The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life

The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life

How to Thrive at Work by Leaving Your Emotional Baggage Behind

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

You probably don't realise this, but every working day you replay and re-enact conflicts, dynamics and relationships from your past. Whether it's confusing an authority figure with a parent; avoiding conflict because of past squabbles with siblings; or suffering from imposter syndrome because of the way your family responded to success, when it comes to work we are all trapped in our own upbringings and the patterns of behaviour we learned while growing up.

Many of us spend eighteen formative years or more living with family and building our personality; but most of us also spend fifty years - or 90,000 hours - in the workplace. With the pull of the familial so strong, we unconsciously re-enact our personal past in our professional present - even when it holds us back.

Through intimate stories, fascinating insights and provocative questions that tackle the issues that cause us most problems - from imposter syndrome and fear of conflict to perfectionism and anxiety - business psychotherapist Naomi Shragai will transform how you think about yourself and your working life.

Based on thirty years of expertise and practice, Shragai will show you that what is holding you back is within your gift to change - and the first step is to realise how you, like the rest of the people you work with, habitually confuse your professional present with your personal past.

© Naomi Shragai 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Reviews

  • Work is emotional. But the foundational fiction of jobs - that they are separate from the people who do them - causes grief and frustration every day. The gift of this book is to help us understand who we are, who our co-workers are, in the round, as flesh and blood, not economic units of production. It can help managers and the managed, bosses and the bossed, to find in work and in each other the humanity and warmth, growth and forgiveness that this crucial part of our lives deserves.
    Margaret Heffernan, author of Wilful Blindness

About the author

Naomi Shragai

Naomi Shragai graduated from the University of Southern California and completed her training as a systemic psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, London. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a psychotherapist and family therapist in private practice, as well as working in the NHS and private hospitals. She now specialises in helping businesses and individuals resolve psychological obstacles that cause work-related problems. As a freelance journalist she has written for The Times, The Guardian and since 2008 has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, where she writes predominately about the psychological aspects of working life. Her appearances on BBC Radio 4 include Four Thought (2012), Letter from America by Alistair Cooke, the 1970s (2014) and The Bottom Line (2019) business programme discussing conflicts at work. Her television appearances include Good Morning Britain on ITV. In a previous career, she was a stand-up comic, working on the London comedy circuit as well as making radio and television appearances. She lives in north-west London. This is her first book.
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