Just about anyone who has changed directions in life can appreciate the message in “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love” by Cal Newport. While having dreams can be great for motivation, Newport asserts that too much focus on passion can also hold people back from success in the workforce. He explains that an idealistic approach to a career can lead you to miss out on a lot of opportunities because you are not paying attention to the job at hand. It may not sound like the message that you want to hear, but you will be glad that you listened.
Once you dive headfirst into a career, indecision is no longer a concern, so you can then focus wholeheartedly on building your skills. Thus, this book steers readers in a different direction than usual, encouraging readers to find their passion after beginning a career path. Newport explains how to discover that drive while honing and developing new skills rather than waiting around for inspiration. Your expertise and experience can then bring about many unexpected opportunities for you to consider down the line. Besides, everyone likes to be good at something.
Newport interviewed satisfied professionals from many different career fields to write the book. He shares with readers the strategies that all these people have in common. Then, he breaks down these success stories into some rules to help you build your life and career. Another significant point is that it is much harder to take risks without first gaining career capital or rare and valuable skills. He expresses that your priorities must weigh more toward being happy with your life overall instead of just job satisfaction. When you become an expert at your job, others will look up to you and rely on you. Then, you can pursue your passions with a lot more security and confidence.