Recently, journalists asked the world’s oldest woman what her feelings on life were. She responded, “it felt rather short”.

Time goes faster than any of us expect it to, that’s close to being a universal fact. One minute we’re looking ahead with the world at our fingertips, the next we seem to be looking back, wondering where a large chunk of our life went.

Those missing chunks end up being eaten up by all sorts of things: Too much television, for example, and procrastination. Another thing that eats up a large amount of time is work.

Our Relationship with Work

Studies estimate the average person spends 99,117 hours at work. That’s the equivalent of 4125 days.

Now, imagine you hate your job. Imagine that getting up and going to work feels like a chore, and that it negatively affects your mood and your energy levels. When looking back at your life at age 65, you’ll have effectively blacked out over 10 years from your memory. That’ll have been just over a quarter of your adult life.

How do you think you’ll feel about life if almost a quarter of it was spent unhappy? Most people report to feeling regret, even guilt at wasting so much precious time. They feel cheated. They even feel embarrassed that they didn’t have the motivation to change their past predicament.

How Do You Want to Look Back on Your Life?

You don’t have to be in your 60s to look back on life with regret, either. Some find they reflect at age 30, age 40, and age 50. Various stages of our life cause us to look back and judge our progress. We all know we can’t stop the clock, but it’s comforting to each of us to know we used the clock wisely.

While you may be making excuses for your misery now, such as, “I need the money” or “there are no other jobs out there”, just know that these excuses aren’t really going to cut it when it comes to banishing regret. Deep down you know there are other jobs out there, and you know that needing the money (London isn’t cheap….) doesn’t stop you looking for them. What’s stopping you is likely a combination of apathy and fear.

Getting Somebody Else to do the Hard Work

I’m a career coach, so I see apathy and fear in job searchers regularly. People either don’t have the energy to change job, or they’re worried they aren’t qualified to do something else. The good news is, both of these things are fairly easy to work around.

Most I work with find that they seriously enjoy the process of changing job or career, and tell me they feel a new lease of life after they’ve settled in a job they actually enjoy.

If you hate what you do for a living, don’t wait until it’s too late to change it.