Main Differences Between Workaholic And Hard Worker

In: How To

Probably, everyone has heard about workaholics – people who are so obsessed with their job routine that they can’t relax for a second. They work for 12 hours (or more!) per day, constantly check the mail and answer phone calls, and bring their work home. And, although workaholic approach is considered an addiction, looks like this addiction is approved countrywide. Unlike the other addicts, workaholics are often seen as hard-working personalities and even have a good reputation at the office.

However, although hard, productive work and workaholism look very much alike, they are totally different by nature. Jullien Gordon states that the main difference is about how the person feels on the inside. 'A hard worker works in a healthy way and feels inspired, while a workaholic works hard in unhealthy ways and feels burnt out and unhappy', he says. 

It’s crucially important to test yourself and find out whether you are a productive worker or a workaholic. Not only workaholism ruins your health, your relationships with friends and family in the long run, but also it reflects negatively on the company’s success. Workaholics find it too hard to switch off and try some other activity except for their job. As a result, they don’t rest enough and often suffer from physical or mental health issues.

Here are few more hints to differentiate healthy productivity from workaholism:

  1. Workaholics put work above all
    A healthy focus on your responsibilities and desire to excel at what you do are valued high by management. However, there are various cases when a hard worker can’t show up at work. When family matters, health issues or other circumstances need the attention, a good worker distracts from work and focus on other areas of his life. The problem with workaholics is that they can’t act like this – they’ll head to the office even when they’re sick and will ignore important family events to focus on work, even when it’s not that necessary.
  2. Workaholics can’t distract from work
    Livecareer.com states that hard workers ‘play just as hard as they work’. A hard worker switches off his phone to spend quality time with family and friends or have a good sleep. On the contrary, workaholics seem to be physically attached to everything related to their job – they often work at home, constantly check the inbox and feel daunted when they’re forced to spend a day or two away from their laptop. By the way, due to this reason workaholics barely ever go on vacations as they feel miserable when deprived of work-related attributes.
  3. Workaholics don’t know where to stop
    High-performing specialists are always focused at reaching certain results. As soon as the positive result is achieved, they stop working at this task/project etc. and switch to any other activity. However, things don’t work this way with workaholics. When the task is completed, they’ll keep reviewing, improving, and maximizing things as they don’t know when it’s enough. As a workaholic has little idea of what he wants to achieve, he’ll keep acting like a perfectionist until late evening. Maybe, that’s because they haven’t found their real calling yet?
  4. Workaholics can’t prioritize
    Although the work addicts spend much more time at the workplace than the hard-working individuals do, they are often less effective. Why? Just like a workaholic can’t maintain his work-life balance, he struggles to strategize his working time and prioritize the tasks. Moreover, BusinessInsider highlights that ‘high performers do business, while workaholics’ goal is to be busy’. As a result, while other employees complete most important tasks first and don’t allow the external distractions to consume their time, a workaholic gets easily distracted. They react to emails, last-minute meetings and other office distractions and are less focused on getting results. Thus, their employer doesn’t get much result from their spending days and nights at the office.
  5. Workaholics are less healthy and lack balance in life
    Hard workers often have a turbulent, active life outside of the office. As usual, they maintain strong social ties with friends and family, have a plenty of hobbies and interests and like to travel. Meanwhile, the workaholics spend a great deal of their time working, which doesn’t make their lifestyle balanced and healthy. Workaholics often suffer from mental and physical health issues, which, in its turn, make them less efficient workers in the long run. The progressive employers are aware of consequences of workaholism and would rather hire a socially active person who lives balanced life and has interests outside of work.

Do you think you might be a workaholic?

If you’ve checked the above clues and discovered a few signs of workaholism, it’s time to overlook your unhealthy addiction to work. Give yourself short breaks even during the busiest days. Don’t bring your work home – most of the task can wait for tomorrow. And, if you work so hard because you feel that your contribution isn’t valued by management and coworkers, maybe, it’s time to update your resume and seek for other career opportunities?

Our resume professionals will gladly assist with any type of resume, from a student’s to a CEO’s. A new resume will effectively highlight your achievements and help you find your dream job faster.

Have you ever felt addicted to your work? How did you manage it?

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