Career: a significant element of life
2 min read

Career: a significant element of life

In our first ever weekly series (#1), let's dig deep into Pareto of our lives. i:e Career

I really mean it when I say career is a Pareto of our life. Mathematically it can be proven too.

Let's assume we are blessed with a long life of 100 years. That makes it 36500 days in total before we croak. You can count the days below (1 square = 1 day) 🤗

In this long life, let's assume we start our careers at 20 and keep at it till we retire at 60/65 it works out to about 7000 days as average.

How did I arrive at 7000 days?

In a 24 hour day, if we sleep for 8 hours, we are left with another 16 hours (2x 8 hours). One of those 8 hours goes into work and the other is dedicated towards everything else life. In a nutshell, one third of our weekday goes into work provided you have a concept of weekend.

Going by hours of the days and excluding sleep and everything else, the spend on career is about 7000 days in our entire life. This makes career a significant element of our lives.

If you calculate the percentage of 7000 on 36500 it is exactly 19+%. Like all things Pareto, this 20% of life has significant impact on the other 80%.

It looks digestable when work and life are two separate blocks but in reality it is not the same.

In a typical workday, work is scattered as few hours here and there. There is lunch. There is travel.  There is co-operation. There is collaboration. There is networking. There is vortex. There is down time given by (hu)man and machine around us. Even when the work hours are defined, work is not. It is not 9-5 pm. Work is not black and white.

The problem only gets accentuated in creative careers like design, products, innovation, problem solving and more. Creative productivity is unpredictable.

Some questions to think about today.

Should we count it as work when we are thinking about work in the night? think about an idea in the shower? sip a coffee and scribble some frameworks? etc.

Let's slice and dice the big picture and dig deeper into some big ideas of (any) career.

🥂 to work!


In December 2020, I started a program called LEARN STREAMS. The idea was simple. If we spend an hour everyday in a live stream for 60 days with a practitioner (who has been there, done that and doing that even today) and compound the learning, we can learn product design.

In the learnstreams, we dedicated the last two weeks to deep dive into design career paths.

There has been phenomenal demand for understanding product design careers from a number of designers as well. So we are opening up the module to a wider public to take the careerstreams.

Join the career streams: https://learnstreams.xperian.xyz/#career

Please, pass this along to your friends who are aspiring to become a designer or who is already a professional designer but want to know more about growing in the career path. Appreciate your help my friend 🙏

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