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What and Who Are Workaholics?

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Autor:   •  October 1, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  2,388 Words (10 Pages)  •  3,305 Views

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Why did I choose to write about workaholics? The main reason is that the general picture about these people is bad, but there are a lot of them around us and very often we admire them. They are doing exactly what they love - work - and they can never have enough of it. Although they spend most of their time working, surprisingly they are happy. They show so good results in what they do. But the consequences are great. Family life is disrupted, intellectual horizons narrow and the consequences to the workaholic's health are severe: fat, lack of exercise and stress. Why do people become workaholics? When a person becomes workaholic is there a way back? How should people around him act in order to keep both him and themselves happy? Lets start explaining what workaholics are, how they act and then we'll get answers to this questions.


The definition of workaholism from a dictionary would be someone who has a compulsion to work all time and a workaholic is someone who loves to work or who is addicted to work. How can this people work throughout the whole day and be happy and never tired knowing that they sleep only for 4-5 hours a day. Perhaps the main reason for this is that people evaluate themselves more on measurable things such as personal achievements and financial worth - not emotional wellness. People often tend to feel guilty if they are not constantly being productive, as they tend to consider relaxation a waste of precious time. They need work to feel good. Workaholics are people who put the work on first place. Usually they need to prove themselves to the their colleagues or their bosses so they would praise them. Sometimes workaholism occurs because the person works to avoid the pain. Workaholism is addiction and all addictions are in a way avoidance of pain. They work just to cover the pain and not deal with it. Some of the workaholics became what they are because of greed. They can never have enough so they want to work as much as possible. Sometimes the hard workers are being referred as workaholics. While hard workers are ready to work some extra time to finish a project or to meet a deadline, the workaholic uses all his extra time to work. Workaholics don't have hobbies except if they are related to the job such as golf games with business partners. Everybody thinks that the workaholics are over doing with their job and they think that they are never work enough.


How did this people get addicted to work? Nobody can tell exactly how but there is a theory that workaholism starts at really early stages of life. Marilyn Machlowitz says in her book Workaholics supports this theory and says that this whole process starts when children play games that are connected with real time jobs or they play games connected with getting money such as selling lemonade or old magazines. She also says that children of workaholics are about to become ones in their later life development. The addiction to the child of a workaholic is not passed actively. The workaholics don't tell their children to work or not to work a lot. The reason is that children often want to be as successful as their parents. Machlowitz later on in her book also says that some children think if they don't show the best results in school their parents will not love them and therefore start working more than they should. But however it is not only the childhood that makes people workaholics. Although it might be the best period to make person think like a workaholic, the adult phase of life is the most important. The most common target of workaholism is people that have high responsibility jobs. Their motivation is fear. Workaholics on high positions just hate to fail and feel inferior to all other workers that are bellow them. Therefore they are double-checking all possibilities that are available for a certain task that they are responsible for. But perhaps the most common reason for workaholism is fear of laziness. 1) Thomas Wolfe supports this idea in his "You can't go home again":

I've got an idea that a lot of the work in this world gets done by lazy people. That's the reason they work - because they're so lazy - It's this way: you work because you are not afraid to. You work

1) Robert D. Capalan "Effects of workload, role ambiguity and type A personality on depression, personality and heart rate" Journal of Applied Psychology, 60 (p.6)

because you have to drive yourself to such a fury to begin. That

part is just hell!!! It's so hard to get started that once you you're

afraid of slipping back. You'd rather do anything than go through that agony again - so you keep going till you couldn't stop even if you wanted to.... Then people say you're glutton for work, but it isn't so. It's just laziness - just plain, damned plain laziness, that's all.


At work they show themselves in full element. They work much more and lot faster and better than the others. Therefore they quickly climb high the hierarchy tree in a company. The workaholic works so fast so he often does thinks twice or what more often happens does thinks that he doesn't have to. "They contribute a lot for organization at some cost to their own mental and physical health". Being a boss is inadequate job for workaholic. He has problem dealing with people. As a boss, a workaholic requires his workers to work as hard as he does. When they are not doing what they are expected their right to make some decisions is denied. They tend to be critical for the co-workers. They always think that people are not trying hard to work and that are avoiding work all the time. When somebody has a day off because he is sick, a workaholic would say that he is magnifying the problem just not to work. They show little interest and great intolerance for the personal lives of the co-workers. They might say, "How's the family?" but they will not pay attention to the answer. They don't show any personal interest about their co-workers except if it's something related to their needs or demands. Marilyn Machlowitz in her "Workaholics" book tells us about one case like this. The secretary after five years at work decided that she wants to change her glasses, and use lens instead. When at work, her workaholic boss noticed that she doesn't have the glasses and said "How are you going to type for me without your glasses?". Workaholics work according


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