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Workaholism vs. Dedication
Opposite sides of the same coin
Would you characterize yourself as a workaholic? Or would you describe yourself as dedicated?
They often share one characteristic—long work hours, but they differ in mindset and impact on the individual.
With mindset, the difference comes in motivation. The HBR article How Being a Workaholic Differs from Working Long Hours describes it well:
“Engaged workaholics worked because they enjoyed their work or found their work meaningful (these are intrinsic motivators), non-engaged workaholics were more likely to work for extrinsic motivators such as money and status. Intrinsic motivation is associated with more optimism, effort, and persistence, whereas extrinsic motivation often instigates anxiety and undermines persistence, making failure more likely.”
When you work long hours because you love what you do, you can experience positive impacts—success, pride, accomplishment, joy, engagement, etc. When you work long hours out of guilt or pressure from self or others, you can experience negative impacts—physical and mental health issues.
BUT, there is one other key difference—obsession. If you think about work all the time and are unable to compartmentalize, turn it off or unplug, they you may be more of a workaholic. You will experience the impacts of chronic stress or burnout. Those who work long hours, experience pleasure from the work and are also able to enjoy their “off” times will be more likely to thrive long-term.
Where are you on this scale? The differences are more gray and black and white.
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