4 Reasons Being Too Devoted To Your Job Is Not A Virtue

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office woman at her desk

Many people spend a lot of waking hours of their lives doing the work that they do. Their careers are a significant part of who they are.

They might even identify as a "workaholic."

Most people I know work very hard at their jobs continuously. So much so, that being a workaholic becomes a big part of their identity and who they are.

You may say that this is what organizations want, correct? In reality, that's not true.

There has been enough research that proves that to be highly productive at work, you need a delicate balance with the other areas of your life, too. It's not sustainable to only be focused at work.

At some point, you will turn bitter and crash and burn.

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If you believed that being too devoted at work is a virtue you enjoy carrying around like a badge, think again.

The problem is that if your work is all you care about, you're possibly very heavily emotionally vested in it. That may bring you down more often than lift you.

Here are 4 reasons why being a workaholic and too devoted to your job is not a virtue.

1. You take feedback and criticism too seriously.

It’s a fact that we all do some tasks well and need to get better at others. No one is perfect.

People that are too committed find it harder to hear developmental feedback. Somewhere, a part of them is convinced that to feel worthy they need to give it their all.

That image of themselves is shattered with such feedback. Objectively, feedback is an excellent opportunity to see what you need to do more or less of.

2. You don’t disconnect.

If you're someone that takes work home and are always busy, even at gatherings with family and friends, please know that you're not doing anyone a favor, least of all yourself.

Your impression in your mind and others may be that you are so proactive and dedicated.

However, if you don’t disconnect, you will stay mired in the mundane and will not be able to give yourself space for creative and innovative ideas to come to you, which are required for your success at work itself.

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3. Your identity is your career.

Identifying too tightly to any one identity is a recipe for disaster. Your idea of who you really are is the driving force between whatever you set out to achieve.

You play many roles throughout the day that help you experience your life in the best way that you want.

If all these roles are mainly played out by you at the workplace, or if you see yourself in such a narrow manner, it's safe to say that it's mostly unhealthy.

Have you thought about what you would really like to do if time and money were not constraints? What do you care about outside of work? What is it that truly brings you joy?

4. Your relationships are rocky.

Do you often get underlying jokes about your workaholic habits from friends and family? How fulfilling are your relationships outside of work?

In this fast-changing environment, jobs will come and go, but your relationships are what will be most meaningful to you as a person. It becomes crucial to invest time, effort, and energy in those relationships outside of work.

Being overly invested in work can be damaging.

It is an admirable quality to care about your job so much. However, being only invested in your career can be damaging to both your professional and personal life.

By recognizing these symptoms, it is possible to keep your level of emotional intensity and involvement at work balanced to thrive at a holistic level, and not just in your career.

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Bhavna Dalal is a master certified executive coach MCC ICF, speaker, and author of "Checkmate Office Politics" who helps people develop their leadership skills, such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing, and networking. To learn more about her work, visit her website or follow her on LinkedIn.

This article was originally published at Forbes India. Reprinted with permission from the author.