4 min read ⌚
Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
People will not stop telling you to follow your passion.
It is a romantic notion, really, but it is always smart?
In our summary of “So Good, They Can’t Ignore You” we tell you why following your passion is not always a good idea, and how you can find work you love without making rash moves.
Who Should Read “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”? and, Why?
In “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” Cal Newport discredits the contemporary myth that following your passion always leads to happiness and success.
In his theory, he takes the “road less traveled by” and argues that pursuing your passions most of the time will lead to disappointment and an undeveloped skillset.
Instead, he suggests that you will be much happier if you develop your skill set and career capital in the job you have.
By doing that, you will become better at what you do and start loving it as a result.
Using case studies and stories of successful people to illustrate that success can only come with hard work and refining of the craft.
We recommend this book to all readers who are willing to work hard and find the more realistic way toward career advancement.
About Cal Newport
Cal Newport is a writer and a professor in Georgetown University’s computer science department.
“So Good They Can’t Ignore You Summary”
There comes a time in life when most people think about quitting their current job position and start pursuing their passions.
Many writers and contemporary speakers have influenced people to follow their passions, promising them that if they do so, success is an inevitable outcome.
However, such a notion is an illusion. It does not take into consideration hard work and ignores the importance of developing valuable and hardly replaceable skills.
In fact, happiness is not related to passion, but to workplace longevity.
What do we mean by that?
Well, the longer you do a job, the better you become at it. Some theorists argue that to become great at what you do, you need to practice the craft for at least a decade.
Hence, you cannot develop skills if can’t hold a job for some period. Moreover, when you become good at something, you start to enjoy doing it.
Furthermore, the longer you work at a particular company, the higher the possibility to develop relationships with your colleagues which will also lead to work-centered satisfaction.
We currently live in a “passion-centric” era where people are blindly following their passions, without understanding precisely what they need to turn their dreams into reality.
However, the statements above discredit the theories that to be happy – you have to follow a pre-existing passion.
Instead, you can become passionate about what you currently do, by developing your skill set and creating bonds with the people you work with.
The truth is the reality that you face when you follow your dreams rarely matches the fantasy. Of course, there are exceptions.
But, let’s be honest – not everyone can be an exception.
Key Lessons from “So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF”
1. Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
2. Turn Down a Promotion
3. Think Small, Act Big
Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
People who feel the need to follow their dreams often wish for independence and seek creativity.
However, nothing comes at no cost. Thus that level of autonomy requires hard work and many sacrifices.
Job freedom comes at the highest levels and only to those who have shown that they possess crucial skills and an ability to lead.
To achieve such freedom, you have to become so good that those who promote employees cannot ignore you.
You have to be ready, however. Acquiring career capital is not as glamorous as you may think.
You will most probably need to make numerous sacrifices.
So, before starting out, recognize that hard work is a fundamental ingredient to success.
Turn Down a Promotion
Sometimes, when you make nontraditional professional decisions, you will face skepticism and advice from people all around you.
Take for example turning down a promotion to go back to classes, or turning down a high-salary position for an internship that gives you valuable skills.
People will surely protest!
Be ready to encounter resistance each time you use unorthodox methods.
However, even though people around you will think that you are moving a step back, stay true to yourself and your knowledge that acquiring career capital will lead to success in the long haul.
Think Small, Act Big
Whenever you decide to pursue a career, know the value of your mission.
When we said that you should not follow your passion, what we meant was that you should not follow it blindly.
You should always go for the things you love, but not before you ensure that you have the right career capital and possess the right skills.
Only then you will be able to thrive.
Beginning with a big picture is a mistake people commonly make. Do not start from scratch. Instead, work on smaller ideas and move step by step towards the big picture.
By doing that you will feel less pressure and let your big idea take shape by itself.
Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.
“So Good They Can’t Ignore You Quotes”Most jobs don’t offer their employees great creativity, impact or control over what they do and how they do it. Click To Tweet Working right trumps finding the right work. Click To Tweet How can we follow our passions if we don’t have any relevant passions to follow? Click To Tweet Become good at something rare and valuable, and then invest the career capital this generates into the type of traits that make a job great. Click To Tweet When deciding whether to follow an appealing pursuit that will introduce more control into your work life, seek evidence of whether people are willing to pay for it. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
Cal Newport gives a different point of view on what are the valuable things when developing a career for yourself.
He does a great job at getting his points across, gives recaps of his main ideas for the reader to remember them, and teaches valuable and practical lessons.
Overall, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” is a book with a captivating premise and excellent execution.