The Ezra Klein Show

Work as identity, burnout as lifestyle

1:24:45 | Apr 22nd, 2019

13 recommendations

In the past few months, two essays on America’s changing relationship to work caught my eye. The first was Anne Helen Petersen’s viral BuzzFeed piece defining, and describing, “millennial burnout.” Th...Show More


mo-to recommended:Oct 12th

Listen in on this episode about “workism”, identity, and the constant need to be evermore productive and successful, leaving our leisure time squeezed and our worth suffocated. An intriguing episode shining the light on increased efficiency through communication platforms like Slack, and our inabili...Show More

I thought this episode was:

💬 A great conversation
💛 Honest
💡 Educational
🤔 Thought-provoking

sarahbre recommended:Jan 8th

Healing experience, questioning your approach to work and life. My main takeaway: for a knowledge worker, distinguishing what is work and what isn’t can be impossible. I like that there are 2 guests that disagree on important aspects like whether or not to blame capitalism for everything. Contrary ...Show More

michelle_ebooks recommended:Dec 23rd, 2019

i really appreciate anne helen peterson’s canonical piece and continued research on millennial burnout. burnout isn’t a new thing but the way anne helps frame it in our current age with technology and capitalism, it really is required listening to understand what work and living means today

mcu recommended:Jan 20th

Big episode with lots of terrific discussion around ‘workism’ and burnout with two journalists who are passionate about the subject. I genuinely enjoyed the concept of work driving personal value coming from the decline of things such as religion. There are other factors compounding things, such as ...Show More

rachelsiu recommended:Sep 20th

I thought this episode was:

💬 A great conversation
🤔 Thought-provoking

jspinelle recommended:Apr 22nd, 2019

As a workaholic, I totally identify with a lot of this episode. Now that Millennials are becoming parents, I worry how our view of work and life will influence our children.

mmApr 29th, 2019

I loved this episode @jspinelle! Thanks for echoing it. I enjoyed how they brought on two guests that had divergent viewpoints on the cause of workaholism.

mm recommended:Apr 29th, 2019

This is a terrific episode on workism and burnout. Is workism caused by capitalism or driven by the individual or both? What's the solution to workism? Is productivity also workism? Is "finding your purpose" also workism? For "white collar" jobs that require thinking and the rise of consumer-friendl...Show More

mmJan 5th

@mcu This Ezra episode is great.

mcuJan 5th

@mm Thank you! Will listen to right away. I actually had to take a 3-week medical leave due to burnout in mid-2019, so I’m *VERY* interested in this! Thank you! 🙏

mmJan 5th

@mcu Omg, I hope you feel better 🙏 I’ve also taken time off because of burnout, and this year, my goal is to be super deliberate about managing myself and what I spend my time on to avoid burnout.

mcuJan 6th

@mm I’m fine now but it was a super rough 3 weeks. I probably should’ve taken more time but couldn’t take more time off and my doctor only gave me 3 weeks. I didn’t want it to have been in vein so have made some changes that are going well. I hope your 2020 is more restful and you can avoid it!

mmJan 7th

@mcu I’m so happy to hear you’re doing better 💛 If you come across any resources or podcasts on things to do to prevent burnout, please let me know!

mcuJan 20th

@mm Just wanted to come back and say thank you again for recommending this episode. I’ve listened to it twice now and will keep it to listen to it more. So many wonderful ideas and deep thought around how/where all of this comes from. The idea that workism has replaced religion is fascinating, and I...Show More

mmJan 20th

@mcu My pleasure! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was really @jspinelle that started this chain reaction of listening tbh. Just listened to parts of it for the third time and there's always something new to think about. There's so much to unpack in this episode. On workism replacing religion: This one...Show More

aliceko recommended:Apr 30th, 2019

Thanks @mm - very interesting episode and right up my alley. I actually listened to this on 1x so I could fully absorb everything. It was nice to hear that it's not just me that fulls like it is difficult to actually find 'true' leisure. I have actually sought out help from others recently so I coul...Show More

mmApr 30th, 2019

But it's not "you" per say! Even the tech that we're using are blurring the lines between leisure and work - i.e. Slack, IG, etc. depending on your line of work. And even podcasts (depending on what you listen to) fit that bill! I remember in the episode they were pondering about how "productive lei...Show More

gndv recommended:Jan 1st

Great conversation on how framing your identity around work can have negative impacts on your own self-worth & can lead to burn out. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on how much I use work to receive validation as a human, and these discussions on the evolution & effect of workism really speaks t...Show More

mmJan 2nd

@gndv Re-listened to this at the beginning of the year to remind myself to stop subscribing to the religion of productivity and workaholism, and that it’s okay to take breaks 🙌

jossbiggins recommended:Jan 15th

Commentary by: Anne Helen Petterson, Derrick Thompson OVERVIEW Thesis; what “parts of our life has work has colonized? Rightfully or not.” * We have internalized the idea that we should be working all of the time. Because everything, everybody in the world has reinforced it, implicitly or explicit...Show More