So Good They Can't Ignore You

So Good They Can't Ignore You

Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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Grand Central Pub
In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice.
Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.
After making his case against passion, 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 uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers.
Matching your job to a preexisting passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before.
In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.
With a title taken from the comedian Steve Martin, who once said his advice for aspiring entertainers was to "be so good they can't ignore you," Cal Newport's clearly written manifesto is mandatory reading for anyone fretting about what to do with their life, or frustrated by their current job situation and eager to find a fresh new way to take control of their livelihood. He provides an evidence-based blueprint for creating work you love.
SO GOOD THEY CAN'T IGNORE YOU will change the way we think about our careers, happiness, and the crafting of a remarkable life.



Baker & Taylor
A professor at Georgetown University explains how following one's talent and skills, rather than their passion, should determine a career path and offers scientific proof and case studies that show how following a dream is actually bad advice. 35,000 first printing.

Hachette Book Group
In an unorthodox approach, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice, and sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do.

Not only are pre-existing passions rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work, but a focus on passion over skill can be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers.

Matching your job to a pre-existing passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.

With a title taken from the comedian Steve Martin, who once said his advice for aspiring entertainers was to "be so good they can't ignore you," Cal Newport's clearly written manifesto is mandatory reading for anyone fretting about what to do with their life, or frustrated by their current job situation and eager to find a fresh new way to take control of their livelihood. He provides an evidence-based blueprint for creating work you love, and will change the way you think about careers, happiness, and the crafting of a remarkable life.



Baker
& Taylor

Explains how following one's talent and skills, rather than their passion, should determine a career path and offers scientific proof and case studies that show how following a dream is actually bad advice.

Publisher: New York : Business Plus, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781455509126
Characteristics: xxi, 273 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: So good they cannot ignore you

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j
jubs17
Sep 01, 2016

Meh. It certainly had some information to back up its propositions but it was also mostly stuff I've heard before. Repetitive. That said, I do believe the "follow your dreams" thing is not the way to live your average life.

g
geolatin
Jul 18, 2016

This is a really good book with a clear roadmap with examples from life of how to create a job you love. It's not a quick and easy solution, but seems to be solid. I have been sharing what I've learned here with my high school daughter.

k
korp0024
Jan 16, 2016

A great book for anyone dissatisfied with their job or struggling to "find their passion." Details ways to improve your skills and discover satisfaction in everyday jobs. Somewhat repetitive, but a must read for anyone ready to quit their job.

a
artemishi
Nov 08, 2014

So Good They Can't Ignore You is written like an academic essay for people with short attention spans and bad recall. I found the constant recaps every eight pages or so to be incredibly annoying. So negative 10 points for writing style.

However, as someone who has chafed against the "Follow your passion" advice for the past 8 years (because it failed me, and it failed everyone I know, and it's vague and meaningless), I agreed with the basic concepts of this book. I don't think it's ground-breaking or eye-opening at all: this is stuff I learned in middle school and high school, through extracurricular activities and peer leadership positions. I bet you did, too, and if you read this you'll go "Well, yeah, of COURSE."

Here's the entire book, sans examples and recaps:
Get really good at something through mindful, dedicated practice (seeking and integrating critique/feedback, and pushing the boundaries of your comfort and capabilities).
Then you'll be skilled enough to attract career options, autonomy, and control and THAT will make you love what you do.
Be careful you don't try to leverage your skill set for a better position, before your skill set has the value to do this (you'll know it has value when other people start pursuing you for your skill set).
You'll figure out your mission in life only by pursuing the cutting edge of your career, in incremental steps. If this pursuit gets other people to notice you, then it's a success.

Of course, there are some holes here (like, what's cutting edge for someone not in a science? and How do you pick which skill set you dedicate yourself to, especially when so many jobs are becoming obsolete- just guess which has market viability? )
But for someone who has been disillusioned with the concept that loving something will make you good at it, a desirable hire, or make it enjoyable for you, this book is just common sense.

I can't say I recommend it for anyone UNLESS you're frustrated by your shitty job *and* don't know what you want to do with your career. It will make you realize that you just need to knuckle down and not expect career happiness yet. It's a great antithesis to What Color is Your Parachute, and reading those back to back gives interesting perspective.

c
cdimov
Sep 08, 2013

Cal Newport provides an excellent - contrarian opinion and argument against the standard line that you must follow your passions and work at what you are passionate about. Instead, his advice backed by a very solid logical argument is to work at something to become a craftsman - and after becoming very good at it - then in most cases it will evolve from being a job, into a career, then calling - and ultimately into your passion.

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