It is great to be dedicated to your career but not so obsessed that you find yourself “married to your job.”
A life balance is not only necessary to maintain personal relationships, but also for health reasons many experts say. It is just not good to fill our days—and in some cases nights as well—with the stressors of work. Having a balance also help you succeed at work.
Top five signs to tell you are married to your career:
1) Business on the brain: Is business all you think about? “You’re married to your work if your life revolves around what you do at work,” says entrepreneur Ian Aronovich, president and co-founder of GovernmentAuctions.org. “The same applies if you believe your work is your purpose in life, as well as your entertainment and your greatest possession.”
2) All work, no play: Do you not have any downtime? “We all need time to work, but we also need time to unwind and spend time with family and friends,” notes Aronovich. “If work is the only thing you can do and you consider work as play, you’re practically married to your work.”
3) Always connected to the office: Do you find most of your communication is work related? “You are married to your career if the first and last thing you do in a day is check your work email,” notes career strategist and life coach Suzannah Scully, founder of Live Well Space.
4) No personal connections: Is your friend circle filled with work colleagues? If you only surround yourself with people from work or your industry because you don’t have time to meet new people.
5) I am what I do: Are you your job? “If you define yourself by what you accomplish, then you are married to your career,” says Scully.
But don’t despair. You can get a separation from your career—and it’s not a bad thing. “I make it a point to stay flexible in my work life. As my own boss, I especially enjoy the flexibility in my schedule. Even though I may work a lot during the week—sometimes upwards of 90 hours—I can arrange my time so I can pick up my kids from school, take them to karate and dance class, and even have lunch with my wife once a week,” says Aronovich. Technology allows you to have time away from the office or work from home, occasionally, if possible.
Set some boundaries when it comes to work. Aronovich, for example, does not work weekends "no matter what, in order to reserve quality time with my family.” And when at work, he gives his total attention to the job.
Having a balance will only help you become more successful, explains Scully. “Begin by defining your self worth by who you are and not by what you accomplish,” she says. “You actually end up being more successful because you approach your work with a lot more confidence and people respond to that. You set clear boundaries from the beginning of what you want and inevitably the right people respond accordingly to that.”