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Cal Newport's clearly-written manifesto flies in the face of conventional wisdom by suggesting that it should be a person's talent and skill - and not necessarily their passion - that determines their career path.
Newport, who graduated from Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa) and earned a PhD. from MIT, contends that trying to find what drives us, instead of focusing on areas in which we naturally excel, is ultimately harmful and frustrating to job seekers.
The title is a direct quote from comedian Steve Martin who, when once asked why he was successful in his career, immediately replied: "Be so good they can't ignore you" and that's the main basis for Newport's book. Skill and ability trump passion.
Inspired by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' famous Stanford University commencement speech in which Jobs urges idealistic grads to chase their dreams, Newport takes issue with that advice, claiming that not only is thsi advice Pollyannish, but that Jobs himself never followed his own advice.
From there, Newport presents compelling scientific and contemporary case study evidence that the key to one's career success is to find out what you do well, where you have built up your 'career capital,' and then to put all of your efforts into that direction.
So Good They Can't Ignore You
Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
'An important guide to starting a remarkable career' Reid Hoffman, cofounder and chairman of LinkedIn and co-author of the bestselling The Startup of You
'Follow your passion' is bad career advice. Find out what you should do instead . . .
In So Good They Can't Ignore You, Cal Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport debunks the long-held belief that 'following your passion' is the key to satisfaction. Drawing from these real life examples and cutting edge science, he details the alternative strategies that work much better for developing a compelling career.
So Good They Can't Ignore You is or anyone fretting about what to do with their life, or frustrated by simplistic slogans like 'do what you love and the money will follow'. It will change the way you think about your career, happiness and the crafting of a remarkable life.
'Stop worrying about what you feel like doing and instead, start creating something meaningful and then give it to the world. Cal really delivers with this one' Seth Godin, author of Linchpin