Author Interview: Shana Lebowitz Gaynor

Interview: Shana Lebowitz Gaynor

Shana Lebowitz Gaynor is a correspondent for Insider, where she covers career minutiae and workplace culture. Her new book, Don't Call It Quits: Turn the Job You Have into the Job You Love (Amazon, Bookshop), just hit shelves.

I couldn't wait to talk to Shana well-nigh happiness, habits, and work.

Gretchen: What’s a simple worriedness or habit that unceasingly makes you happier, healthier, increasingly productive, or increasingly creative?

Shana: Reading. Specifically, reading novels. Increasingly specifically, reading novels on the subway. I find it’s the only worriedness that unceasingly relaxes me, though I can’t say why with any certainty. Maybe it’s considering I lose myself, so to speak, in the narrative. Or maybe it’s considering the text sparks the kind of creativity you mentioned by bringing up new ideas and feelings. I used to read during my morning and evening commute; now that I’m working from home I do it much less often. I’ve been thinking well-nigh ways to add that when into my daily routine.

You’ve washed-up fascinating research. What has surprised or intrigued you – or your readers – most?

Thank you for saying so! I’m still surprised when I tell someone well-nigh the premise of Don’t Call It Quits (learn how to craft a increasingly fulfilling work life without quitting a job you don’t love) and they tell me that they’ve washed-up something like that in their career. It happens all the time. So I’d remind anyone who’s currently feeling frustrated in their career that they’re not alone, and that there are plenty of relatively simple ways to get unstuck.

Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

When I first read The Four Tendencies, I identified most closely with the Obliger profile — but knowing that’s the most worldwide profile, I wished I could segregate flipside instead! Alas, I’m just now, in my thirties, whence to winnow that the only way I’ll unzip a personal goal (like practicing yoga increasingly often or increasingly reliably returning calls from friends) is to have someone else hold me accountable. That said, I see some of myself in all four profiles. I refuse to winnow typesetting recommendations, for example, and will urgently stave current bestsellers considering I don’t want others’ tastes to determine my own selections — a Rebellious tendency for sure!

Does anything tend to interfere with your worthiness to alimony your healthy habits or your happiness?

My thoughts veer often into existential, and sometimes morbid, territory. (The meaning of life, the inevitability of death, etc.) I’m not sure these existential meanderings are uniformly unproductive, but I do find it’s easier to get through the day when I don’t engage in them!

Have you overly been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major transpiration very suddenly, as a magnitude of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

I became a vegetarian scrutinizingly immediately without I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (Amazon, Bookshop) in 2012. I’d been teetering on the whet of that transpiration for a while, but Safran Foer’s treatise was inveigling unbearable (and the imagery he uses was torturous enough) that it pushed me to make the change.

Has a typesetting overly reverted your life – if so, which one and why?

Many, many books have reverted the way I see the world. I could whimsically name them all. While on maternity leave older this year, I read A Life’s Work (Amazon, Bookshop), Rachel Cusk’s memoir of early motherhood, and I was struck by how deftly Cusk articulated some of the experiences I was having at that very moment. In one chapter, she describes feeling naked and self-conscious when in public without her child and I was heartened to learn that I wasn’t the only new mother to finger this way.

In your field, is there a worldwide misconception that you’d like to correct?

I think many professionals believe that quitting their job will help them finger happier at work. Sometimes this is true — but often it isn’t!