Are You Overfunctioning At Work?

Overfunctioning—it’s one of the five ways Giveaway Girls “give it away” at work.

hamster wheelDon’t get me wrong. Everybody loves a girl who is smart, competent, reliable, and who can get the job done. Trouble is, you can use your skills and assets to everyone else’s advantage, except your own.

Huh? Use your skills and smarts to help everyone else, not yourself? This is just one Giveaway Girl hazard, the rest of which I write about in my new book, Stop Giving It Away.

We give it away when we engage in a hamster wheel cycle of doing more and more, taking on others’ responsibilities, and when we won’t drop the ball a little bit.

  • Are you the go-to girl?
  • Does everyone know you can be counted on to get things done?
  • And when you get things done, they’re right, probably better than expected, I bet. That’s good.

There’s another side to this I want you to be aware of. People who are competent, reliable, and love to work can sometimes get taken advantage of. So, it’s wise to be vigilant about what and how much you are taking on.

Ask yourself why you are working harder than anyone else. In my 20-plus years of counseling, I have come to understand the many ways we are motivated to act as we do.

When it comes to overfunctioning, are you doing it out of fear? Is your fear realistic? Are you doing it to please everyone? Would having even one person unhappy with you would be terribly painful?

Overfunctioning stresses you out (even if you don’t realize it). It isn’t good for you or your company/organization.

It’s okay and important to work hard and prove you are valuable, however, if you don’t drop the ball a little, or at least check your job description, Giveaway Girl, you’ll never get a break.

For more about Giveaway Girls, pick up the new Stop Giving It Away: How to Stop Self-Sacrificing and Start Claiming Your Space, Power, and Happiness.

Available atTarget


Take care, cherilynnvelandSM

About the author: Cherilynn M. Veland, LCSW, MSW, is author of the forthcoming book Stop Giving It Away. She leads a new self-advocacy movement intended to help women reach out, speak up, and take action steps for what’s best for them. Please support this effort by liking the Facebook page and/or subscribing for updates on my blog. You can also connect on Twitter and Google Plus. “Help me out, sisters!”

Pic by comp fight.