I Have Exceeded My Life Expectancy. Now What?

One of my human teammates recently read in what claimed to be an authoritative book on dog breeds, that the average life expectancy of a Boxer is 8 to 10 years.  Her distress was palpable, as yours truly has surpassed the big “1-0”.  Indeed, I will be 11 human years this August (in case you want to send something).   As I was basking in the sun and ruminating on my potentially imminent demise, a bunny bounded through my field of operation.  I decided to give the fluffy invader a good hard chase and send a message:   “Harley’s not going anywhere!”   It felt great to be on the job protecting the property.  (No animals were harmed during the writing of this blog).   I guess the authority’s average life expectancy is only as good as the papers it’s written on.  I suggest the paper would be put to better use lining a litter box.

I have observed that some humans believe their career has a “life expectancy”.  Is your work tenure expected to conform to someone else’s assumptions?  Is some analyst defining when your contributions are no longer valued based not on your performance, but on some formula involving years of service and age?  What do you do if your expectations for the length of your work life do not align with those around you?

Show ‘em what you got!   Sharpen your skills.  Be a continuous learner.   Tackle a new area of expertise.  Stay current with emerging technologies.   Give a tough project a good hard chase.   Above all else, don’t let some “authority” define your professional life expectancy.

If you find that your contributions are not valued, consider that you may be on the wrong team.  Fetch your things and join a smarter pack.  Or become your own boss.  Don’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Take some candid career advice from an old working dog:  you can learn new tricks at any age if you believe that you can.

Your best friend,


One thought on “I Have Exceeded My Life Expectancy. Now What?

  1. A friend

    Harley, I really appreciate how you use your own experience to provide such wise counsel to your two-legged friends! Your encouragement is exactly what some of us needed to hear!

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