Does criticism from your boss feel more like a blow to your self-worth than disapproval of your work? Have you ever felt guilty for resenting a colleague’s success? Do feelings of inadequacy leave you anxious despite evidence that you’re great at your job?

You probably don’t realise it, but every day at work, we unknowingly re-enact conflicts, dynamics and relationships from our past, repeating patterns of behaviour that helped us navigate our family lives but which stunt our professional ones.

Naomi Shragai has more than 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist. She now specialises in helping businesses, and individuals resolve psychological obstacles that cause work-related problems.

“I place the greatest value on my relationship with my clients and offer a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space to explore your concerns.” Naomi Shragai


How to Thrive at Work by Leaving Your Emotional Baggage Behind is brilliant! I have seen in my life and my work that we increasingly measure our self-worth at work. The benchmarks of status money provide tangible evidence of our worth self-worth. However, measuring oneself outside work and through personal relationships or family is much more challenging.

The ‘live to work or work to live’ plight seized us all in 2020. Moreover, [[the destruction of] personal and professional boundaries became blurred [and eventually non-existent]. 

Naomi Shragai thinks it’s increasingly typical for people to secure their self-worth to work. 

Unlike a friendship or being a parent, work offers concrete feedback and a way to measure yourself in tangible ways, like a promotion or salary increase. Naomi Shragai

I particularly liked the book’s reference to old childhood patterns being played out at work. Indeed, Shragai asks are you trying to fix a historical wound or hurt? “It certainly takes some self-awareness to understand your triggers and drivers, and work can be a place where people can build a sense of self-worth through good work and relationships, but it needs to be balanced. 

This is an excellent book choice for anyone in professional life or as part of a leadership development journey. Through case studies and real-life examples, there are endless opportunities to learn and develop, be creative, and usher in transformation.

Success necessitates profound reckoning, self-awareness, and adaptation. The deep work that can be accessed from the book is of immense value in bolstering your self-confidence and bringing greater clarity about yourself, your needs, your goals, your emotions, your beliefs, your insecurities, and your blind spots. This paves the way for self-reflection, adaptation, and change. In today’s world of soaring ambition and fierce competition, coaching can quietly unlock one’s innate potential to excel.

Relationships can be tense, and misunderstandings can prevail.
We all carry past figures linked to a carer, an authority figure, or someone we trusted. This, then, at work, can be played and acted out, imagined or real. This, according to Shragai, can destabilise us if situations are misinterpreted and confused with the past. So whether you want to know yourself better or get wisdom on how to have a difficult conversation, plot your next career move, handle conflict or cope with an impossible boss, The Man Who Mistook His Job for his Life will help, entertain, and inspire you – and make you realise that no matter how much you invest in your career, your work will rarely love you back.

Naomi Shragai is an Author of ‘Work Therapy or The ‘Man Who Mistook his Job for His Life’ Executive Coach, Business Psychotherapist and Journalist. To find out more, please go to her website.