In today’s competitive work environment, some people work 50 hours a week or more and still feel like slackers. This is true whether economic times are good or bad. In bad times we feel driven to work hard to avoid being laid off; in good times, the drive is to succeed and get ahead.
Are you working to live or living to work?
That question can be particularly important for gay men and women, who often channel extra energy into their careers. Success on the job can be particularly important for us – a way to demonstrate our worth in a world that’s often homophobic. It’s not unusual for people who feel part of a minority to feel additional pressure to prove themselves good enough. Putting in extra hours at the office can also be a way some people try to overcome self-doubt.
How do you know if work is taking over your life? Sometimes the answer is obvious: you feel irritable, burned out and unhappy, for instance, or you find yourself spending Sunday dreading the thought of Monday morning. Or worse: you’re in the office on Sunday! If you haven’t had a vacation in a year or two, you’re probably out of balance. If you’re putting in such long hours that you’ve given up dating in favor of a quick hookup over the internet, that’s probably a clue as well.