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Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person Hardcover – December 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007140810X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071408103
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The titular Highly Sensitive Persons are intelligent, creative, idealistic and possessed of a strong work ethic. But unlike other workers, they suffer under routine, can be bothered by the sensory environment (the hum of fluorescent lights, workplace odors), might go through cycles of enthusiastic over-stimulation followed by brooding withdrawal, and might even dissolve in tears when pressured by deadlines and criticism. "Work Purpose Coach" Jaeger, following Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person, insists that HSPs stand up for their right to be sensitive. She provides HSP readers with useful tips on how to monitor oneself, relax and set boundaries to avoid getting overwhelmed; how to face down office bullies; and, using carefully scripted model monologues, how to inform coworkers and supervisors of one's needs as an HSP (talk about "fatigue" rather than "depression," for example). Her goal is to help HSPs ascend from Drudgery, through the "purgatory" of Craft, to their true Calling-which involves "a blending of the intense mind with the love and joy of our imagination and emotions" and leads to being "lifted, inevitably, up toward Heaven." The book is most compelling in its descriptions of Drudgery, which draw on writers like Barbara Ehrenreich to detail what some have termed the "modern slavery" of the corporate workplace. Unfortunately, Jaeger's priority is less to reform the workplace than to survive or escape it, if necessary, through self-employment. Still, readers will find this a perceptive guide to easing their torments.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This book enlarges upon The Highly Sensitive Person (1996), by Elaine Aron, who describes the HSP as someone whose nervous system is particularly susceptible to stimuli. HSPs are more sensitive not only to their physical environments but also to emotional trauma. Jaeger believes that about 20 percent of the population can be described as HSPs and that the personality type may be inherited. In discussing the work environment, Jaeger recommends that HSPs avoid drudgery, which is particularly devastating because HSPs are generally creative types who thrive on new challenges. Jaeger also advises that craftwork can quickly deteriorate into drudgery for HSPs, who often remain in a job they hate for too long because of commitments or fear. Instead, HSPs need to find more fulfilling work, which the author refers to as a calling. Jaeger says the particular needs of HSPs include stress management, rest and healing, learning the importance of saying no, and dealing with abusive co-workers. Jaeger includes case studies and quotes from numerous HSPs to illustrate the advantages of finding satisfying work. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Life has meaning. Lots of meaning! And our purpose is to experience as much of the many meanings of life as we can. We experience stress with events when we don't feel free to explore the meaning. So connect with life and find nuggets of insight.

For example,trees touch me deeply, and I'm always finding something very meaningful when I'm around them. The same with animals: they have a way of touching deep into our souls.

So, find meaning! Enjoy life.

Customer Reviews

To be honest, I felt cheated by this book.
Leser
The key to success for this group, maintains Dr. Jaeger, is learning when and how to bend when work or workplace issues seem overwhelming.
Midwest Book Review
This book explains how to find what's right for the highly sensitive person.
David

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

188 of 191 people found the following review helpful By K. Weis on June 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is touted as being a guide for the highly sensitive person looking for meaningful work. While it offers excellent practical advice for dealing with difficult people (wish I'd had this book two jobs ago), the majority of the book simply describes what the ideal workplace for an HSP would be like. The author's conclusion is that HSPs are best suited for self-employment in a creative field. OK, great. Where Ms. Jaeger falls short is in providing practical advice for how to find or create that type of work situation. Obviously she conducted multiple interviews to get the personal stories that are sprinkled through the chapters. Most interview subjects are creative professionals, yet the most they say is something like, "I really love my job. Now I feel like I'm doing the work I was born for!" NO ONE talks about what they did to establish themselves (classes? training? trust fund? luck?), or how they stay in business (for instance, as an introvert, how do you effectively market your services/products to new clients?). Being an HSP who's considering self-employment, I found it frustrating to read a so-called "career guide" that in essence told me things I already know. Yes, I know I'd work best in an enviroment where I pick my own hours, have soothing lighting, and friendly coworkers. And sure, I want to find my Calling. But simply telling me to "keep working on yourself, and eventually you'll find your true Calling" really doesn't do much for me. Would have enjoyed this book more if the author had included a chapter in which her interview subjects shared personal stories of the steps (esoteric as well as practical) that they took to find their Callings.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By lighthearted on November 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I so looked forward to getting this book - it's title set an expectation that it may reveal some action(s) to be taken on the path to career fulfillment. It was scattered and a bit shallow, leaving it hard to believe the author "owned" the knowledge claiming to be shared. There were quite a few affirming lines, little new information about being highly sensitive, and no solutions to follow up the conclusions drawn. I found the writing ruminating at times and missing the self discipline and focus that is touted as necessary to make work work. I'm sorely disappointed and would not recommend it to anyone who's in a poor work state or in transition - this book simply observes what it is like to be there and doesn't offer much to help you out.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Leser on February 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
To be honest, I felt cheated by this book. This book is not about making work work for the highly sensitive person. It gives one single piece of advice, which is: find another job or become self-employed. A majority of the book is spent explaining the author's concept of drudgery and craft several times. The concept basically states that if you are overqualified for a job or if there are other issues with your job, you should find a new job. There are one or two interesting insights, such as highly sensitive people tending to take routine or easy jobs because they can't deal with the stress, but then being frustrated by the lack of challenge. More of that and less repetitive explanations of some concept would have been so much better.
Then, the author doesn't offer solutions other than switching jobs. There were a few passages where I thought that she would give information on how to deal with difficult situations, how to work on thinking patterns etc. But those passages ended abruptly or lead back to the overly used explanations of the Drudgery concept.
So what about those who can't switch their jobs, have already done so several times without improvement or for whom self-employment is not an option or has not worked out? There is absolutely no advice for them. I had high hopes for this book, but was utterly disappointed. The author interviewed several people, which is a good concept, but apparently all of them managed to get into self-employment. Good for them, but not helpful for the reader. There was no information volunteered by them on how they dealt with difficult situations (apart from locking themselves in the lavatory or blocking calls and hiding in the office). Are there really no people who could have offered good practical advice or experiences in the interviews?
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Jaeger has provided a clear, concise and highly readable book for those who have been told they're "way too sensitive." As someone who heard these words my entire life, I found this book validating that my ability to be in-tune with those around me, creative, curious, and an information sponge interested in new things is NOT a fatal flaw. Rather, these attributes are strengths, and ones that the world of work can and does need from me. Dr. Jaeger's book helped me see specific techniques for thriving in a business world where my sensitivity is an asset.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Learner on July 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are an HSP, this book is required reading. It's that good.

This has been a life-changing book for me. There is so much good information and advice here. This book describes me exactly, and the advice it gives seems right on. I am now working on implementing the author's advice in my life. This book has given me great understanding and hope. I can't recommend this highly enough.

Unfortunately, I originally ignored this book because of a review I saw here where someone said the book boiled down to just "HSPs need to work for themselves." This person could not have read this book. This books is much more than that. It shows you how to grow toward finding work that you like, and even love.

Looking back again over the reviews here, it seems to me many of the negative reviewers did not understand the main points in this book. There is no quick fix, although this book does give invaluable guidance. The author's point is that you need to grow in order to progress from Drudgery, to Craft, to Calling. This book explains the areas you will need to grow in, especially areas particular to HSPs, in order to progress to finding work that works for you.

I sense that many HSPs have almost given up on finding work that works for them. I can completely understand this, I've been there. But I think if HSPs will give this book a chance, it can provide a framework to build on. There is hope. You can find your path in this world that works for you.
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