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Publisher's Summary

In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice.
Not only is the cliché flawed - pre-existing 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 listening 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 will change the way we think about our careers, happiness, and the crafting of a remarkable life.
©2012 Cal Newport (P)2012 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Erin on 06-12-13

Good Counter to all the "Passion" Career Lit

I often listen to books in the business/ career genre, and have long been troubled by the fact that I really had no idea how to change the downtime activities I enjoyed into my career. I really don't know how to transition from video games and reading sci-fi/fantasy fiction into a sustainable career, and I wasn't sure if I even wanted to try. This book made me realize that maybe I don't have to.

I felt as though the book was a little slow getting into it, but in the end I am glad that I listened to the full book. I really enjoyed that each point he made was tied to a real person interviewed by the author, it made it easier to implement the information in the book. The book's conclusion, in which the author describes the application of his findings in his own life, gave me a lot of ideas about how to improve my own work.

If you have been told by someone that you won't be happy at work unless you "find your passion" and have been discouraged by such mantras, you will enjoy this book. And you won't continue to feel like an un-passionate weirdo in this passion-oriented culture.

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49 of 49 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By A. Yoshida on 07-19-17

Become a craftsman

The book makes one main point - become a craftsman, providing a product or service that offers value to the world. This is the secret to finding meaningful work, not following your passion. The research and stories support this one point. The author gives many examples of famous people who didn't have a clear vision of what they wanted to do for a living. They built up their skills and continued exploring different options. Sometimes by luck or sheer determination or both, they ended up successful after many years of hard work.

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 of control (get more control over what you do)
#4: Importance of mission

Although there are four rules, it still boils down to becoming a craftsman - having a set of rare and valuable skills (what the author refers to as career capital). With that, you can move up the career ladder and ask for more control over what you do and how you do it. And with more control, you can invest your career capital into a mission (doing something you find meaningful).

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70 of 71 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Suhair on 12-26-12

the best career advice i got!

hands down the best career advice book I've read the last 8years. if your like me, educated but totally confused abt your next step;afraid of missing out on life and are tired of finding your career passion, this is the book. i swear it has made me work harder and less depressed abt my job. mr.newport; thank you for shearing this with us.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ioannis on 02-25-16

Best "life advice" book I've come across so far

Unlike most "self-help" type books, this one doesn't keep hammering home the same point that could have been summarized in one chapter. The points are valid and the examples feel real!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kim Hollis on 09-18-15

Interesting concepts, clearly presented

A really interesting way to look at career growth and expertise. I'm so glad I got this as the 'follow your passion' hasn't always resonated and I'm still experimenting in my thirties.

Delivery is very clear and matter of fact.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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