Super Cities №134 — The Single Most Important Professional Question

Brendan Hart

One Big Thing

There are opportunities everywhere

On the job-hopping question, we found that 21% of Millennial workers had left their job in the last year to do something else, a number that is more than three times higher than that of non-Millennials who report doing the same.

Time is precious because it is zero-sum. When we spend time on something, we are not doing something else.

Therefore, our single most important professional decision is how we choose to spend our precious time.

This is not always clear. We are interested in a variety of things. We enjoy different activities. We have many passions.

To help make better decisions about how I spend my professional time, I start with one question:

Would I be happy if this was the last thing (as opposed to the next thing) I ever worked on?

Scary stuff.

Statistically, the answer is probably no. I will likely do something else professionally.

But if the opposite were true — if this was the last thing I ever worked on — how would I feel?

Fulfilled? Sad? Or something else?

When exploring new opportunities — like building a startup or taking a different job — this becomes a useful heuristic.

If the answer is anything other than an emphatic yes, you may want to look at other opportunities.

So ask yourself — wherever you are, whatever you are doing — what is the one thing you would happily and proudly spend the rest of your professional life working on?

In my experience, the world becomes a lot clearer when you can answer this question.

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