Economy Drives Happiness, Jobs, & Divorce

Late last summer my husband and I took our first vacation together in nearly 2 years.  Like many we had been affected by the shitty economy and spent time at home instead of traveling across the world to faraway lands.  I also drank many less Starbucks carmel mocchiattos.  Maybe as an employee in your organization, I was just holding on.  Miserable and trapped because the job market was standing still.  Having money to pay our house payment, electricity, and put food on the table took priority from the fun stuff like iPads, career advancement, trips to Italy, and even an occasional dinner out.  As the economy begins to improve, we are making more lifestyle decisions, you know the fun stuff for ourselves.  Instead of being in survival mode, we are now spreading our wings, planning vacations, and thinking about ourselves for a change.

Economy Drives Happiness, Jobs, & Divorce


It’s well deserved.  Your change may be in the form of a manicure that you have been putting off not able to justify the $40 expense or maybe a impromptu shopping trip.  For me, it’s about vacations and travel that doesn’t involve work.  You see, in my line of work as a speaker and consultant I do a lot of travel, but until last year I only traveled for business and not pleasure.

So this week, that’s exactly what I’m doing.  My daughter and I are hopping a flight to accompany my husband who has been in Florida for the last couple weeks working on a project.  And so I’m getting away.  Taking a break.  Taking a vacation from life.

Over the last month, I’ve seen people making small life as well as big life changes  as a result of the improving economy.  Entering the job market, getting a makeover, and even getting a divorce.  In fact, I have a number of friends who made a very drastic life change.  They’ve left their spouses or their spouses left them.  And I believe we’ll see more of this sadly.  Or maybe it’s for the better.  My divorce was the best decision I ever made.  It led me to the husband I have now and a beautiful little girl.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As a company, the life choices your employees make due to the improving economy will directly correlate to:

  • Your company’s increase in turnover.
  • Divorce rates within your organization.
  • Increases in healthcare and eye care claims  as well as dentist visits.
  • Decrease in use of your company’s EAP program.

So a life change or vacation can be as big or as small as you want it to be.  It’s important as an organization to prepare to and be there to support your employee populations along the way.  For me personally, I broke down and bought an iPad2 and expensive eye wrinkle cream.  All because I can.  I work hard.  I want to be happy and wrinkle free.  For the last three years, people have put up with shitty jobs, unbotoxed brows, and unhappy marriages holding on by a thread.  Waiting, wishing, hoping, and dreaming for a chance to make a change.

You deserve to be happy.  What change are you making today?  Are companies preparing for how these employee life changes and decisions will impact their organizations?  They most certainly should.

Photo Credit Saving Advice.




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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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