On average, we will spend 90,000 hours working in our lifetimes — here are my thoughts on the best way for you to spend your hours (and how I figured out how to spend mine).
We all have this one life (maybe, as far as we know). Ideally we get to spend it doing things we think are worthwhile.
Here at Cake, we are driven by wanting to empower people to live in accordance with their values all the way to the end.
Why the part about “the end”? It’s the part that is the most neglected, underserved, and ignored. We understand why — dying is a hard thing to talk about, which is why we are trying to make it easier. Everyone on our team feels that working to improve this part of people’s lives is an incredibly worthwhile way to spend our 90,000 hours of career time.
I feel sharp moments of clarity sometimes, the feeling of time slipping by, of urgency, and of mortality. With this feeling comes fear of not having done enough in my life, but also intense waves of gratitude for everything I have experienced. Maybe you feel this way too.
When I left a job that I loved in order to start Cake, many people said I was brave. I did not feel brave at all; I wanted to improve people’s end of life experience, and there was no time to waste — I had already used up a good portion of my 90,000 hours!
What happens at the end of life is a particularly pressing issue in the healthcare system, where most of us will end up: 80% of people die in a healthcare institution (even though 80% would prefer to die at home). Far too many people today get caught up in the inertia of a system that was set up long ago, before we had the multitude of incredible life-extending treatment options that we have today. This system debt creates an environment of defaults that drive “conveyer belt medicine,” the opposite of the human-centered care that everybody wants. We urgently need updates to the system.
At Cake, we build software that makes it easier for people to discover their end-of-life preferences, store them securely in the cloud, and share them with anyone who should know. For those who might want to get off the conveyer belt, this is the first step.
If this sounds like a gratifying way to spend the finite amount of time you have to create a positive impact in this world, join us. We are hiring. (or send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org).