Work: Making a Living and Making a Life

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9780399525780: Work: Making a Living and Making a Life
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The philosophers of ancient Greece viewed it as demeaning, while Asian traditions venerated it. Protestantism cemented it as the foundational ethos of modern capitalism—though the Bible portrays it as both a glorification of God and a punishment. With this long history of mixed messages, it’s no wonder many of us feel ambivalent about the activity that consumes most of our life’s waking hours—in one loaded word, work.
 
With interviews, case studies, anecdotes, and a dose of good humor, Joshua Halberstam explores the subtle balance between making a living and making a life—posing such probing questions as: Why do so few of us claim to enjoy our work when studies tell us otherwise? Are you too ambitious or not ambitious enough? Where do you draw the line—if any—between your professional and personal selves? What aspects of your job make you happy? Thoughtful, surprising, and inspiring, this is a unique look at an age-old topic—and a valuable benefit for anyone seeking more rewards and fulfillment in their own working life.
 
“In this thoughtful, comprehensive, and profound work, Joshua Halberstam tells us how we can become entrepreneurs of our own careers in order to fully live our values in all aspects of our lives.”—James A. Autry, author of Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership

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About the Author:

Joshua Halberstam, Ph.D., divides his workday between teaching moral philosophy and directing marketing campaigns and managerial programs for a number of well-known companies. A frequent guest on "Oprah," he currently teaches philosophy at Columbia University. He is also the author of several other books, including Schmoozing and Everyday Ethics.

From Publishers Weekly:

Uncomfortable with both the notion of a calling and the expectation that our passions will translate into jobs, Halberstam (Schmoozing)--who maintains a hybrid career as a teacher of moral philosophy and a corporate marketing consultant--argues for "career entrepreneurship" and a commitment to change. In a chatty monologue that often ventures into the second person, he opines that in order to realize our optimum potential, we must find jobs that are demanding but not impossible--something that may be easier in his formula than in reality. We desire money, but have some reservations about it--a healthy contradiction, he declares. But "making it" depends less on external rewards than on our effort and commitment to our career values, coupled with clear-eyed recognition of our limitations and some measure of optimism. Ambition is a choice, not a trait, in Halberstam's view, while "non-malicious envy" can be a useful motivator. Wisdom points to a balance of meaningful work and rewarding leisure, which to Halberstam does not signify rest, diversion or indulgence so much as "internal creativity." For regular rejuvenation, he recommends a "Sabbath," though not necessarily a religious one. Halberstam's willingness to confront cliches and air contradictions should spark worthwhile discussion. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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