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The most precious thing that we all have with us is time.  Steve Jobs

Work—it sure takes up a lot of space in our days. Researchers at the Huffington Post Australia estimated that in an average lifetime of just under 80 years, 13.2 of those years will be spent at work, while Gettysburg College said that our jobs will take up about 90,000 hours of our lives.

That’s a lotta time, no matter how you slice it—let’s hope that over the years, we enjoy at least most of what we do. 

There are a lot of components to work and the way that we think about it—the big picture—the overall gist of what we do, the good stuff about it, the pain-in-the-neck tasks that all jobs have, the people that we work with directly, the bigger atmosphere|company dynamics, how we’re compensated financially, how all of it is preparing us for our next step, and how it reflects who we truly are.

Each day, one of those components likely stands out more than the others. We have good days and bad days. Maybe we love what we do and because of that, we’re okay with putting our personal lives on the back burner, at least temporarily. Maybe our work family becomes a substitute for relationships in our personal lives—or genuinely evolves into framily. Maybe our personal life is actually our career|life calling, and our job facilitates that career by paying us well and providing flexibility. Or maybe we hit the jackpot—we love what we do, the people we work with, the company’s dynamics, and we’re paid well and have flexibility. That really does happen—but it doesn’t happen every single minute of every single day. The times that I’ve seen it happen is during a broad lookback of a job or career. Most of the time, we make tradeoffs with the best balance of tradeoffs varying for each person—even the ones who have enjoyed the jackpot.

Whether we’re corporate lifers or we try something new every few years, 13 years|90,000 hours gives us a long time to decide which paths we take—and with the evolution of the workplace, the choices that we have right now will no doubt unfold into opportunities in the coming years that are hard to even imagine, today.

Until next time,

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. —Steve Jobs