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

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Synopsis

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
 

About Jonathon Lazear

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Jonathon Lazear, a literary agent, lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is at work on his first novel, A Timeshare on the River Styx.
 
Published May 22, 2001 by Crown. 208 pages
Genres: Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Man Who Mistook His Job for a Life

Publishers Weekly

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Literary agent Lazear (Meditations for Men Who Do Too Much) addresses men who work too much so they can escape family life: "Work was nothing.

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