What's Holding Your Career back #3 — Workaholic

Photo by herval

#3 in the What’s Holding You Back series — designed to help you think about why you are not moving forward in your job search, career, or life.

Someone who works really hard should be an asset to an employer, right? Why would being a workaholic hold you back?

We are meant to have more than work in our lives.

Now I love my work, I love helping people move forward in their careers and I love technology. I love learning but I confess that even though I have been self-employed for over 20 years, I am pretty much a workaholic.

What does that mean in relationship to success in your career? We all need to have perspective in our lives. When you focus on one thing too much, it closes the door to what is all around you. Though I said I love learning, I find that I am often doing most of my learning on the computer and not in the large library of books that I have.

The workaholic methodology

I love reading everything, but I put reading fiction and even non-fiction on the back burner because I am busy and a myriad of other things like gardening, yardwork, fitness, and more. When you adapt a workaholic methodology, you focus so hard on the tasks or projects at hand that you tend to ignore the things that add to the value of your life.

Finding balance in your life

If you work in an office setting, working long hours may seem like the only way to get ahead but it can rob you of the influences of other people and networking opportunities or just relaxation. Balance is a funny word because when you are happy doing whatever it is you do, you don’t feel like you are working. But balance means integrating other aspects besides whatever is work to you into your life.

Not taking a vacation at all, banking your vacation hours sounds like a dedicated employee but in reality, it robs you and your company of the opportunity to step back and let your brain focus on other things.


What do you value?

Determine what things are important to you and make sure that you do some of them every day — besides work. If you like walking, running, skiing, swimming — go do it! If you like cooking or gardening, fit it into your life.

We aren’t meant to be robots. Think about it. I will work on not being a workaholic too! Fortunately, I have Teddy, the German Shepherd, to put his paw on my leg and say, Mom, I want You to go outside with me!

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  1. Andrew on March 5, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Does photography count? I have been struggling with how to include that with biking. Hiking and snowshoeing are easy. But biking with a camera calls for some practice.

    I probably will be taking some online classes in the near future, especially now since this computer is functioning up to speed.

  2. Melissa on March 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

    That is very applicable to the job search! It’s so easy to become all-consumed with all that goes into looking for work that you lose sight of the balance that is needed and will keep you from burning out while job hunting.

    As you probably guessed, I have workaholic tendencies, too… Thanks for the great reminder that balance in life really does help achieve goals!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..03/05/2010 #FF — People I Know Offline =-.

  3. Julie on March 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Everything counts, Andrew… you can grow and be as much as you want to be while enjoying the outdoors.

  4. Julie on March 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Melissa, I think job seekers go both ways. Some get so all-consumed that they do nothing else and think of nothing else. Others don’t get involved enough and waste time watching TV or in fruitless job board hunting instead of being proactive and networking.

    Enjoy the weather, Melissa, it should be nice in Madison today too!

  5. Barbara Swafford on March 8, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Hi Julie,

    You’re so right. It’s easy to get wrapped up with the work in front of us, and working from a home office makes it even more difficult – it’s not like we punch out and go home.

    I try to get away from my desk, cook favorite dishes, go for a drive or do something else that brings me joy. And like you, we also have a dog that reminds us she wants “something”. Gotta love those pets. They seem to know better than we do.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Be Careful What You Wish For =-.

    • Julie Walraven on March 8, 2010 at 6:20 am

      Hi Barbara, the day I wrote this post, Teddy pulled me at least five times to follow him outside. I shoveled snow off the deck, picked up after him, and later took him for a walk.

      I still have to work on lots of things but I hope to make this year a little less desk/computer, more organization, and more outside time…

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