Page Count 320
Publication date January 2021
Publisher Penguin Business
Bosses are maddening. Colleagues are profoundly irritating. And balancing family and work is daunting. So how do we balance success with sanity? How do we progress without burning out?
Whether you’re drowning in a toxic working environment, battling burnout, recovering from redundancy, or just struggling to figure out what you actually want from your career, I’m here to help coach you through the shittiness of your work day, and help you shift your relationship with your career.
Having worked at giant corporations like Google (where my days consisted of aggressive bosses, complimentary pastries and lots of tears) and scrappy start-ups like The Pool (where I was Editor-in-Chief when it all went pear-shaped), I’ve been through a lot of stressful and downright ridiculous work situations that have given me a lot of insight and experience into the wider problems with modern work, but more crucially, how we can help ourselves in this broken system.
Drawing from lessons learned in my own career and interviews with career experts, as well as individuals from different industries and levels of experience, How to Work Without Losing Your Mind is a relatable and reassuring guide to the messy, stressful and sometimes bizarre side of work that we simply don’t talk about enough. It’s your tonic after a long hard working week, where you’ve ugly cried with your colleagues and are exhausted from endless video calls – and are wondering what the hell to do next. I can’t fix your job, but I can absolutely help you decide how best to deal with it (even if that means quitting).
Strange as it seems, considering the year we’ve just had, this book couldn’t have come at a better time for me.
Working from home has completely demolished any small sense of separation I had between a working life and home life.
When your house is your office and your desk phone is diverted to your personal number its too easy to live in a permanent working mindset. Everything you struggled to leave behind when you left the building is now sleeping right beside you!
I guarantee every worker will find something that resonates with them in HTWWLYM, (Yes I’ve abbreviated, I’m not typing that every time!)
Reading this is like having a good old gossip or vent to a friend who knows exactly what you’re going through.
Whats even better is to see in black and white that what you’re feeling is not uncalled for. VINDICATION!
For those blaming themselves perhaps this book will help take the weight off as Kate describes the aspects of a bad manager in a handy little checklist.
In fact, all managers should have to read this, though we know some would flat refuse to recognise themselves in the points made.
As a manager myself I was nodding along to every point and carefully measuring myself- Have I ever done that? Am I considering this? Having been a victim of these scenarios I like to think I know better, but it’s a good reminder to check yourself.
For those on the other end of the barbed stick, Kate carefully lays out HOW to confront problems at work. The do’s and dont’s that make up the toolbox you need to confront and hopefully assert change with additional external resources interspersed throughout.
Its taken me a long time to read and review HTWWLYM, not because its bad, but because it is SO good that I saved it up to read in chunks whenever I got supremely stressed at work. Its a fantastic little tension reliever, especially in 2020/1 when you can’t go for a drink to vent with others.
HTWWLYM appears to be very much aimed at women (although Kate is careful to add inclusive parentheses) simply because its from a womans point of view and at times I felt it was a little bit of a man-bashing. Nevertheless this is the most soothing book I have ever read.
There’s something for all in this book, for me it was the chapter on burnout, for you it may be something else, I highly recommend it to anyone with struggles at work.