The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life
How to Thrive at Work by Leaving Your Emotional Baggage Behind
by Naomi Shragai
Pub Date 26 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 1 Feb 2022
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.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 22 members
This has been an interesting read as we enter back into the offices post pandemic. I have found this helpful in my own personal journey in becoming a lot more confident after maternity leave. Thanks for letting me read an ARC
An insightful look at how our personal life affects our professional life. Eighteen years with our family shapes our personality but we spend up to fifty years in our jobs. I loved the factual accounts. An opportunity to reflect and look at what is holding you back.
An insightful read showing the reader how our history and views play out within work situations and details how to recognise and address this. An abundance of credible stories bring these scenarios to life and aid the reader to look at their own behaviour in context. A great read for anyone who wants to understand themselves more in a professional context and especially good for those who know their work / life balance is out of kilter.
A fascinating book about how we unwittingly play out personal scenarios in our work life as well as how to overcome this. The writing was clear and the author's advice was brought to life vividly through stories and examples. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand how our psychology impacts our behaviour at work.
This was a fascinating read abut how work can take over your life if you allow it to. The book, though examples and scenarios, explores how to overcome this, I found this really useful to apply in my own life. An excellent, informative and very interesting read.
Business psychotherapist Naomi Shragai in "The Man who Mistook his job for his life' reminds us the importance of not confusing our professional present with our personal past. The book comes at a time when the fast nature of work demands even more of our psychological strength. We all need emotional maturity to navigate the insecurities and setbacks that inevitably arise. Holding a microscope to issues that cause us problems, pain and anxiety such as imposter syndrome, fear of conflict, professionalism and anxiety we are better equipped to transform how we think about ourselves and our working life. We unconsciously re-enact our personal past in our professional present even when it holds us back. We replay and re-enact conflicts, dynamics and relationships from our past. We can confuse an authority figure with a parent, we can avoid conflict because of the pain squabbles with siblings or suffer with imposter syndrome because of the way our family responds to success. When it comes to work we can be trapped in our own upbringings and the patterns of behaviour we learned while growing up. Tolerating strong and uncomfortable feelings, having the insight to distinguish past from present and the courage and imagination to adapt our response to new circumstances leaves us better equipped to succeed in our career. This is a riveting book with great insights, practical tips, great questions, memorable, interesting and moving human stories. Naomi invites us to explore paranoia, envy, seeds of irrational conflict, dealing with bullies, tyrants, control freaks, narcissists and knowing when to run. The inbuilt tension is made explicit “there is an intolerance for feelings, a belief we should keep them to ourselves and be professional. Work wants our ‘good’ feelings but doesn't allow for our emotional nourishment”. She tenderly encourages us to change our narrative by being curious, honest and objective. Self examination can identify the source of our wrong thinking. Our past should not colour our reading of current events. Perspectives are vital. We can get better at tuning into our emotions, expressing, addressing and understanding them . We are indeed gifted with tips to thrive at work, integrating the different parts of ourselves and leaving our emotional baggage, replacing these with habits and mindsets that will better serve us. While stressing the need for personal awareness and insight, it must be translated into change and action leaving us with a future that creates a life that is uniquely ours.
Just what I needed. As we all return to a semblance of our old lives and work this book was a lovely reminder to reset.
This book was good, it made me realise a few things about work and life! It’s crazy to think how much our childhood influences our day to day adult life. Sometimes it would be easier to start with a clean slate or retrain our brains. I struggle in the office sometimes and this book helped.
A couple of chapters in and I wasn't sure about this - I stuck with it and am very glad I did - so much useful insight drawn from Naomi's first hand experience of supporting people with their work-related challenges. I have highlighted countless paragraphs as being particularly noteworthy and am sure I will return to those, and this book in general, time and time again. Highly recommended!