5 Reasons Over-Commitment Might Be Hurting Your Career

5 Reasons Over-Commitment Might Be Hurting Your Career

Author: Dennis E. Gilbert

Most people in the workforce want to give their job and career the best they have to give. They work hard, smart, and are committed. Can trying to do too much be hurting your career?

During my career I’ve run into a lot of interesting things in the workplace. At first glance, situations which are almost unbelievable. People sometimes say that love is blind. People who are trying really hard to be impressive in their job might sometimes have blind spots too.

Just like too many donuts, hot wings, or trips to the Chinese buffet, over-commitment might be hurting not helping your situation.

Hurting Your Career

Here are five reasons:

  1. Can’t do everything. Many people are trying to impress. They raise their hand to take on projects with no real consideration that they might be taking on too much. This also sometimes happens when people are bored with their duties. They volunteer for other assignments making them too busy for their regular duties.
  2. Connects you with weaknesses. Just because you like to do it doesn’t always guarantee that you are good at doing it. Many people like to sing in the shower or at the karaoke bar. That doesn’t mean they should quit their day job. In the workplace people connect you with your work. If your work isn’t the best, what people might see is incompetence.
  3. Working twice as hard. You might have to work twice as hard or twice as long as someone with the natural talent or skills to do the same work. Certainly if it is an interest for you and you’re willing to work hard at it, you might be able to achieve success. Just make sure you’re making the most of your natural (or developed) talents and abilities.
  4. Defensive positions. I can’t even begin to express how harmful it might be to take on work or assignments just because you want to block someone else from doing it. This is competition gone too far. Sometimes people will volunteer for roles or tasks simply because they don’t want someone else to have an opportunity to shine. Terrible.
  5. Poor response times. Communication challenges might be the root cause of nearly every workplace problem or issue. It is also responsible for a lot of missed opportunities, mistakes, and poor customer service. When you’re over-committed you’re likely coming up short on call backs, email, and follow through. It’s probably also hurting your professional relationships.

Do Great Things

Caring about your career is excellent. Striving to do a great job is excellent. Offering to help or get involved for the greater good of the organization, excellent.

Being over-committed for any reason might be one of the biggest blind spots impacting your career success.

It doesn’t make you look good, it makes you look bad.

Your biggest struggle might be finding the right balance without crossing any lines.

Have you ever felt over-committed? Could it be a blind spot that is hurting your career?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSP), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He can be reached through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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