Time. What does it mean to you? Do you feel you have enough or too much of it? How do you choose to use it? Do you want more of it? Do you feel like you have wasted it? What would you rather do with it? The interesting thing about time, is that for each year, we all have 12 months, we all have 52 weeks, we all have 365 days, and we all have 8760 hours, which is 525600 minutes, which is 31,536,000 seconds. And what we choose to do with that time dictates how our life plays out. Every choice we make regarding each second of our life matters. It is a second we will never get back. What are you doing with your time?
You Still Have Time
One of the things many people said to me whenever I shared frustration with my current position, as it relates to my work/life balance was “You are young; you can still start over and do what makes you happy.” Although at first this was encouraging and motivating. However, the more I thought about it, the more disheartened I became. All of these people had already decided that it was “too late” for them. Too late to pursue their passions, too late to do what makes them happy. They had made up their mind that their best option in life was to settle. Oh, my heart!
It gets worse… these are the same people who have a countdown, some to the very minute they are eligible for retirement! They are living their lives waiting for the future, wishing the very moments of their lives away. For what? For the dream that one day, they will get to begin the life they long for, after they have given most of it to a job they are settling for. They are hoping to travel the world, to explore the national parks, to spend time with loved ones, after they retire. For the type of work they do, the life expectancy isn’t very long… three to seven years. So, these people are trying to fit all of their life into three to seven years! This is excruciatingly depressing to think about. Not to mention, at the age of retirement, their energy levels and physical abilities will be reduced, further limiting their ability to actively participate in their own life, even when they “get time” to do so! This idea of poor work-life balance is not a new phenomenon.
What is the Best Way for YOU to Spend YOUR Time?
As a daughter of parents who didn’t believe in “sick days,” you can imagine how mine reacted when I told them I was leaving my full time position to hike the Camino de Santiago when I was denied time off of work to do so. I was told that I wasn’t welcome to come to their home to eat their food, and how embarrassing it would be for them to tell their friends how they will have a daughter with a PhD (I am currently working on my dissertation in I-O Psychology) who quit her job. Notice how these responses indicate that they are worried about what they perceive they will lose (i.e., resources such as money spent on food and pride) as a result of my decision to do that I believe is best for me. Sadly, this response is no less than what I had expected. It was a good thing that I have recently been working on doing what is best for me, and not what others have wanted me to do. That type of thinking was what got me into the downward spiral of chasing the next raise, a place I had vowed to myself never to be. That wasn’t what made me happy. It never was.
However, as a child, certain thoughts are instilled in you. And it isn’t until much later, during adulthood, that you are able to reconcile your true thoughts with those injected into your psyche by others. This may put you on the defense, or you may feel guilty for allowing such to happen. But, don’t worry. As a child, you can do nothing but absorb what is sent your way. This is completely natural, even if it isn’t always the best thing for us. As an adult, you get the opportunity to really explore who you are, outside of who others have told you to be, or tell you that you are.
Isn’t that WONDERFUL?
My goal is to encourage people to find their true selves, to create the life of their dreams, and to not feel guilty doing it! Be proud of who you are! Find what excites you, and spend your life pursuing that! Remember, it is never too late to live life through your own eyes.
To start, take an inventory of your passions.
If after you have what gets you excited, you realize that your current job isn’t the one for you, a good place to start is O*NET. They not only provide a place for you to easily search job types, but also educate you on how to better understand the job by certain descriptors such as: abilities, interests, skills, work activities, work contexts, work styles, and work values. There could be a job that fits you perfectly, that you don’t know even exists!
For example, would you prefer a job which ranks high in independence, or one that prioritizes relationships? Do you prefer working with your hands or on a computer? This website can help you to avoid the pitfall of working in yet another job which just isn’t right for who you are!
The O*NET interest profiler is the perfect guide for identifying the type of job which is the best fit for you! I found this website as part of my I-O program, am not endorsed, and do not receive any monetary gain from placing this link on my page. I simply want to help you to be happy in a job that fits your wants and needs.
Please comment below with what you believe to be the best job for you and why! Are you currently in the position that is best for you? Why or why not?
Do you know anyone else who could benefit from O*NET or the O*NET interest profiler? Spread the word of this wonderful resource for those looking to pursue a new life of happiness and work-life balance! I would be thrilled to hear how it works out for you all!
As always, if you would like to be notified when a new post comes out, please sign up for the email reminder below!