Workaholic Quiz by Barbara Reinhold Monster Career Coach People who go to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol eventually become pariahs, losing themselves and their jobs as they go. But too many work-addicted people are being mightily rewarded, even though workaholism is, in the long run, the root cause of tremendous physical, emotional and economic pain. How Do You Spot a Workaholic? How do you know if your boss with the nonstop demands, your spouse who seldom makes it home to dinner, your coworker -- or even you -- are work-addicted? Use this quiz to see how many of the characteristics often associated with work addiction apply to you or someone you know. Mark yes next to each description that sounds familiar: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No 1. Arriving early, staying late, doing more than what's required to do a good job. 2. Failing to delegate tasks. 3. Perfectionism. 4. A fast pace, irritability with anyone who isn't "working hard enough." 5. Inability to take time off when sick, unused vacation days. 6. Lack of boundaries, work spills over into everything else. 7. Difficulty putting things in perspective, can't tell what's important. 8. Diminished relationships, people at home are mad or distant. 9. Lack of hobbies and/or social life. 10. Inability to relax. 11. Constant thoughts about work. 12. Underdeveloped sense of humor. 13. Impatience, criticism or hostility close to the surface when dealing with subordinates. 14. Inordinate desire to please higher-ups. 15. Being absolutely convinced that working hard is fun but that you could stop anytime, when everyone else knows it's a compulsion for you. Total number answered "Yes":
What's Your Score? Your Boss's? Your Spouse's?
Here's the acid test: Show this quiz to your partner, coworker or friend and see how someone who knows you well answers about you. And assume that, in this case, the person has truer answers for you than you do. If you scored between 10 and 15, you need to take a hard look at how much of your life has been taken over by work. Unless you scored less than three, don't consider yourself home free. You, too, have tendencies to let your work overgrow your garden. Why Does It Matter? Work addiction has the same long-term prognosis as any addiction. Good judgment in complex situations requires the following:
Going to work rested. Having people to whom you can confess and unload negative feelings. Taking care of yourself physically. Having downtime to replenish your creativity and clear your perspective.
Few workaholics find the time or self-awareness to do these things. But in many companies they're well-compensated and promoted, thus imposing their mad expectations on others, often causing the healthy people to jump ship. In short, they wreak havoc in the organizations they’re leading. What Are the Antidotes to This Poison? Start with a heavy dose of feedback. When the addicted person is your boss, starting the feedback chain is delicate; don't go it alone under any circumstances. It's still tricky with a coworker or friend, but it’s easier. With a direct report, it's part of your job. And if it's you? That's the hardest one of all. But There Are Many Resources There's always bibliotherapy. Two good books are: 1. Overdoing It: How to Slow Down and Take Care of Yourself by Bryan Robinson 2. Working Ourselves to Death: The High Cost of Workaholism and the Rewards of Recovery by Diane Fassel There's Help in Cyberspace, Too There are 12-step groups everywhere (an amazing number of workaholics are adult children of alcoholics). A master list of 12-step programs is available at 12 Step Cyber Cafe. Browsing here will take you to other sites, organized by geography, type of addiction, etc. This is serious stuff -- a matter of life and death, eventually, for the employee and the work unit. It's time to stop rewarding this highly approved addiction, the one that's draining the vitality and resilience from organizations everywhere.