minutes per week = 4.25 hours
4.25 hours X 50 work weeks per year = 212.5 hours per year = 8.854 days
8.854 days X 45-year career = 398.43 days spent commuting
So together, the act of going to and from work plus actual working will take up about 12.5% of our lives.
This doesn’t include other variables related to our careers, such as initial schooling, ongoing education, networking, and general career management (which you do regularly, right? Please don’t make me cry by saying no…)
All told, we are looking at roughly 15% of your life — 4,325 days (almost 12 years!) — that in one form or another are connected to your career.
Do you really want to spend that much of your life doing something you hate?
I get that survival jobs are sometimes a necessity, and careers change all the time. To make sure that you are minimizing the time you spend in a job that is a bad fit, you should take the time to know yourself and make a career plan to do something meaningful to you.
I know the talk about passion not being the be-all to end all in a career, and I agree that it is not critical component for all people. But do you have to get at least some satisfaction for what you do? I would argue, “Yes.”
If you are in a career you love, what are you doing to make sure that you are able to continue in it? If not, what steps are you taking to move toward something that is a better fit for you?
Does this article resonate with you? Let’s work together for you and your career!