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  • Published: 17 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9780753558300
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $48.99

The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life

How to Thrive at Work by Leaving Your Emotional Baggage Behind




Therapy for our working lives, showing how we can thrive at work by leaving our past at home - or, The Book You Wish Your Boss Had Read (and your colleagues will be glad you did too)

A revolutionary approach to understanding the emotional dynamics within our working lives.

'Nobody understands the everyday madness of working life better than Naomi Shragai. This book should be read by everyone who ventures anywhere near an office' - Lucy Kellaway

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.

  • Published: 17 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9780753558300
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $48.99

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.

Praise for The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life

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

Wise and illuminating... A must read for those who care about the human side of work, which should be all of us.

Kerry Sulkowicz, President-elect of the American Psychoanalytic Association

A Miracle of a book...Captivating... I couldn't put it down. As Carl Jung once warned, "when an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate." People would do well to not leave things to fate but have a serious look at this book.

Manfred Kets de Vries, Professor of Leadership at INSEAD and author of The CEO Whisperer

A great book, packed with insights and evocative human stories.

David Tuckett, Director of UCL's Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty

Nobody understands the everyday madness of working life better than Naomi Shragai. This book should be read by everyone who ventures anywhere near an office.

Lucy Kellaway

A completely compelling guide to the inner psychological workings of our jobs - brilliantly enlightening and incidentally a vital survival guide.

Bruce Daisley

This is a fantastic insight into the childhood self we thought we left behind but actually brought into work by accident. A great guide to understanding yourself and others better. Life-changing.

Viv Groskop, author of How to Own the Room

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