July 30

Coffee With Mike- Pertinent Information vs. Non-Pertinent Information



Q: We talk about pertinent versus non pertinent information and figuring out what you really need to know, so can you speak to what that actually looks like? 

A: What you at least need to get to is: as we talk about the different things that are important to you; as we look at the different ways that you can build your future, whether it's a 401K, or the insurance benefits, the assets, whatever it is, that you begin to see a big picture. What is the big picture of you? For your future? What are you trying to build?  If you can focus on the big picture, it's going to keep you true to your purpose. It’s going to keep you true to the mission that you put yourself on. So it's like, OK, what is it that you really want to accomplish here?

So if we're talking to someone who's trying to evaluate whether or not they want to continue in a federal career or go to the private sector cycle? What brought you here in the first place? What was the big picture of making the decision to be here? Was it more about career? Was it more about family? Was it more about security? Was it more about adventure? What was it about? Was it simply about building a resume so you could move on? But what's the big picture for what you're trying to do with your career and how does that impact the rest of your life? Is that important right now? 

So I recently read a quote by a sportswriter who said, you know when he graduated college and took a job as an intern started work for that newspaper, he found out really quick that they expected 16 to 18 hour days. He thought, “Well, that's OK because I'm not married, and I don't have kids. Great, so I'm going to work 16 to 18 hour days, and I'll get I'll get a reputation build up my resume and want to move on.” That's exactly what he's done. But now he says it's really tough for him because he is married, he does have kids, and the time for thinking about putting those things in a higher priority, or those people in a higher priority, is really important to him. So it makes him think about different ways-- his picture has changed. So the same way- I'm just asking you what's your picture? If it's for retirement, what do you envision retirement to be? 

I think the biggest mistake retirement people make, or people headed toward retirement pay, it's that they see retirement as some sort of recess. They see retirement as some sort of permanent vacation, in a sense, and, from my experience over the last 15 years of talking to people, is that doesn't take them very far. That's not something that they really begin to build a life on. It's just a series of small events that lets them have fun every once in a while, but they're not truly achieving that happiness that they thought they would. They’re finding they're having fun, but they're not being happy. I think that has a lot to do with, “how do you build your future?” What's your big picture like? 

"...what's the big picture for what you're trying to do with your career and how does that impact the rest of your life?"

When you're in your career, you know you get a lot of this advice about what you're supposed to be doing. You're supposed to be going to school; you're supposed to be earning degrees; supposed to be gaining confidence in certain areas; you're supposed to be getting internships; supposed to be getting jobs; supposed to be getting gaining experience. You're supposed to be doing all these things to build your resume and to build a competency that takes you to places you want to be professionally. When you get to retirement, does all that go away? I don't think it does. I think that what you're looking for is a plan like that. I think you're looking for the same type of approach to living. 

 In other words, there are competencies you want to achieve, there are things that you want to achieve, places you want to go people you want to meet, but, more importantly to you probably, things that you want to impact. You want to be an influencer. You want to be a decision maker. You want to have some impact on your community and the people around you. So, it's not just about where you go and what you're going to do. It's about who you're going to be with, and it's going to be about what you can do for them, and in return you find that they're doing things for you that you need. What's the big picture for that? I think that we would begin to change our sense of focus from little segments of time to a big picture view of lifetime and allow ourselves to begin to put it together- put our future together in such a way that we can see short-term, we can see long term, we can see mid-term, and we can see people, and we can see activities, but more importantly we see purpose. We see this is what I want my life to do, this is what I want my life to be. I think that's the big picture we're looking for.

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