—Lisa Belkin, "Life's Work," The New York Times, March 29, 2000
—Tom Brown, "The model employee," Industry Week, August 1, 1988
1997 — 34
1998 — 76
1999 — 126
2000 — 386
2001 — 435
2002 — 407
2003 — 709
2004 — 908
2005 — 1,120
2006 — 1,312
2007 — 1,674
2008 — 1,601
2009 — 1,310
2010 — 1,516
2011 — 1,452
If the notion that newspapers reflect our lives isn't too quaint (and I don't believe it is), then this roughly geometric increase must reflect something interesting that's bubbled up from the depths of the cultural stew. Consider, too, some of the words in today's "See Also" list: downshifter, inconspicuous consumption, rejecter, voluntary simplicity. Clearly the idea that our technologically hopped-up society is going too fast for some people and not just for the usual cast of Luddites, either is taking hold at some level.
Finally, here's an even earlier citation that uses the similar phrase work-and-life balance:
I know a lot of managers who would be proud to utter something like that for the record.
Dick Leider doubts that this is a healthy attitude. A Minneapolis consultant and author, Dick paints a picture of managers struggling to capture a mythical thing called "balance" — a proportioning of their lives with sufficient weight on professional activities, but with a healthy counterweight of family and personal interests.
"It used to be that work-and-life balance was a boutique issue," he says. "You know, something that would be great to worry about whenever — and if — one had some free time. But imbalance is killing people!"
—Tom Brown, "Time to diversify your 'life portfolio'?," Industry Week, November 10, 1986
post-traumatic job switcher