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Myths About Workaholics

Do workaholics get more negative recognition than necessary? According to studies, the perceived harmful effects from overworking are not from the amount of work given, but the person’s beliefs and emotions related to the work. David Ogilvy, a famous advertising executive, once said, “Men die of boredom, psychological conflict, and disease. They do not die of hard work.” The feeling of being “overworked” is related to not enjoying or having fun at work, not having multiple projects to complete in a specific time.

According to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, “workaholics tend to have higher social statues in every society, including laidback cultures like those found in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, or South America.” The Business Insider ranked the top 14 countries that had the most workaholics and 10 of those countries account for most of the world’s GDP. Overachievers give more to society, which, in turn, helps societal and economic growth. The accomplishments of hard workers can be seen throughout history and in many different fields (sports, science, politics, etc.).

Working hard can be an important career weapon that can get you ahead in both your job and help you achieve more life goals. Workaholics also live longer and usually continue to work well into their senior age; the reason and key component for this is because many workaholics have careers they love. When you dislike a job, any amount of meaningless work can be perceived as tedious and an overload. Chamorro-Premuzic compares working to relationships: “Spending one week on a job you hate is as dreadful as spending a week with a person you don’t like.” When you find a job (or person) you love, any time spent is not an issue.

Workaholics also tend to have careers rather than jobs. Careers are usually in a field someone finds interest in, and finds pleasure working in domain. Careers give you a higher sense of purpose, while a job simply provides an income. If you are constantly counting the hours you have worked and watching the clock, then you probably have a job. Careers have no division between work and play since working is gratifying; the more elusive the lines between life and work are the happier and more successful you will be in both. Being a workaholic is not negative if you enjoy your career. Working a job you find boring or tiresome can cause more stress than intended due to your negative emotions toward the job. If you do not believe a job is right for you, a career change is never too late.

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