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So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Review

I’ve been following Cal Newport’s writing for a long time. He’s a sensible, practical guy. And the career advice book he just wrote, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, is a sensible, practical book.

Which means it will probably take most people by surprise.

He starts by building the case for “follow your passion” being bad advice. Instead, one should focus on becoming really good at something valuable. Hence the title. True job and life satisfaction, he argues, comes from having options and flexibility, which in turn comes from the career capital one builds up by continuing to improve and being valuable.

The rest of the book is advice about how exactly to do that. But whether one follows that advice or not, the mental realignment offered by those first two theses alone is worth the price.

Career advice books usually massage your ego. Yes, you are unique and great. You must believe in yourself. It is just a matter of time before you strike gold!

This book gives it to you straight. You have to get good before you get good work. There are no shortcuts.

Highly recommended.

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