- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 39640th edition (September 18, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1455528048
- ISBN-13: 978-1455528042
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (346 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love Paperback – International Edition, September 18, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The central premise that sets this book apart from so much life advice that is out on the market is that following your passion is terrible advice. There are two main reasons for this: first, very few people at a young age know enough about life to choose something to be really passionate about, and even if they do, they are bound to be wrong. If Steve Jobs had followed his early passion, maybe he would have made a dent in the universe as a Buddhist monk.
Second, while most people would love to have a job that allows them to be creative, make an impact on the world, and have control over how they choose to spend their time, jobs like that are rare and valuable, and the only way to get something valuable is to offer something in return. And the only way to be in a position to do that is to master a difficult skill. Passion doesn't waive the laws of economics, and if it's not difficult it won't be rare. The book cites the example of Julia, who quit a secure job in advertising to pursue her passion of teaching yoga. Armed with a 4-week course, she quit her job, began teaching, and one year later was on food stamps. Here's a hint: if a four-week course is enough to allow you to set up shop, do you think you might have a little competition?Read more ›
However, the book falls flat in almost every other aspect, from the explanations, to the real-world examples, to the relevancy for the vast majority of professional laborers sitting in cubicles today. This is not surprising given Newport's background in prestige and academics, and the quite unorthodox path he's taken. This issue follows through the entire book with example after example of people and their careers that can only be characterized as esoteric and extreme. The hyper-successful individuals he profiles as examples of people happy with their careers are starkly contrasted by the obvious hubris of those he interviews who are not. There is no middle ground, which is, unfortunately, the vast majority of us, who are neither ridiculously foolhardy nor overachievers to the extreme.
This book and its author smacks of the Tim Ferriss-style cure-all self-help trash which is all born out of an unrigorous, hyped-up, TED Talk-syle, fast-food intellectualism which is so tempting to consume in the blogging age. Beware of the hype, remember this book was written in less than 6 months, work hard, and find a job you don't hate for Christ's sake.
I also have two qualms about the book:
1. It feels as if this book is posited to those who are in the position to create career capital, such as ivy league graduates, and not someone who is just trying to get by and can't leave their job of flipping burgers. How can people in less fortunate positions get the capital to be remarkable? I must admit, I have not thought long enough about this observation to flesh it out, but if anyone has thoughts on this, let me know.
2. Also, it seemed as if the majority of the subjects in the book did have passion to do something before they had the capital. While they did have a craftsmans approach, this seemed to be a necessary action to pursue what they were passionate about in the first place. In addition, in his caveat section for the method, it basically says that if you don't like the job and coworkers (more specifically, if they see it as useless or it can't help them get career capital), don't do it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cal Newport makes a compelling argument, and while you may agree or not with him, even those that feel that passion is the way may still learn a few things. Read morePublished 6 days ago by alexandremrj
Arguments are quite interesting and inspiring. But the author is repeating it over and over again.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
I will be reading this again. Simple rules for improving your position in life.Published 7 days ago by Marty W
This was a quick read for me, and it had really good take-aways.
1. Forget about following your passion.
2. Gain career capital.
3. Have a mission.
4. Read more
There are some good concepts like career capital but I found the author's tone very arrogant. Real working environment is much more complicated, The examples given do not cover... Read morePublished 8 days ago by FT
One of the most amazing books I have ever read about finding a job and how to pick one. I found myself taking notes every single paragraph for some sections.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book vlidate an provided data to prove something I've always believed to be true. buy this book to encourage yourself or someone you love going through a career tansitionPublished 25 days ago by Wanderingchacos
I’m happy that I found out about this book So Good They Can’t Ignore You; Why Skills Trump Passion In The Quest For Work You Love by Cal Newport because I have discovered from my... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Stella Carrier
Cal makes so very important points to consider. He does end up repeating himself towards the end however, so I feel the book could've been shortened. Read morePublished 28 days ago by E. Legaspi