Dealing with a Workaholic Boss

For their own reasons, these people work from dawn to dusk. Understand that workaholics frame their entire world through the lens of what they accomplish at work.What can you do if you work for someone that spends 24/7 at the office and expects you to do the same?

Keep in mind, there are two ways to deal with a workaholic. You can either learn to set boundaries so that you do not get pulled into the workaholic boss' 24/7 work around-the-clock lifestyle; Or, become a workaholic yourself and prove to your boss that you care as much about the job and working as he does.

Which path you go down depends on several factors, including: how you are politically situated within the company, whether you are single or married, if you are raising children either on your own or with a partner, and what your goals are in this particular company. For example, if your company values a low attrition rate and works hard to keep its people, then you should consider learning how to set boundaries with your boss about how many extra hours you're willing to put in a week. If your scheduled hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., never stay past 5:30 p.m. Politely refuse to work all weekend. Turn off your pager when you aren’t officially on call. This is also a helpful strategy for the more family focused worker.

On the other hand, if you're single, and focused on moving up, you may want to put in some long hours now while you don't have other responsibilities waiting for you at home.

Ultimately, if you want to work well with your workaholic boss, try to understand where they're coming from. Workaholics like to feel needed at the office. Ask their advice about projects and assignments that are challenging for you. Because they spend so much time working, they are a great resource of information. Try to take advantage of their years of experience.

Get more tips for dealing with bad bosses.