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6 Signs You Might be Addicted to Your Job

By Edited May 3, 2016 5 5

How to Tell if You are a Workaholic

Workaholics are people who tend to be addicted to their work allowing it to consume most, if not all of their time. As people addicted to their jobs develop their daily schedules, their focus tends to totally be geared towards work issues. The workaholic tends to neglect other aspects of his or her life in favor of work as a result of this compulsory behavior. 

For the workaholic, priorities lie with anything work-related and, as a result, family or other commitments tend to get pushed to the wayside. Inevitably, personal and social life usually ends up suffering because the person is consistently coming or going to the workplace. Even if the work-addicted person is physically present, he or she is usually mentally away from home due to his or her preoccupation with thinking about work.

Blurred human
Credit: LoboStudioHamburg / Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Some people who are addicted to work might eventually find themselves coming and going and living in a total blur.

Do you find these attributes fit you? Here are 6 signs you might be addicted to your job:

1. You Work a Lot of Unnecessary Overtime

Do you jump at the opportunity to work overtime whether you get paid or not? If you are driven by the idea of work and compensation is a secondary consideration, this may be a red flag you are addicted to your work. Workaholics tend to work for the joy of it, but it goes beyond fulfillment and happiness. It is a compulsive need which itches until it is scratched.

People who are compulsive when it comes to their job are often totally willing to work without compensation and, even though they may be exhausted, they do not let this deter them. The more hours they can log in, the better.

Not that it's wrong to enjoy your job, but too much of anything, even a good thing, can be unhealthy. Aside from affecting home life, it can also lead to being too unproductive.

2. Too Focused on Work

If you are finding yourself thinking about work when you go to bed and jumping out of bed in the morning with your tasks or projects on your mind, this is also a sign pointing a big arrow to being a workaholic. It is not a definitive signal, but it is a warning sign, if combined with some of the other signs, of being a workaholic. Work is a part of life, but it does not define living. If you find yourself constantly having work issues on the brain, this could mean the job has you too stressed out or you might be addicted to your job. Either way, it could lead to burnout if you're not careful.

Credit: Geralt / Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

People who become addicted to work often end up experiencing burnout. In the end, not only does the person suffer, but so does the work, which defeats the original intent of being productive.

3. Work Commitments Overshadow Personal Ones

If a conflict in schedule arises between a work and a personal commitment, do you habitually choose work, even if it is during hours traditionally off the clock? When dual demands are made on your time, does your family life always get pushed to the side? If you are constantly neglecting personal and familial obligations in order to pacify or impress a boss, this too lends credence to acting as a workaholic. Even if your motives aren't to impress anyone, but simply because you prefer work over social life, it leans towards your being too addicted to your job.

4. Your Primary Purpose in Life is Work

Do you feel your work defines who you are and is your purpose for living? If so, this is a huge red flag you might be a workaholic. A person's job is a part of someone, but it does not define who he or she is. The workaholic also tends to put heavy and excessive emphasis about how other professionals, including bosses and colleagues, perceives him or her. Rather than be themselves, they work hard to project a specific image in order to mesh with how they perceive their primary purpose in life to be.

5. Can't Turn off the Electronics

Workaholics find difficulty disconnecting themselves from the workplace, even in the off-hours. Typically, the workaholic will leave their work mobile on and/or stay on the Internet through a laptop or other device. They will constantly check email, messaging or other electronic communication applications for new correspondences. This could signal a strong sign to being addicted to work. They may rationalize it stating it's "so important" or can't let someone wait on an answer. In reality, most things can wait until morning. Probably not best to be emailing someone at 1 a.m. anyway. 

blogger with laptop and mobile
Credit: Unsplash / Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Do you find yourself constantly looking at your electronic devices for updates or communications relating to work? If it is taking over all of your "after hours" time and creating problems in your personal life, you might want to reconsider these habits.

6. Dream About Work

Are your deadlines impeding your sleep hours? Do you lie awake at night thinking about what you'll be doing at work tomorrow instead of focusing on rest and relaxation during your off-hours? Do you sleep with your work phone? Or, when you fall asleep are your dreams all about the workplace?

If you find your awake and sleep hours are all work-centric, it may be time to consider you might be addicted to your job. Being hardworking is definitely a positive attribute, but when it crosses over the line where a job dominates, defines and illuminates who a person is, it is not always a positive thing.  Workaholics tend to eventually progress to having problems with family, friends and negatively impacting other social obligations because these relationships are neglected in favor of work.

The ideal work lifestyle is one that pays the bills and makes you happy. If it extends to the point where work defines you and essentially runs your life, you may want to consider re-examining your purpose in life. If you are addicted to your job and indeed a workaholic, some changes  might be in order.

Not that work is a bad thing, but you know what they say about all work and no play. Plus it's just not healthy.



Mar 23, 2016 8:43pm
All very true points! My work phone is attached to me like a ball and chain.
Mar 24, 2016 2:27am
Thanks for reading and commenting. It's amazing how much mobile has changed our lives isn't it?
Welcome to IB!
Apr 13, 2016 4:01pm
Great article, Leigh. I think there is a fine line between being passionate about your work and being a workaholic. I think the key is if you find your work challenging and exciting and you look forward to starting work every day, it is passion. If it brings you nothing but stress and you dread going to work every day but you keep putting it ahead of everything else anyway, then you are definitely a workaholic.
Apr 15, 2016 1:59am
Thanks so much Lesley. I agree about that fine line. I know a few people who love to work (in general), but I'm not so sure it's the job itself they love.
Apr 16, 2016 1:31am
Very true points to check, I'm addicted to job or not.
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  1. "17 Signs You Might Be a Workaholic." U.S. News & World Report. 14/03/2013. 26/02/2016 <Web >

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