Recently, while I was at a regional networking meeting, I met Trina Fleming, the CEO of WHW, a wonderful non-profit organization that provides the unemployed and the underemployed with skills and resources to find and keep a good job. In the conversation, I explained how my company, PATH2HappiSuccess, provides two programs:
1) One geared towards high school students that guides them to determine their top career and best major, so that they can maximize the benefits of a college education, graduate in 4 years with minimal student debt, and get hired immediately into a good job that they will be both engaged and successful in for their 40-year career; and
2) One to guide adults that are changing careers to determine new careers in which they would have the highest potential for long-term happiness and success.
We immediately saw the potential for a lot of positive synergy between our organizations. Trina was very intrigued and began to ask me some very important questions. The first was “is it a 20 to 30-minute personality or aptitude test like most existing career finding processes use?” I responded no, that the PATH2 program is unlike any other career fining methods. It is a straightforward, computer based, step-by-step process where the participant makes all direct decisions regarding how well candidate careers:
- Satisfy all 5 of their career related characteristics:
- Natural Traits
- Assure that each candidate career will:
- Be in high demand for the foreseeable future
- Have attractive salaries
After explaining the program, Trina appeared to immediately see the logic and potential benefits of our program, but was still wondering how long the program takes. When I told her it typically takes participants 4 to 6 hours, her initial reaction was one of surprise, saying “that’s pretty long”. I immediately responded, “not in relationship to the time spent in college and for their entire remaining career”. By nodding positively, she appeared to acknowledge that in comparison, it is really a very short period.
When I got to the office, I started to write down some time comparisons to our 4 to 6-hour program , which determines which career each participant will be most happy and successful in for the rest of their career. Some of these are:
The networking meeting (incl. travel and lunch) 6
The average 5 to 6 years of college 11,000
A 40-year career (you could be happy and successful in) 80,000
Playing a sport or video game 3,000
Watching TV 25,000
Attending one professional baseball/football game (incl. travel) 7
Eating meals 75,000
Time related to vacations 4,000
Obviously, 4 to 6 hours spent to find the career that they will be best at and happiest in, is very small in comparison to the times they will spend on activities that have no impact of their career happiness and success.
It’s also important to consider that only 1/3 of workers in the U.S. are actually engaged and happy in their work (Gallup,2017). The remaining 2/3 are not engaged, and either work simply to get a paycheck or are actually miserable at work. By taking the time to use the PATH2 program, a participant can find a career that they will be engaged and happy in, and their career income will also be substantially improved. That is because engaged and happy workers are those most likely to be recognized as the best employees, who will be given promotions and raises throughout their career. Depending on how many years of work they have left, this could easily mean more than $0.5 to $1.5 million of added career income. This type of added income will positively influence everything they and their family do for the remainder of their life.
The only logical conclusion that can be reached by the above comparisons is that spending 4 to 6-hours on maximizing your potential to have a career you are passionate about and successful in is infinitesimal relative to the advantages you gain.