Why Wait?

October 4, 2013

There is a Prudential commercial on the air now that asks:

“If you could get paid to do something you love, what would you do?”

The commercial goes on to say that this is what your retirement is for.  The first time I saw this, I was astounded.  Is this what people think?  We should toil away for the majority of our adult lives, saving enough to then pay ourselves to do what we want once we retire?  This is a terrible way to live.  

The initial question grabbed my attention, which is what it’s supposed to do, but for this reason:

I do get paid to do something I love.  

I’m teaching my students to figure out what they want to do next, then work to get there.  Notice I say what they want to do NEXT.  You may not have the same career goals at 21 as you do at 41.  This can be difficult.  Not everyone knows what they want to do.  But remember this:

Not making a decision is a decision

There are plenty of people in this world that, by putting off making a choice, end up having their career choose them.  So they end up working for most of their adult lives in something that they’re not even sure how they ended up doing.  

Don’t be one of these people.  Spend some time figuring out what you want to do.  Then work as hard as you can doing it.  

I’m not saying that it’s easy.  I’m saying that it’s worth it.   



  1. When did my brother get so wise?

  2. I like this way of thinking, particularly the whole “next” thing. We are of the generation where, no matter what your skills, it is rare to just jump into a single job out school and stay there until retirement like many of our parents did. There have been some interesting articles written about this generational shift/trend.

    However, I think it is worth adding that we *constantly* have to be in the mindset of assessing the landscape, what opportunities exist, what sorts of business opportunities we can create for ourselves based on our assessment of deficiencies and needs, etc. This can go beyond playing opportunities, I think, while being fruitful in some way (providing you love doing this thing, as Mr. Tartell has said). Look at the career of Quincy Jones, do you think that all of this stuff happened for him if he wasn’t of his entrepreneurial mindset? Maybe, because he is good and stuff, but I don’t think most people can count on things “just happening” in their career.

    Besides, few gigs last forever, it is best not to be caught flat footed when they cease to exist or wither away!

  3. I’ve known since seventh grade what I’ve wanted to do. Many turns in the road but keeping that goal in front of you, like a navigator uses the North Star, keeps you on the path…great post…

  4. Perfect. Your blog always gets me motivated and moving. Always great to hear from you!

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