Am I work-obsessed?

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Defining workaholism is difficult, as it’s not defined by raw hours or job satisfaction. A workaholic is compulsive and obsessed with work, and their job title becomes a large part of their identity. A self-test can determine if you’re a workaholic. Recovery requires understanding from family and friends and adjusting to a healthier work-life balance.

Defining yourself as a workaholic can be difficult, as the condition is not always well defined. A doctor who works 70 hours a week may be less of a workaholic than a factory worker who works 40 hours a week. The doctor may have an active social life outside of work, while the factory worker may dread the idea of ​​going home after a shift.

For a true workaholic, work becomes a compulsion and possibly even an obsession. Workaholism cannot be measured in raw hours or job satisfaction. This person may or may not find satisfaction through work, but feels compelled to perform nonetheless.

One of the main differences between a motivated worker and a workaholic is perspective. A well-adjusted worker realizes that his job is just one element of his identity. Once work is done, the workplace is replaced by a fulfilling home life.

For a workaholic, on the other hand, their job title becomes a much larger percentage of their identification. There is no such thing as “leaving the workplace” – there is work and there is a very long break. He or she usually has a hard time dividing work life from home life.

Some people might consider someone who works extremely long hours to be a workaholic, but that hasn’t proved to be entirely true. Certain occupations require a significant time commitment, such as the medical or legal professions, but this condition is not defined by the raw number of hours spent on the job. A workaholic is more likely to volunteer overtime or agree to take on a big project later in the week. Salaried employees may feel an obligation to work long hours, but a workaholic will often feel extremely anxious or depressed if they don’t work until they are exhausted.

A self-test to determine whether you are a true workaholic is to observe your behavior outside of work. Make a mental note of how many work-related conversations you start with other people. Do you insist on discussing the poor performance of your co-workers or employer? Is your sleep interrupted by work-related thoughts? Do you find yourself driving around your workplace outside of business hours? If so, you might as well be a workaholic, or at least one in training.

Unlike an alcoholic or active substance abuser, a workaholic is not automatically penalized for pursuing their addiction at work. Addiction is work. Company policy may prohibit alcohol or drugs on the premises, but it does not always address doing a lot of work. Advice from such a person often requires sensitivity on the part of the employer, as losing such a motivated employee can be detrimental. A true workaholic may need to seek professional advice to determine the root causes of his workaholic.

The family and friends of an active workaholic also need understanding while he or she is in recovery. While many people view vacations as a welcome release from responsibility, a person with this condition who is not working is akin to an active alcoholic who is not drinking. Artificial abstinence is not a cure. A recovering workaholic needs time to adjust to a healthier work-life balance.

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