On the minds of men You want it all--who doesn't? Great career, fat paycheck, amazing social life, gratifying home life… but inevitably, something's got to give. Climbing the corporate ladder is long and exhausting, and the fingers you end up stepping on often belong to your friends and family. When the late-night cleaning crew at your office sees you more than your girlfriend or wife does, is that a sign that it's time to reprioritize your life? Where do you draw the line, if at all? Here's what you told us. (We'll assume you workaholics were multitasking.)
Do you consider yourself to be a workaholic?
Do you have difficulty balancing your work and personal lives?
Give us an example of a time when work or ambition wrecked part of your personal life,
On holidays and at other traditional gathering times, family functions really take a beating for shift workers or anyone who works in a 24-7365 facility. Darryl, 38
My wife and I worked different schedules and had no time for intimacy. She'd be "on" sexually when I was "off" or unavailable, and vice versa. I ended up having an affair with a coworker and almost got divorced. Josue, 39
I'm a teacher, and I just wanted to be the best at what I do, but it became an obsession and almost caused my marriage to implode. Arthur, 47
On the way to a baseball game with my son, I got a call from work. Since it was on the way, I stopped in to help. We missed the game completely--my son was getting score updates on my cellphone. Rich, 42
Do you put professional ambition before your friends or family?
If so, has it been worth it?
No--I have no friends. Bobby, 30
Hell, yes. I'm 38, and the project I'll complete in the next year will bring the dream: the choice of full retirement as a millionaire, continued participation with the company, or a change of career. Tex, 38
Yes. My friends are stuck doing the same things they were a year or two ago, while my career has skyrocketed. Jason, 34
No. My marriage is a joke, and all I do is commute. Tom, 60
No. I don't even have time to ask my girlfriend to marry me. Nick, 18
What are you willing to sacrifice for professional success?
Everything but my health. I won't sacrifice my fitness for anything. Ted, 27
A friend and I are currently going for the same position. I'm willing to sacrifice him and try to make up with him later. Joe, 33
It's not a matter of what I'm willing to do; it's what I have to do in order to keep a decent-paying job. Adam, 24 - Men’s Health; Hard Charger or Workaholic?; Nov 2005; Vol. 20; Issue 9.
Promising Strategies to Reduce Substance Abuse
- U.S. Department of Justice. (2000). Promising Strategies to Reduce Substance Abuse. Office of Justice Programs.
Reflection Exercise #9
The preceding section contained information
about statistics and feedback on workaholic men. Write
three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section
in your practice.
For the men who put their professional ambition before their family and friends, what percentage felt it was worth it? To select and enter your answer go to Test.