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  • So Good They Can't Ignore You

  • By: Cal Newport
  • Narrated by: Dave Mallow
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (368 ratings)

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So Good They Can't Ignore You

By: Cal Newport
Narrated by: Dave Mallow
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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about So Good They Can't Ignore You

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  • Kim
  • 20-11-2018

Can’t even finish it

Way too repetitive and nothing I’ve not yet heard. I found it incredibly annoying . I want to return it . I won’t be finishing it.

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3 people found this helpful

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Practical And Logical Process and Advice

I enjoyed this book particularly because it not only have stories about how to achieve a great career and life but the author has listed very practical and logical steps on how to get there in the way of processes.

Spoiler alert:
Deliberate practice where are you set out to focus on purpose on a task that is beyond what you are comfortable with is a brilliant practical application that he discusses.

Another great takeaway was the soothing balm that comes with hearing stories that the path isn't always straight ahead and that if you keep doing your best work and search the adjacent possibilities and act on them, that you will come to your own personal mission and triumph.

Control as a part of the career elixir, I think he called it, makes a lot of sense in a world where we don't want to work 9-to-5 in an office job and that is a component of why leaving it all behind to work on a farm becomes so enticing. I love that he investigated that and came up with a base reason of this trend so that we can find that control within our own careers and feel like we have the autonomy to make free choices.

Overall the books message is to keep working and build career capital, stretch yourself by deliberate practice which also helps build career capital, and continue to look to the adjacent possibilities in your field, and be comfortable that this will take many years to gain enough career capital to have control in your working life.

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3 people found this helpful

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A Great Secret

Practical advice and a great complement to the written book. Well worth it, great message.

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it's okay

bit long winded and repetitive but solid advice. good stories and examples which is how i like learning

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A good book

A good listen overall. A few powerful ideas. Very relevant to those who seek a career change. Some areas can feel repetitive but it also helps to refresh and reframe concepts.

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Out of touch

Yes the idea may be interesting and even something to believe in but he should write a new book or get someone else to write it because the writer is out of touch. 6 chapters in and all examples of women and they only make poor decisions and end up destitute while every “hero” is a man (puke). He has a false impression of what work people in idealised jobs do and the pressure they may face (tv writing).
He is glorifying and demonising to make his points.

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Great book

It’s definitely made me reconsider my passion in information technology. I realise now maybe I am in the right industry.

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Excellent read!

This book helped me change my view on seeking a career merely by passion. It gives useful tips on how to get in love with your job and strengthen career capital so you can’t be ignored!

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Good Read

audiobook content page needs to be revamped. there is no clear distinction between chapters that talk about each of the 4 rules. also the chapter numbers are not synced with the chapter you listen to

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So good!

After I read Newports book, “Deep Work”, I immediately read it again. “So good they can’t ignore you” was just as powerful for me. I look forward to writing summary notes and applying this thinking to my own deliberate practice. Essential reading for growth-minded people.

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