How you can get out of a workaholic rut


Did you know that Americans now spend more hours on the job than English, French or German workers and even the Japanese? According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average workweek in the U.S. now drags on for 49 hours, which means Americans are working 350 more hours per year than any other first world country. Worse, recent surveys indicate that American workers are also cutting back on or even eliminating their vacations in order to meet their employers’ demands. A nonprofit that I knew said you could only have 80 hours of vacation per year, and if you didn’t use them up by June, you forfeited your hours. Except that this didn’t apply to the CEO, for some reason. Hmmmm. Abuse of power comes as no surprise.


It’s pretty awful to be blamed for a down economy, or the faults of your superiors. No amount of hard work is going to overcome the economy, or failures in leadership.


And it’s pretty awful when you work as hard as you can but the nonprofit still has to let you go, or let your coworkers go.


It’s not your fault.


There’s a group for workaholics called Workaholics Anonymous.


Happily, the first rule of Workaholics Anonymous is NOT “You don’t talk about Workaholics Anonymous.” Is it you, or is your boss pushing you too hard? Do you think your working 50 or more hours will be rewarded with more money? Think again. Some nonprofits will try to get you not to put your extra hours on your timesheet, even though this is what you are legally required to do. Another nonprofit will just put you on salary and demand even MORE of your time.


To get out of a place where your boss thinks you MUST be a workaholic, follow ALL of these steps.

* Find the fundraising job websites, or other job websites, and surf these every day. Or just make a feed, and search one page, instead of twelve.


* Look at nonprofit websites, and research them on Guidestar, even call up and go out to coffee with an employee there to see what it’s like to work there.


* Join the AFP, read the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Nonprofit Times, LinkedIn Questions and blogs like this one, answer questions, get in on the conversation, and get known in your field.


* Make a page where you put your work achievements, a dynamic resume site like Jobfox or VisualCV seem to be useful for putting pictures or charts. You can see my visual resumes here.


* Buy a winning cover letter from my resource section and you’re going to be on your way to your next interview.


If your nonprofit is intent on using you up and throwing you away like an old sock, you don’t have to take it. Follow all of these steps, and you will be sure to get a better job.


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