The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, August 21st that workplace deaths fell 10% in 2008. This could attributed to both fewer workers getting injured because of layoffs and stricter safety standards, but that isn't what struck us. The most intriguing thing was that suicide rates were up 28% from 2007. It may be even higher due to budget constraints for processing this data from government agencies. We won't know for sure until 2010 when the Labor Department updates its data for 2008.
We all know things are difficult out there, but this data is rather sobering. We never like to be Pollyannish, but this is a such a good reminder to celebrate what you do have. Although we may not be out of this recession, time passes and things do change.
The idea of ending your life over a work-related issue is certainly another interpretation of the end of work, but not what we meant. If you are feeling at a low in your work life, find someone to talk to or get help. Work is only one aspect of your identity and your life. It is important to define the context work has in your life in a way that's balanced. This will help you mitigate the stress produced by work. You are not your work. There are other things in life that excite and challenge you. Find them again. It's a good reminder on this Friday not to take your work too seriously.