Committed or Married to Work?

What's the difference between having a calling and being married to your work?

A recent study that surveyed a diverse group of 201 employed adults found that feeling “called” to a particular career positively impacted career commitment, work meaning, and job satisfaction. Basically, the study showed that people with a calling (or vocation) work because they love the work they do, not because they have to generate an income. In fact, many of those interviewed stated that they would do the same work even if they were paid much less, or not paid at all!

Flickr/Photo by Tash Lampard

This is not necessarily the case when someone is “married to their job”. More often than not, this label refers to workaholics who live and breathe work, whether they love it or hate it! This is the person who can't turn off the mobile device even when on a date, sends text messages to reports at 3:00 AM, and is then frustrated by the delayed response time. Workaholics tend to be the first to arrive and the last to leave the office. They generally work through lunch and take few breaks. They even plan vacations around key accounts they want to visit or work-related conferences they want to attend.

The advent of 24/7 connectivity has made it more difficult for people to draw a line between their professional and personal lives. This was clearly illustrated by another recent survey, which showed that 42 percent of U.S. employees check in with the office once a day while on vacation, and 40 percent report checking in multiple times a day.  According to this survey, only a small percentage of employees disconnect when on vacation, only 10 percent reported that they “never” check in with the office, and a full 8 percent indicated that they could not take a vacation because of work demands.

You probably know if someone you are living with is a workaholic just by observing habits. But we are not always as quick to recognize our own extreme behavior. If you are not sure whether your commitment to work has crossed the line into the extreme, or may even have become an addiction, check out these twenty questions offered by Workaholics Anonymous. (Note: if you answer yes to three or more, you might be a workaholic!)

How Do I Know If I'm A Workaholic?

  1. Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?
  2. Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can't?
  3. Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation?
  4. Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?
  5. Do you work more than 40 hours a week?
  6. Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?
  7. Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
  8. Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?
  9. Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won't otherwise get done?
  10. Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
  11. Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you love what you are doing?
  12. Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
  13. Are you afraid that if you don't work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?
  14. Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
  15. Do you do things energetically and competitively including play?
  16. Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
  17. Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
  18. Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
  19. Do you work or read during meals?
  20. Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?

Help your employees maintain a healthy work/life balance by supporting personal and professional goal setting and offering values-based performance management with TribeHR.


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