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Single Edition: Single Professionals Falling in Love with Work

If you think you have to be part of a couple to get the most out of life, think again. Our Code Word contributor, Sherri Langburt, is full of expert advice on life beyond dating. Whether it’s travel ideas, beauty tips, financial guidance, or recipes for entertaining, the founder of lifestyle blog Single Edition has something to say. Log on to find new ways to enjoy your freedom and get the most out of single life!

Are More Single Professionals Falling in Love with Work?
How You Can Set Boundaries in the Family-friendly Corporation

She is the first to get to work in the morning and the last to call it a day.
The single employee, who dutifully foregoes vacation time, has not taken a sick or personal day in two years and who is always the one to organize the company Holiday party and corporate outings.
She could just as easily be a he and countless times over the course of my career was me.

In many companies, which overcompensate at the expense of singles with “family friendly” policies, overworking could be the unmarried individual’s best attempt to respond to workplace discrimination. However some, like my associate Carla who had misplaced a crush on a colleague for professional passion, get swept-up in the culture of the “corporation.” In searching for community, meaningful relationships and a sense of worth, we are the single individuals who build our personal lives around work, in ways that can leave us feeling more alone, defeated and poorly treated.

So if you suffer from unintended career-driven motives, it is time to get yourself out of that cubicle! To help break the habit, consider these 5 easy pointers from

1. Do a Workload Analysis Test: Chances are your overtime hours spent in the office are unwarranted. The best way to know for certain is to assess the ratio of hours in a day you spend doing “actual work” to those “idle hours” devoted to talking on the phone, socializing and surfing the web. Once you indentify personal time-wasters, you will be able to set specific goals for better time management. For one week, for example, set a goal that you’re not going to take spend more than 30 minutes a day surfing the web. The more specific you are with you goals, the easier it will be to track and monitor progress.

2. Identify Behavioral Drivers: Find out what is driving you to do overtime. Validation from a boss, a crush on a colleague or a need to feel well-liked may be your reason for late night planning sessions or assuming assignments for those around you. If excessive hours in the office are your pure play for attention, then it is time you consider a new game plan. Those extra hours may actually come across as a lack of self- esteem which, in the face of promotion, will ultimately keep you from career advancement. Of course we all want acceptance and approval, but positions of power in the workplace come to individuals who are able to arrive at their own state of self-acceptance, self-approval and self-validation. Want to make the shift from organizational martyr to professional powerhouse? Take the time to strengthen your internal feelings and focus your energy on improving your situation, rather than beating yourself up.

3. Grow Your Professional Network: While the office can provide a plug and play social network, it’s the politics that come with fraternizing that can be detrimental to the single person’s career. You are far more likely to succeed by extending yourself beyond office foreplay. A good way to broaden networks and build relationships with others in similar professional roles is to join an organization or industry group., which lists thousands of events in every city, is a great place for you to get started.

4. Do as They Do: Take some time to observe fellow colleagues. Do the new moms stroll in at 10:00 and rush out at 5:00 to be with their kids? Do your peers spend more dollars on travel accommodations and dining out? While we are not telling you to expense a trip to the porn store, you should take measure to ensure your behavior is in line with those around you. It may just be time for you to book those long overdue doctors appointments you have been putting off for so long. Keep in mind that vacation and sick days are part of your total compensation package, so you are the only one losing out if they go unused.

5. Fill the Void: It may be the thought of coming home to an empty apartment or spending dinner alone after a day’s work, but there certainly are better-for-one escapes than the office. Enjoy the buzz of the rush hour workout; you’d be surprised how many singles stick around for dinner at the health-club. Or find a “homey” restaurant where you can get acquainted with the regular post-work evening crowd. Of course you can also take necessary steps to treat yourself right by scheduling a massage or something luxurious every once in a while!

For more of Sherri’s single insights click here.

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Are you a workaholic? Tell us which tip you would follow to break the habit.


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