I just began reading Janet Geringer Woitiz’s book, The Self-Sabotage Syndrome: Adult Children in the Workplace, and it’s pretty good. I’m surprised to find a book that focuses on the issues of adult children as they are played out in the work place. But, it makes sense to do so. How much time do we spend at work? Most of every day of every week of most of our lives. The tone of the book is a lot like her New York Times bestseller, “Adult Children of Alcoholics.” They’re published by HCI, which publishes most of the literature available about us.
Let me get my gripes out of the way first: the book’s cover and the book’s layout are inhumanly plain and lacking in design. I work in book publishing, so this is something I notice. But, since I do work in publishing, I know how cheap and possible it is to develop a simple, interesting book cover and interior design. The book’s title, THE SELF-SABOTAGE SYNDROME is in huge letters on the front cover, so it’s going to take a really self-confident person to read the book in public or on the bus or train to work. (I have covered self-help books with wrapping paper for this reason.)
All that said, the book is really, really good. Janet’s writing is very simple. Her book is structured around her version of the Characteristics of children of alcoholics. But, in this book, she ties them to our behavior in the workplace.
For instance, there’s the characteristic that we have trouble finishing projects, bringing them to completion — in particular, long term projects. Not only does she explain why (because no one was there to sanely explain to us how to break a project down into parts, and how to approach each part, each step, one at a time in a productive sequence — so projects appear huge and unmanageable to us), but she explains that as employees, we will have a hard time dealing with large projects without support.
I haven’t yet finished the book, so I don’t know if she makes recommendations for how to go about learning how to cope with these challenges in the workplace, but I’ll let you all know when I find out.
This book is listed on my reading list.
Be good to yourself.