The Man Who Mistook His Job for a Life: A Chronic Overachiever Finds the Way Home

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9780609608463: The Man Who Mistook His Job for a Life: A Chronic Overachiever Finds the Way Home

At the end of the day, what really matters? Maybe it's been too long since you've asked yourself this question, because the workday is never-ending. You just don't have time. Indeed, if you're like Jonathon Lazear was for years, you don't seem to have time for much of anything besides work.

More recently, Lazear, a blindingly successful entrepreneur, found himself lost, burnt out, and wondering, not for the first time, why. But this time he did an extraordinary thing: rather than sweep these uncertainties under his desk and get right back to work, he made time to ask some of the biggest, most important questions a man can ask, questions he'd been avoiding since he started his career. What really matters? What are you afraid of? What are your other dreams? Who are you if you aren't your title and your paycheck? How much money is enough money? When was the last time you took a vacation and left work behind, disconnected from your cell phone, e-mail, pager, fax, and all the other toys that tell you you're important? Gave someone you love a gift that cost more time than money? What would you do on a Saturday if you weren't at the office -- or keeping tabs on work from home? How will you reconnect with your family -- and face the fact that you checked out on your wife and kids for far too long? Not only did Lazear confront these hard questions, but with probing insight and deep sensitivity, he found some answers and took them to heart. And he wrote it all up so you can, too. No excuses.

So meet The Man Who Mistook His Job for a Life. Short and to the point (because no one knows better than he how busy you are), thoughtful and wise, yet eminently practical, this book will remind you what really matters, help you give up what you don't need, and reclaim what you do.

Do you know what you're missing? If you stopped to look at this book, then at least somewhere deep down you probably do. Or if you don't know exactly what, at least you sense that you're missing something. Certainly, your family and friends miss you. It's time to go home.

How do you end the workday -- or do you?

"As a man who mistook his job for a life, I have coped by remaining aloof, even silent. I have been an emotional isolationist, fleeing a real and imagined ever-present jury -- my coworkers, my peers, my family, my wife, even my children. Sometimes I felt combative and aggressive, but mostly I was lost, unfeeling, unresponsive. And like you, I felt like I didn't have a choice. Downsizing, rightsizing, and just plain career terror had me clinging to my job for dear life. If you've picked up this book, you're probably struggling with the same questions and doubts. Your job has become such a big part of your life that it dwarfs everything else. You've spun a web that defines you but also conceals you. It is your salvation and your damnation -- you're living inside the job and whether it makes you unhappy or fulfilled almost doesn't matter anymore, because 'choice' is not in the vocabulary of the man who mistakes his job for a life. What happened to the dreams that used to keep us going?"
-- From the Introduction

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Review:

The Man Who Mistook His Job for a Life is a clever play on the title of an Oliver Sacks book from several years back in which the clinical neurologist and bestselling author poignantly describes 24 astonishing perceptual aberrations that cause victims to experience life in striking ways. Under this apt paraphrase, literary agent Jonathon Lazear describes how American males are increasingly finding their own perceptions altered as they subjugate their personal lives to their professional ones. Lazear candidly discloses how he once let his own work rule his existence, tracing a trajectory from a workaholic father through an early career in the time-demanding publishing industry and an eventual role as head of his own company. He tells how he became "stretched to the limit" while bringing home a seven-figure income--and, as a result, "emotionally distant" from the family he loved. He then offers a series of suggestions (i.e., Acknowledge That You're Not Perfect, Reset Your Work Clock, Start Small, Stay Positive) to help others similarly afflicted develop a more well-rounded presence. This is one of several recent books aimed at slowing society's hectic pace, although it may be the first aimed exclusively at men and the related gender-specific problems they face. --Howard Rothman

From the Back Cover:

"Lazear has made an important contribution to the self-help field. He puts a face to the label of 'workaholism' -- both the terrible loss it exacts as well as the sweetness of finding his way home. Beyond simply 'telling his story,' however, Lazear spells out both cause and cure."
-- Earnie Larsen, bestselling author of Believing in Myself

"Jonathon, thanks to your book, not only have I found my way home, but I intend to stay here. I've finally come up for air and have learned to embrace and cherish the time spent with those who matter most -- my family!"
-- Dennis Kimbro, author of What Makes the Great Great and Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice

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Lazear, Jonathon
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ISBN 10: 0609608460 ISBN 13: 9780609608463
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