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7 Reasons Why Your Workaholic Nature Is Harming You And Those Around You

7 Reasons Why Your Workaholic Nature Is Harming You And Those Around You

There have been quite a few articles recently saying that workaholism can be good for you! They claim that workaholics are unique in displaying dedication, energy, and drive. Obviously, I do not agree as an ex-workaholic myself. Workaholics are actually harming themselves and their families and friends. Here are 7 reasons why workaholism is definitely not a good idea.

1. Your health will suffer

Just think. If you are the type who has to skimp on sleep, meals and exercise because of your workaholic addiction, what is the result? Poor health, of course. Researchers at the Kansas State University have found that there is a startling reduction in physical and mental health when 50 hour weeks become the norm. The study took a sample from over 12,000 workers who were interviewed on a yearly basis between the years 1979 through 1994.

2. Your productivity suffers

Strange isn’t it? We have been raised to think that long hours are a sign of a really productive and dedicated employee. It is the old Protestant work ethic which still persists to this day. The opposite seems to be the case, however. Numerous studies show that long hours are synonymous with declining energy, concentration, poor decision making, and awful results.

According to the International Labor Organization, over 600 million workers are clocking up 48 hour working weeks and their productivity is suffering. Peru, Republic of Korea and Thailand are at the top of the list.

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One human resources company, Bamboo HR, insists that the maximum number of working hours a week is 40. They are very strict about this and the policy has paid off in that there is no burnout among their employees. They all leave they office at 5.p.m.on the dot. They decided this after seeing marriages break up and managers being hospitalized.

‘We trade a strict adherence to a 40-hour workweek for all employees in return for their commitment to making all of those hours productive and efficient.’- Ryan Sanders, co-founder of Bamboo.

3. Your working timetable is all over the place

If you insist on getting up very early and keeping irregular hours at the office, then you are in for a few nasty surprises. You will be more prone to irritability, your creativity will suffer and your morale will take a dive.

The best solution is to work towards setting clear boundaries between your work and your home life. You have to schedule in time for some quite time, exercise, or just relaxing and listening to music. Some employees are lucky enough to have napping facilities. These things can help to set limits.

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4. You are a perfectionist

Lots of workaholics are suffering from micro-managing and perfectionism which make things a lot worse. There is a dangerous side effect of this in that it can lead to a mindset which is all or nothing. There are no compromises and the task at hand is either going to be a success or a total failure.

If you are a perfectionist, there is a possibility that there are underlying mental health issues. These can range from anxiety and depression, to eating disorders and substance abuse.

The best solution is to try and change your mindset. There is, after all, a possibility of failure and this should not be forgotten. This means setting more realistic objectives and breaking the task down into smaller mini tasks.

5. You are neglecting leisure and pleasure

When workaholics stop enjoying themselves and their only satisfaction is reaching work deadlines, then there is something terribly wrong. They are likely to run themselves into the ground with disastrous consequences for themselves and the company.

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I know all about this as I ended up in hospital twice because I was incapable of putting these simple suggestions into practice. I was under enormous pressure and stress won the battle. But I risked my health. Lesson learned the hard way!

Try to set time and energy for doing things that you love such as taking your kids out, going to the gym or attending a school event. Another solution is to make sure that you are not available by iPhone or email. Urgent calls can wait till tomorrow.

6. You cannot switch off your laptop on vacation

How many workaholics do you know who go on holiday with their laptop? They are in touch with the office and they are always answering emails and urgent calls, You wonder why they bothered to waste money on the plane ticket.

The great thing when you switch off completely is that you can try out delegating which will give you a great way of assessing your staff. In addition, you will discover that there is life when you switch off your devices. Real life, relaxation, beauty, good food and wine, glorious sunshine are all waiting for you.

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7. You let work define you

This is all you are. Work defines you and boxes you in. Time to make a break. Just think about how many marriages break up because of workaholism. It makes sense because if you are married to your job, it gets tough being married to a real person.

You are also stressing those colleagues who have to work with you. This was the result of a study carried out by the International Journal of Stress Management.

It will not be easy to escape the workaholism addiction, quite frankly. Recognizing that you may have a problem is the first step. The second step is to repeat to yourself that long hours are unproductive. Let your mantra be: ‘work smarter, not harder’.

Featured photo credit: The workaholic NSA/ herval via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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