So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

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Grand Central Publishing, Sep 18, 2012 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
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In an unorthodox approach, Georgetown University professor 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 their careers.

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.

Cal reveals that matching your job to a pre-existing passion does not matter. 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.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rynk - LibraryThing

The saying goes, do what you love and the money will follow. I read that more as, follow what you love and the money will do. Professor Newport sets up the premise that chasing your passion's bad ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SonoranDreamer - LibraryThing

If you feel stuck or unhappy with your work, this may be the book for you. The rules in the book are: #1: Don't follow your passion. #2: Be so good they can't ignore you (build skills). #3: Importance ... Read full review


Passion Is Rare
The Power of Career Capital
Becoming a Craftsman
Summary of Rule
Avoiding the Control Traps
The Meaningful Life of Pardis Sabeti
Missions Require Marketing
Career Profile Summaries

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About the author (2012)

Cal Newport, Ph.D., lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a writer and an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University. He also runs the popular website Study Hacks: Decoding Patterns of Success. Deep Work is his fifth book.

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