So Good They Cant Ignore You written by Cal Newport is a fantastic book and i want to tell you why.
In this book Cal Newport is on a journey to learn and understand how we can build successful careers and do stuff that we love. Our Dream Job.
Now you maybe think:
Not that hard just follow your passion and do this as your job.
Follow your passion is a bad advice as you will learn while reading this book but let me explain why and what Cal Newport discovered on his journey to found the Dream Job Elixir.
The core of the book
Cal Newport wants to discover how we can build a career that we love. Many people are not happy in their job. The funny thing is that most of them cant exactly tell you the reason for it.
The passion theory
If you hear:
Follow your passion.
Its not particularly a bad advice. For some people that worked but not for the other 98%.
Passion is rare. Many hobbies just as swimming, tennis etc. are not a real career option for the most of us. If you have a passion for something its great but not necessarily your career path.
Passion takes time. If you ask people in the same job you will see that the people that work longer are in general happier. But why? Because people get better in their job. They get better in what they are doing. And when they get better they will be highly motivated and that leads to a passion.
To sum it up:
Hard Work => Mastery => Passion => Fulfilled Career
Passion is dangerous
Passion can be dangerous. People are setting themselves goals that are unrealistic. Many people are unhappy in their jobs because they think out there must be a better job. They are on a never ending journey to find their dream job and switching their jobs more often than their clothes.
Example: Steve Jobs
In this book Steve Jobs is an example of someone who doesn't followed his passion. He was far away from the technology world. But on his journey from being a hippy to one of the most known guy in the tech world, a visionary, he evolved a passion because he became better and better.
The craftsman Mindset
In this article i explained the craftsman mindset and why its so important but i will shortly explain it here as well.
Craftsman vs. Passion Mindset
So we have these two mindsets. I already explained to you the Passion Theory but now ill explain you the Craftsman Mindset and why its better than the Passion Mindset.
The Passion Mindset means that you look what can the world can offer you.
The Craftsman Mindset on the other hand means that you ask yourself: What can i give the world? What value i can deliver?
This is really important and probably one of the most used word(s) in the book. If you want to deliver something to the world you first have to build Career Capital. But what does that mean?
Well, Career Capital just means skills that you learn that you can then exchange for a nice job. Its simply Demand and Supply.
And as a developer for example you have sooo much opportunities and so much skills that you can learn and gain massive Career Capital. I love it!
Become a Craftsman
So how we can become a Craftsman? We have to practice our skills. And i mean real pratice.
One of the best way to to learn something is Deliberate Practice.
You have to push yourself over your limits. Just slightly and improve each day. You have to get out of your comfort zone, publish your work and gather feedback. Use your valuable time to do tasks that will help you to improve.
Dream Job Elixir
In the book Cal Newport named one ingredient the Dream Job Elixir.
If you have control over your working life you will be more motivated, dedicated and happier. But you have to take care for 2 traps before you try to gain more control in your career.
1: You first need to gain enough career capital before you try to gain more control. Without career capital control is useless.
2: If you have enough career capital you will become very valuable for your boss. So your boss will try to stop you to gain more control because he/she will lose your productivity. Maybe you want work 30 hours a week instead of 40 hours. If you are very valuable your boss cant say no to you because 30 hours from you are very valuable.
The trick here is to know when you have enough career capital that you can force the control you want in your working life and when you need to first gain knowledge and Career Capital.
Finally Cal Newport pointed out that you should follow this simple sentence:
If you want more control do something where people are willing to pay for.
Invest your career capital into control.
Sometimes you have a Mission. This mission can guide you to your passion. I really like the example of Dean Schneider. Dean had a very successful company and a lot of money but he wasnt happy. He had another mission. To bring animals into peoples hearts. Check him out here.
The world is full of brown cows. Boring. Cal Newport wrote that you need a purple cow (no not the Milka one, i know that you had this in mind) to be successful and build a lovely career.
A purple cow is something that is remarkable and interesting. People will talk about it and spread news about it. And people will pay money for it if it serve their needs.
This was just a tiny bit of all the lessons and stories that Cal Newport describes in his book. To conclude this book its important to say that its much more important to do his work right instead of a never ending search for a dream job that might not exist. But you have the power to build a career that you love!
Working right trumps finding the right work.
I hope you enjoyed this review and if you are interested in the book i can highly recommend it to you. You will learn a lot and Cal Newport met some incredible people on his journey and tell their stories so we can learn from it.
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I love to improve myself every single day even if its just a tiny bit!
Stay save and healthy guys!
And as always: develop yourself!