60,000 hours: 60,000 reasons for annual self-assessment

Are 60,000 working hours a compelling reason for ongoing self-assessment? Unless you married the person you dated at 15, and never ate a food you couldn’t pronounce, the decisions you make early in life and in career may not be valid three, five or ten years later.

Consider a very conservative estimate of a life of paid and volunteer work:
Hours to work or volunteer/week (40) X
Weeks you expect to work each year (50) X
Years you expect to work (30) = 60,000 hours

If you get an annual physical, winterize your car and take your pets for vaccinations, don't you deserve an annual self-assessment checkup?
You may find that you are content with your life or that the source of your discontent is within your power to change. On-going self-assessment may also keep you from making foolish and precipitous mistakes such as changing jobs when what you really need is marriage counseling.

When to start:
Right now will work, or you can schedule your assessment for the week after New Year’s Day or Tax Day, which are imprinted on your consciousness.

Resources for self-assessment are endless (a Google search turned of 26 million hits in .44 seconds), and, at the minimum they cover career trajectory, financial, physical, or mental health status. There are intuitive do-it-yourself tools, such as Pass The Baton's Work/Life Analysis, and well-respected and accessible commercial testing schemes (Kiersey™ Temperament Sorter) are available.

Where to start: A graduate or undergraduate career office; internists, psychiatrists, psychologists, religious counselors, social workers or other therapists; government offices, including unemployment centers.

Take care of yourself!

3 rules for 21st century email

In some circles, texting appears to have whomped email, which is now considered by some to be old-fashioned. It is way too soon to consign email to the Recycling Bin of Techological History, and these three rules will continue to make it work for you.

1. Include your phone number. Especially if you are emailing to strangers or trying to arrange something other than lunch, including your phone number is critical. Busy strangers may not want to exchange 15 messages when a two-minute phone call might resolve the problem.
2. Unless the answer that you seek is either “yes” or “no,” do not expect a prompt reply to a long question. Expect:
  • Two words: Call me;
  • A long delay because crafting a thoughtful reply will take an hour; or
  • Your message may be ignored.
3. Ask for a phone conference or a meeting if you have a complicated question, and tell your recipient that your written email is background for your conversation.