Making the Most Out of Your Working Years

This article was published more than 1 year ago. Some information may no longer be current.

While enjoying the spring sunshine on my face, I stumbled across a simple but powerfully thought-provoking little website that answers the question “How many more springs might I see?”

graphic to illustrate average number of springs remaining for 54 year old living in Canada with past springs in grey

It would appear that I personally am about 2/3 through my allotment of springs based on average life expectancy.  This certainly motivates one to make the most out of every one left!  I also noticed that in some countries, I would be near the end of my springs or would have exceeded my allotment.  It is sobering to think that there are entire countries in which people can’t expect to live through (let alone enjoy) the number of springs I’ve already let slip by.

All this got me thinking about the span of typical working careers.  The Statistics Canada data are about 6 years old however in Canada, if you are a 50 year-old man, you can expect to be working for another 14 to 16 years.  The numbers are about the same for women.  So, at 50 years of age, you have about 15 more business cycles to do what you want or need to get done.

graphical representation of effect of involuntary retirements on expected working life length

And since many of us spend the majority of our careers working within companies, I wondered what the average lifespan of a company might be.  Interestingly, while the average lifespan of people in developed countries has increased significantly over the past 55 years, the average company lifespan has fallen from over 50 years to less than 20 years.

Avg Company Lifespan

Any way you cut it, time is short.  Many of us may have fewer springs ahead of us than behind us, are in the final stretch of our careers and are working for companies that may well not last through our remaining working years.  It’s all a bit of a wake-up call to make sure we make every day count.  Along with the shoots in the gardens and the buds on the trees, it’s time to get on with it!  Let’s spend every day making things better – with some urgency knowing that autumn and winter will inevitably come.

  • Categories