Why It's Finally the End of Survivalnomics

Survivalnomics Surviving is a word commonly paired with work in modern-day conversation. Examples might include, "If I can only survive this workday," or "If I can only survive at this job long enough to see retirement." On a daily basis people work at jobs they do not enjoy, for less pay than they are worth, and with ongoing concerns about being fired, laid off or downsized. They work for bosses who are unpleasant, ineffective or even abusive in some cases, and yet they persist.

Why do they choose to continue on this path? They do so because they must, or so they believe. This belief system has given rise to "survivalnomics," which is a term you may be unfamiliar with, but it's a concept that you know all too well. It is a desperate economic reality that we all readily accept as the norm, whereby both employers and employees struggle to survive in a seemingly zero sum game of business. Both parties are in a perpetual state of fight or flight where both the boss and the employees struggle to survive in the business world. They believe they must fight, attack and constantly prove themselves in the workplace if they are to survive.

This belief triggers an automatic response that causes us to leave rational thinking behind. We numb ourselves in preparation for the next attack and the possible pain associated with it. We work in survival mode on some level, whether we are keenly aware of it in our conscious mind or not. The experience is hard on our body, mind and spirit, demonstrated by ailments such as high-blood pressure, depression and heart attacks -- and yet we persist.

However, now more than ever before, the concept of "work" is changing. We are dissecting it, and so are employers; there are serious consequences that are only just beginning to show themselves. The implications for the future of work are dire if you ask a committed cubicle dweller. However, for those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to reclaim their career, a new priority is emerging -- happiness.

Happiness is the new currency for scores of people fed up with the status quo. Increasingly people are striking out on their own, freelancing, working location-independent and leading a more deliberate lifestyle in general. The power of time off, a concept that has long been heralded by and embedded into European cultures, is being re-prioritized and recognized as a valuable and necessary part of a thriving lifestyle.

This trend away from a lifestyle narrowly focused on work, toward one where quality of life is the dominant priority, marking the end of survivalnomics. Testimonials from people who have successfully made this fundamental shift away from the traditional 9-to-5 paradigm are surfacing in greater numbers, and the media is buzzing ever more loudly about lifestyle design topics. The American work force is reinventing itself. It's not surprising -- after all, we are a nation of innovators.

Next: Companies Hiring This Week

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How much more than enough do you need to feel like you have enough? How much are you willing to give up to get enough? At some point, you have to ask yourself if you really have security in your job or if job security is an attitude the worker has created in their own mind. My dad said, 'Come payday, your both even. You worked a week. They paid you.' So if you hate your job, what are you willing to do to put yourself in a better or different spot? The problem is not that a company won't give you what you want or think you're worth. The problem is that people don't want to own this problem and thus own the solutuion. Would you ride a bus and not own a car or move or down size a house? I knew a lady who drove a school bus for 4 years to put her husband through law school and ate cereal for lunch.
We can only blame bosses for so much and then we have to own something. You can't want security, even false security, so much you won't make a move and then blame the other guy because you don't like what you have. Sometimes, you have to put something down so you have empty hands to pick something else up. It's not easy to do but it begins with owning the truth. Nothing worth bragging about comes easy. And sometimes, the job we hated last week takes on a better light when we stop and compare the alternatives. So make the evaluation honestly and then make a decision to do something you like or find a way to like what you do. We often make a lot of excuses to stand still and complain that nothing changes.

March 23 2011 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The world may end sooner then we think, hopefully we wont have to worry about it to much longer

March 23 2011 at 8:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Well, doesn't that nicely justify the new norm of unemployment!

March 23 2011 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 23 2011 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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