How to Know You Are Too Emotionally Invested in Your Job

Are you married to your job? A survey done by Harvard University revealed that 94 percent of working professionals today work more than 50 hours each week. More than half of the participants worked more than 65 hours per week. The super speed pace of the modern workplace can fashion you into a tempo of reacting to every work-related communiqué. When you are carrying your work in the palm of your hand in the form of emails and messages coming through your smart phone, you have limited excuses not to be away from it. And there is nothing wrong with taking your work a bit personally. That is what gives you energy and excitement to work. But when you do not know when to step back, it is a real problem. So how emotional is too emotional?

You are too emotional if you can identify with some or all of these traits.

1. Your Company is Like a Family

If you can remember all your colleagues’ birth and special days off the top of your head, you are taking them too personal. It is okay to make friends at work and keep the relationships past your time there, but if your motive is simply the fact that they are colleagues, you should rethink your commitment to your workplace. If you overstretch yourself financially to buy gifts for your colleagues and be part of their personal events, that is a red line. The only pride of your day should not be that you succeeded to everyone happy at work, but it should be that you did things you love to do and with people you love.

2. Your Boss’ Approval is a Big Deal

If you are more likely to remember what your boss said than what your spouse or close family member said, it is officially a heart-to-heart affair. Something you should never allow at work unless of course you choose to date a colleague. Your job boundaries should be clear enough to enable you to take hard-to-hear responses from your boss easy and leave them at work. If you feel crushed and crippled each time your boss is not happy with you, you are swimming far too deep. Learn to accept feedback, whether good or harsh and to separate yourself from your input. Your boss is not rejecting you by rejecting your opinion or idea. You will also be happy to know that employers prefer employees that respond well to productive criticism over those who never make any mistakes.

3. You Never Take All Your Leave Days

summer in the office

When you spend 40 or more hours per week on something, it is bound to start feeling personal. It is the place you spend more hours than anything else you do when you are awake. This truth should be enough reason to take all your leave days. But if you have more reasons to be at work than away, it is no longer just business. It is personal. It is time to adjust your perspective. Perhaps stand on top of your desk and take a look at the walls and roof you sit under. Remind yourself that your life must be bigger than those boundaries. You may need to pause, step back and adopt an entirely fresh perspective.

4. You Love Controlling

If you unable to delegate, step back, and trust people to complete a task without you being all over it, you are not in a good shape. Excellent critical thinking, good communication skills, and ability to draw lines between your personality and the objectives of the company are paramount if you desire a balanced work relationship.

5. You Carry Work Everywhere

Father Daughter time

If you obsessively check work emails even in bed, and you take your laptop everywhere like a security cover, you need a break-up. You are putting your job before your well-being. If you are thinking about work or are engaged in it during dinner with family or friends, it is clear your priorities need a check. While going out of your way to meet deadlines and keep an eye on things is a plus on your professional score, doing it repeatedly means you lack balance. Learn how to disconnect from work to maintain personal sanity and avoid burnout.

6. You don’t Know When to Hush it

It is time to take a pause if you are in everyone’s business and are thrown for a loop when people don’t involve you. If you react in a sky-is-falling manner when people mess up, and you assume responsibility to fix up everything, you are sitting your company on your laps and nursing it. The most appropriate reaction in such situations that do not involve you, is to take a step back and let people be. However, if you choose to help, avoid the need to take the center stage. Offer your input and pull back to let the “owner” of the task take over.

7. Your Leadership Lacks Balance

There has to be a yin and yang to all things in life- including work- the ability to have two opposing forces or interests, complement as opposed to fighting each other. If your leadership lacks that kind of maturity and balance, you may be too emotional about what you need to achieve at work. Sure there will be a challenge to find a balance between scalability and growth among those under you, but the real problem is when you take your role too personally – you view it as an extension of yourself. When you are unable to break loose from the expectations of an increasingly competitive world, you react emotionally to everything, and you consider it a personal attack when your juniors disagree with you; it is time to take stock of your relationship with your job.

8. Your Perspective is Off-Balance

If you find it difficult to resolve problems at work, it may be time to take a step back and evaluate if you have any sort of separation with your work. Good decision making requires sobriety and an unbiased view of things. You cannot solve sticky dilemmas and tough challenges when you are too much inside the problem. If you are constantly thinking about how you fit in the picture, it is a sign you require separation. Analyze how important your challenges at work are in the overall scheme of things. If you find them overflowing into your personal life, you are too much into it.

9. You are Terrified to Leave

Everyone values their professional identity, especially if they have reached the height of their career. However, hinging your identity and self-worth solely on your position is detrimental. This can manifest itself as a consuming fear at the thought of losing or leaving your job. If this is you, grab a healthy dose of perspective by examining what really counts. Perhaps it will help you to remember that comfort is not always fun, and nothing is forever. A more exciting life is usually a combination of missteps, luck and vigorous work. It is almost a crooked balance between the things you have achieved and the things that happen to you.

See Also: Top 6 Careers With High Levels of Job Satisfaction As competition escalates, and companies have to work harder to stay afloat, more people are finding themselves in “always on” kind of jobs. While a one-size-fits-all approach does not exist, there are many things you can do to maintain a healthy work-life relationship. Be open about your priorities, decide what really matters, pace yourself, and make use of the off button. While it can be tempting to rack up time at work, especially if you are trying to earn recognition and, consequently, a promotion, consider the consequences. Do you recognize any of the signs above? Let us know in the comments section below.