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So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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--Seth Godin, author, Linchpin
"Entrepreneurial professionals must develop a competitive advantage by building valuable skills. This book offers advice based on research and reality--not meaningless platitudes-- on how to invest in yourself in order to stand out from the crowd. An important guide to starting up a remarkable career."
--Reid Hoffman, co-founder & chairman of LinkedIn and co-author of the bestselling The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
"Do what you love and the money will follow' sounds like great advice -- until it's time to get a job and disillusionment quickly sets in. Cal Newport ably demonstrates how the quest for 'passion' can corrode job satisfaction. If all he accomplished with this book was to turn conventional wisdom on its head, that would be interesting enough. But he goes further -- offering advice and examples that will help you bypass the disillusionment and get right to work building skills that matter."
--Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
"This book changed my mind. It has moved me from 'find your passion, so that you can be useful' to 'be useful so that you can find your passion.' That is a big flip, but it's more honest, and that is why I am giving each of my three young adult children a copy of this unorthodox guide."
--Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick, WIRED magazine
"First book in years I read twice, to make sure I got it. Brilliant counter-intuitive career insights. Powerful new ideas that have already changed the way I think of my own career, and the advice I give others."
--Derek Sivers, founder, CD Baby
"Written in an optimistic and accessible tone, with clear logic and no-nonsense advice, this work is useful reading for anyone new to the job market and striving to find a path or for those who have been struggling to find meaning in their current careers."
About the Author
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.
However, I started getting an elitist feel from the book about halfway through, and it's the reason I gave it only 3 stars. The people he talks about in his book are those buisness/computer people who: A)Know how to start and run a business, B)Can work from home (all they need is a computer), and/or C)have a skill that makes hundreds if not thousands of dollars an hour. Not to mention, most of them have PhD's. One person he talks about started a music company, sold it for 22 million, donated all the money, globe trotted for a few years, then started another freakin' company. Would this book be worth something to a nurse? A teacher? A police officer? Or are these people who have followed their "passion" and this book is just for a select number of people who's highly paid skills are transferable?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Compelling read. Useful for grown-ups trying to work out what they want to be when they're grown up. Read morePublished 5 days ago by GeeLee
This is a helpful little book that I recommend particularly to young people who are concerned about determining their career path and life plans. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Carolyn Kost
Get this for every young person in HS or college. They NEED to hear this message its the best source of information on the subject and is 100% accurate. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jody J
I was required to read this book as part of my residency. The insight from this book will help me as I further my career. Read morePublished 20 days ago by M. Chatman
I found Newport's book an excellent guide for not only debunking the myth of only working at something you are passionate about but what important steps are needed to become so... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Kindle Customer
Giving credit to the author, he does come up with a great idea and one that the general population doesn't agree with. This alone deserves 4 stars. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert Kirk
This book will simply change the way you view life. PERIODPublished 1 month ago by Million Dollar Bill Collier