So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport – [PDF Download]

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 PDF

So Good They Can’t Ignore You is a non-fiction book that gives some solid, practical advice on how to build a compelling career. Now, before you scroll your mouse and skip my review, let me bring to your attention that I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction, and especially not much into reading books that give career advice.

I mean it when I say this one was an exception. One thing that caught my attention and convinced me to try this book was the back cover blurb that says “following your passion is terrible advice for being successful in your career!” For those of us long basking in the glow of the passion hypothesis.

A term used in the book for the belief that the key to occupational happiness is finding one thing that you’re passionate about, and then finding a job that matches the passion to build compelling careers, this is a completely contradicting perspective! This intrigued me to delve deeper and understand the concept. And I ended up completely buying it!

There Are Four Important Rule That will change your life.

Rule No 1: Don’t follow your passion

While the idea of finding one thing that you’re passionate about and then choosing a career that aligns with your passion might sound fancy, it is dangerous and is likely to set you on a failure path. Because all you know at this point of time is an idea/domain you like (or you think you like), and not enough skills or the experience (which Cal calls the “career capital”) needed to make the idea thrive.

Rule No 2: Spend time building your career capital

Whatever you are, be a good one. It might not be possible to find your true calling in the early stages of your career. All you have to focus on at this point is honing your skills and building an impressive skill set aka. your career capital. Great jobs require great skills in return, and you should be in a position to offer them. Once you’ve gathered enough career capital, cash it in to acquire traits that define a great career. The two most important traits are discussed in the below rules.

Rule No 3: Gain control (the dream-job elixir)

Gaining control over what you do is one important aspect of a great career. Use the rare skillset you’ve gathered to acquire control. There are a few traps at this stage that you need to be aware of. Cal has devised a guidance system that helps readers dodge these traps and navigate successfully in their careers to acquire control. The concepts “The first control trap”, “The second control trap”, and “the law of financial viability” are introduced.

Rule No 4: Identify a mission

The mission is another important trait you’ve to acquire with your career capital. A mission provides a unifying goal and makes your career compelling. Finding a mission doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s a long-term process that requires you to constantly explore the adjacent possible areas, and then arrive at one target which proves meaningful to you and is practically achievable with your stock of career capital.

To make this mission a reality, you need to take small but persistent steps (which Cal names “little bets”) in what seems to be the right direction, receive feedback and use it to make further progress.

These rules are coupled with real-life examples (including how Cal applies them in his work life) which makes the book all the more interesting. I can see myself re-reading it multiple times in the future! Strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a fruitful non-fiction read, and a must-read to those who are looking for some solid career advice!

Download The PDF

Author Cal Newport
Book Title So Good They Can’t Ignore You
Language English
Pages 239
Size1.26 MB

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