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The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life


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About the Author

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.


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, Financial Times*

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