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Workaholic High Achiever and ‘Always On’ Work Culture

2 Mins read

For someone just starting out their career, or an average employee, there is the temptation to think that an high achiever is a workaholic. A workaholic may be a validation seeker, someone who wants to be seen as the over-achiever workhorses that put in long hours and burn the midnight oil. Buying into the over working culture and consider it a badge of honor – finally arriving at the high achiever status.

Workaholism is unhealthy and unsustainable with a tragic reality, it leads to unhappiness and burnout in life and career.

The Pursuit of Glory

The pursuit of a wrong goal and purpose at work can result in different behaviors. Matthew Kitchen illustrates this frenzy in his Wall Street Journal article. “I have a masochistic need to please bosses”, he starts, like a workaholic self reporting. “So I’m never more than a few feet from my iPhone (notifications humming at all hours) and I never leave home without a MacBook in tow. Just in case.”

The self delusional worker who is trying to curry a boss favor then said the manager once mentioned pointedly that he has a “perverse respect for workaholics.” And the manager emailed this person a question at 11:11 p.m. Guess what, the email was responded to seven minutes later. With a response from the boss, “You = Always On.”

And for you to know the danger of loosing one’s soul at work, this spat on the face sounds like a joke or a compliment. Not a clear ‘unpleasant’ joke to be frowned out. “I’ll take it,” which ever it is, says our manager pleasing friend.

  • Source: The Wall Street journal Article: How to Disconnect From ‘Always On’ Work Culture
  • Source: HuffPost Article: Be a High Achiever Instead of a Workaholic

When Glory, Awards and Recognition Pursue Achievements

Workaholic High Achiever and disconnecting from always on work culture
Illustration: Steve Scott

Caroline Dowd-Higgins, an executive coach and author of the above HuffPost article, counsels that it is better to be strategic, to work smarter and not harder so you can more fully enjoy your life and career. To get the desired awards and recognition as a high achiever, there is a need to be proactive in planning the work environment.

This should be followed with the design of each work day around the most important tasks that have the most significant return on investment.

“Avoid the workaholics perfectionism paradox,” she continued. Follow the tech start-ups design thinking “good enough to go” maxim; the 80/20 rule. And once you have drop the office pen, play like a baby. Find time and space to flow into a wellness regimen.

Whether it is a move from being a workaholic to an high achiever, or maintaining the momentum of achievement, you need an accountability partner. Talk of the person been a mentor from the pool of leaders that you admire or a peer. Whichever way, you will do well when you have others whom you can turn to for support.

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