So Good They Can't Ignore You

Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

Ranked #16 in Hunting, Ranked #18 in Career Guidesee more rankings.

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...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of So Good They Can't Ignore You from the world's leading experts.

Reid Hoffman CEO/LinkedInEntrepreneurial professionals must develop a competitive advantage by building valuable skills. This book offers advice based on research and reality--not meaningless platitudes-- on how to invest in yourself in order to stand out from the crowd. An important guide to starting up a remarkable career. (Source)

Daniel Pink AuthorDo what you love and the money will follow' sounds like great advice -- until it's time to get a job and disillusionment quickly sets in. Cal Newport ably demonstrates how the quest for 'passion' can corrode job satisfaction. If all he accomplished with this book was to turn conventional wisdom on its head, that would be interesting enough. But he goes further -- offering advice and examples that will help you bypass the disillusionment and get right to work building skills that matter. (Source)

Seth Godin Author, Marketer, EntrepreneurStop worrying about what you feel like doing (and what the world owes you) and instead, start creating something meaningful and then give it to the world. Cal really delivers with this one. (Source)

Derek Sivers First book in years I read twice, to make sure I got it. Brilliant counter-intuitive career insights. Powerful new ideas that have already changed the way I think of my own career, and the advice I give others (Source)

Bobby Voicu "In his book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, author Cal Newport makes a strong case for why following your passion is a terrible idea. Because the traits that define great work (autonomy, creativity, impact, recognition) are rare and valuable, Newport ar… (Source)

Anant Jain Don’t follow your passion. Follow whatever you’re so good at that they can’t ignore you — this is the premise of Cal Newport’s book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”, and I highly recommend reading this one as well. As Dr. Newport (who is not only an excellent author but also a Computer Science professor at Georgetown University) says, being satisfied with work is connected to passion, which in turn is related to intrinsic motivation. Three essential components of intrinsic motivation are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. You should feel you have some sense of control over your time, that... (Source)

Pedro Cortés To get a good a fulfilling career I believe you need to balance money with your mindset and personal life and for those, I would again recommend the 4hww (to question the 9-5 life), F.U Money (to turn your beliefs about money into good ones), Ego is the enemy (to keep the ego in check), So good they can't ignore you (to adopt the mindset of a craftsman and mastery instead of passion) and Predictably Irrational to be aware of the irrational things you and other people can do so you can adapt to them instead of living your entire life being blinded by them. (Source)

Leah Lizarondo Not sure about my career path specifically but truly to understand your own personal power--sure, read the success doctrine books to inspire you. But one book I give to people to balance out all those is So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport. The subtitle says it all "Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love" I think what is lost in many success books is the utter honesty that to be good at something, you really have to invest time and effort. The universe will not conspire in your favor unless you do so. You can't magically conjure up work that you love. Passion gets... (Source)

Todd Henry The best book I’ve read on career planning and management. (Source)

Kevin Kelly This book changed my mind. It has moved me from 'find your passion, so that you can be useful' to 'be useful so that you can find your passion.' That is a big flip, but it's more honest, and that is why I am giving each of my three young adult children a copy of this unorthodox guide. (Source)

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