A scientist has found workaholics tend to be less successful in the long term

Emma Haslett
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Burning the candle at both ends? It could damage your success (Source: Getty)

People who are obsessed with their careers to the point of sacrificing time off are less likely to be successful in the long term, a new study has suggested.

Michael Clinton, a researcher at King's Business School, studied the working lives of almost 200 Church of England ministers - and found those who were so dedicated their career that they gave up their evenings found it harder to focus on long-term goals, and were therefore less successful.

The idea behind the study was to focus on people who view their careers as a "calling" - and who thus seem more likely to dedicate more energy to their work.

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But Clinton found although having a calling motivates people to work longer hours, it also means they are less able to disengage from work in the evenings, which in turn leaves them with less energy the next day.

“A calling produces a set of superior goals that are given higher priority over other life goals," said Clinton.

"This focus on calling-related goals can be problematic when the additional goals, which may include both personal and family related goals, are not given sufficient attention and when they are important for individual functioning."

He added that those who strongly believed their lives would be less meaningful without their careers "engage less frequently in daily recovery processes".

“This study has shed light on how callings may often be challenging for an individual, demanding more of them than perhaps less meaningful and consuming endeavours," said Clinton.

"People should be aware of how much value they place on their career and the subsequent effects of this on their life."

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