One Quarter of Your Life: Fun OR “Sucks”?

According to Career Visions career counselor Jamie Beck (, your life as an adult can be divided as follows:

  • 33% sleep
  • 16% free time
  • 3% each of eating/exercising/breaks
  • 4% each of self-care/entertainment/tech
  • 6% commuting
  • 24% work

Working takes about one quarter of your life as an adult.  Why spend it on a job that “sucks”?

Here’s a startling fact that she asks teens to consider: the top two majors of freshmen in college are biology and nursing.  Guess which two majors have the least graduates?  You guessed it: biology and nursing.

When you consider life after high school, you may consider a high-earning job.  Is this the best consideration?  Jamie says that the better plan is to focus on your passions.  What you want to be when you grow up is irrelevant.  What do YOU want to DO?

Here are Jamie’s three steps to employment that you need to focus on:

  1. Do what you love. Don’t be one of those people who “live for the weekend.”  Do what you love at work and you won’t have to cry, “TGIF” on Fridays!  Not sure about what you love?  Ask yourself the following questions: 
    1. What’s on my browser history?
    2. What do I save money for in my spare time?
    3. What would I do for free for 40 hours each week?

Essentially, you are looking for your passions.

  1. Value your time. Look at different aspects of jobs that you would like or would not like in the physical experience, environment, workload, and customers:  
    1. Physically, would I prefer sitting, standing, lifting, etc.?
    2. Environmentally, would I want to work in heat, cold, noise, inside, outside, etc.?
    3. In terms of workload, do I prefer taking work home, a flexible schedule, working through lunches, etc.?
    4. In terms of customers, do I prefer working with customers one on one, electronically, by choice, etc.?
  1. What you need. See what training you will need in order to find a job:  
    1. Read job descriptions.
    2. Gain the needed job skills. Check out our Jobs and Careers Online Resources for different databases to suit your needs.  

Jamie recommends finding your passion and make it your life’s work!

How to Get a Job

What Color is Your Parachute?, book cover
What Color is Your Parachute? for Teens, book cover
Teens' Guide to College & Career Planning, book cover