Book Review

Career Lessons from the Book- So Good They Can’t Ignore You By Cal Newport

In the month of April 2020, I read a very interesting Book-  So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. I got the book referral after reading Deep Work, also by the same author.

To enable me read fast and better, I deployed one of the reading tips we use at my online Reading  Club (30 Days Reading Challenge) by summarising  the lessons I learned from the book in a weekly format. I have shared the lessons below:

Lessons from the Book- So Good They
Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

Week 1

1. You need to be good at something for you to expect a good job. This means you need to gain Mastery at doing something exceptionally well
2. If you are in a job which you don’t like now, use the happiness that comes from the other things you do to energize your current job. This simply means applying the principles you deploy in doing what you love to your current job
3. The Passion Hypothesis states that you need to find a job that matches your passion to get fulfilment. This seldom holds true for all great achievers as sometimes, passion comes from mundane and unexpected things
4. It is possible to start out on a journey with the intention of just getting by and later in the process get into dreaming big and having more ideas on what to do. The idea is for you to first start out with doing something and then iterate as you go
5. It takes time to really be good at something, but you need to be able to force yourself to hone the skills required for mastery. The goal  is to be the best at whatever you are doing at every given time
6. The 3 ingredients required to feel motivated at work are:

  • Autonomy: Having control over your day and knowing that what you do matters to your organisation
  • Competence: Feeling good at what you do
  • Relatedness: Being able to connect with people

Week 2

1. There are 2 mindset when it comes to work:

  • The Passion Mindset : This focuses on finding what you love to do and doing it. This kind of mindset constantly places your happiness on what your job can offer you
  • The Craftsman Mindset: This focuses on honing your skill to doing your job better. It places the responsibility of giving back to your job on you

2. No one owes you a great career, you earn it!
3. If you want a career that is rare and valuable, you need to be able to offer something valuable in return (Your Skill)
4.There is something called Career Capital. It is gotten by investing so much in yourself, honing your skills, and also gathering as much experience as you can, even when you don’t yet have a full grasp of what your career path will eventually be
5. To be very good at something, you need to constantly stretch your abilities
6. You need the discipline of location to be able to churn our really great stuff. This means that you should be able to seclude yourself from the busyness of the day to think and create great ideas
7. The 10,000 hour rule states that it takes a minimum of 10 years to become a grand master at something. This rule has been a topic of scientific research since the 1970’s but it came into the mainstream when Malcolm Gladwell wrote about it in his book Outliers

Week 3

1. Deliberate practice requires you setting good goals. It isn’t about you just moving on a train without a defined direction. You need to be well focused to doing this
2. Deliberate practise means that you are focused and concentrate on out- doing your normal abilities. It is about stretching so much to reach for more. It takes you pushing beyond what is comfortable. You must also be able to receive feedbacks to be able to grow
3. To be financially prosperous, do what people are willing to pay for. Offer services that people will pay for. Sell products that people will pay for
4. Developing a Mission Statement  for your career is good. But also, this Mission Statement isn’t something you come up with off the hook. It should be written when you have developed your cutting edge in a career field that you can then focus on
5. Do not make unrealistic leaps in your career.  Start from where you are, test the waters, learn along the way, then take a big leap

Week 4

1. The Law of Remarkability states that for a Mission-driven project to succeed, it should be remarkable in two different ways. First, it must compel people who encounter it to remark about it to others. Second, it must be launched in a venue that supports such remarking
2. You need to be in control of your career else you will do just anything and not get so far
3. Before you can start reaping dividends in your career, you must have invested lots of Career Capital into it
4. To finally love your work, master skills that are rare and will give you high rewards
5. True missions, requires two things. Firstly you need Career Capital, which requires patience, Secondly, you need to be ceaselessly scanning your always-changing view of the adjacent possible in your field, looking for the next big idea. This requires a dedication to brainstorming and exposure to new ideas

In Conclusion,

Thank you for reading this post. I trust you have learned so much from it. If you will like me to recommend a good book for you to read, please send me a mail –  I would be glad to be of help.




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