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Do You Have ‘Career Compulsive Disorder’?


Raise your hand if your lunch breaks consist of sitting at your desk, scarfing down food, and pounding away on your keyboard trying to get through emails. Turns out, you’re not alone. According to Gallup’s Work and Education Survey findings, adults working full-time in the U.S. spend an average of 47 hours per week plugging away at their jobs, and nearly four in 10 say they work at least 50 hours per week.


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What’s more, of these people who 50 or more hours per week, one in five work 60 hours or more, which translates to 12-hour workdays five days a week, not to mention the time put in here and there on the weekends. That doesn’t leave much time for – I don’t know – spending time with family, sleeping, or anything, really. It’s no surprise, then, that overworked Americans are completely stressed out.

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If you’re one of the many Americans who are glued to your smartphone or laptop, constantly working, then you could be suffering from CCD, or Compulsive Career Disorder, a name for severe form of workaholism coined by Women’s Health in an article rightfully titled, The New OCD.

You’re not likely to find this “disorder” in the DSM-5 anytime soon, but if a label makes it easier to recognize unhealthy behaviors, why not use it? The magazine provided a short quiz for readers to take to see if they suffered from CCD. (If you would like to see if and where you fall on the CCD spectrum, head over to Today and take the quiz and tally your results.)

If you find yourself on the “dark side” of the CCD spectrum, then you are definitely overworked and, most likely, super stressed out. You’re probably well aware of that fact already, but what you may not realize are the long-term effects of working too much. In a past article, I discussed how job stress can affect your career and your health, and here are some alarming statistics from that post:

  • “Overworked employees are more likely to make mistakes, more likely to have feelings of animosity towards their employers due to their workload, and more likely to resent their co-workers who don’t put in the same amount of work,” according to the Families and Work Institute.
  • “Increased levels of job stress […] have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, and other disorders,” warns The American Institute of Stress.
  • According to the American Psychological Association, one-third of U.S. employees are chronically overworked, and 83 percent admit to working while sick; 51 percent say their productivity was hindered due to job stress.

There’s a difference between working hard in your career, and making your career your life. Being addicted to work may move you up in the ranks at the office, but you run the risk of missing out on what truly matters in the long run: life.

The best of the best in the business world warn ambitious professionals that it’s lonely at the top, so it’s extremely important to find some sort of work-life balance that works for your lifestyle, especially if you have or plan on having a family. In fact, recent research shows that working dads who spend more quality time with their kids are happier. For tips on how to achieve work-life balance, read this post and this post. Good luck!

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What are some ways that help you achieve work-life balance in your everyday life? Share your pearls of wisdom with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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