Cal Newport's clearly written manifesto flies in the face of conventional wisdom by suggesting that it should be a person's talent and skill - and not necessarily their passion - that determines their career path.
Newport, who graduated from Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa) and earned a PhD from MIT, contends that trying to find what drives us, instead of focusing on areas in which we naturally excel, is ultimately harmful and frustrating to job seekers. The title is a direct quote from comedian Steve Martin, who, when once asked why he was successful in his career, immediately replied, 'Be so good they can't ignore you', and that's the main basis for Newport's audiobook.
Skill and ability trump passion. Inspired by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' famous Stanford University commencement speech in which Jobs urges idealistic grads to chase their dreams, Newport takes issue with that advice, claiming that not only is this advice Pollyannaish but that Jobs himself never followed his own advice.
From there Newport presents compelling scientific and contemporary case study evidence that the key to one's career success is to find out what you do well and where you have built up your 'career capital' and then to put all of your efforts in that direction.
©2012 Calvin C. Newport (P)2016 Hachette Audio UK
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The slight repetitiveness of the last few chapters did not detract from the valuable insights I gained from this book. He accurately describes my career experience so far. What I thought was a lack of passion in my job was actually a lack of control. The book provides a vocabulary and actionable tips to improve your career.
"Fascinating but not complete"
I didn't like the book but I liked the ideas. So I think it was worth the listen.
The book has a few very interesting insights but there's very little support for his claims outside a few stories.
That being said, I wouldn't bet against his assertions being true.
I can't put my finger on it, but the writing lacked something. Maybe it was that the stories wasn't engaging or that the definitions weren't clear.
"takedown of the popular "passion hypothesis""
must read especially for people leading lives of quiet desperation & actively aware of it.
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