While most people strive for success and fulfilment in careers, work addiction, or ‘workaholism’, is a behavioural addiction, causing a compulsive need to work, that can adversely affect other aspects of your life.
You may be called a ‘workaholic’ or ‘perfectionist’ by colleagues, but this does not necessarily mean that you are addicted to your job role. Work addiction is indicated by a preoccupation with working and can develop because of an intrinsic desire to achieve a certain status or level of success.
What are the Signs of Work Addiction?
- Approval-seeking: the workaholic’s identity is tied up with their work; it justifies their existence and becomes a means of gaining approval from others
- Low self-esteem: being very conscious about their image, workaholics believe that overworking earns them admiration
- Control issues: workaholics work as a means to cope with life’s uncertainties and try to gain a measure of control over otherwise uncontrollable aspects of life
- Authority issues: they are vulnerable to succumbing to figures of authority in a search for approval, even if it means surrendering or lowering themselves or their values
- Perfectionism: workaholics tend to make unreasonable demands upon themselves. They might extend this expectation to those around them, both at work and in their relationships
- Escapism: they also use work as a way of escaping having to deal with everyday emotions
- Preoccupation: like other addicts, workaholics overwork and, when not doing so, obsess about it to the point that their lives become out of balance which adversely impacts their health and relationships
- Lying: they may begin to mislead, themselves and others, about their work habits. They also may lie about past successes and failures, exaggerating the former and minimising or fabricating the latter.