So Good They Can't Ignore You

Front Cover
Piatkus, 2016 - Ability - 304 pages

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 book. 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 thsi advice Pollyannish, 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, where you have built up your 'career capital,' and then to put all of your efforts into that direction.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antao - www.librarything.com

"Working right trumps finding the right work." In "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport After having finished "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck", I wanted to read this one to work as a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CassandraT - www.librarything.com

I'd be happy to debate many of the thoughts and exampled with Cal, but I found this book to be refreshing in the style and approach. The thesis is clearly communicated and evinced and almost thorough ... Read full review

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About the author (2016)

Cal Newport, Ph.D., lives in Washington, DC, where he is a writer and an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University. He is the author of SO GOOD THEY CAN'T IGNORE YOU and three books of unconventional advice for students. He runs the popular website Study Hacks: Decoding Patterns of Success.

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