So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Cal Newport
Think about what you can offer the world:
- A “passion mindset” focuses on what the world can offer to you – what perfect job can you find to fit your passions? This often leads to confusion and wandering from job to job.
- A “craftsman mindset” focuses on what you can offer the world in whatever position you are in and offers clarity.
“Follow your passions” is bad advice
Few people have a passion that neatly translates into a career, and following one’s passions often leads to misguided career moves. Rather, your satisfaction at work has more to do with your experience with that work than with the type of work.
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To have intrinsic motivation at work, you need:
- Autonomy – feeling like you have control over your time
- Competence – the feeling that you’re good at your work
- Relatedness – connecting with other people in the process
To get a great job you have to offer something great
A job that satisfies the ingredients of intrinsic motivation is rare and valuable, so you need to develop rare and valuable skills to offer in exchange.
“Career capital is the value of the competencies, knowledge, and individual personality attributes you have to produce economic value.”
It takes practice to build career capital
Deliberate practice = practice that stretches your abilities and provides instant feedback
It has been estimated by interviewing masters of particular skills that to excel at a complex task takes 10,000 hours of practice. You need to have patience and keep working.
Use career capital to “buy” perks
Once you’ve developed your career capital and learned some rare and valuable skills, you will be more valuable to your employer.
Use this leverage to negotiate shorter hours, more freedom, etc.
Take on “little bets”
Little bets are bite-sized, carefully chosen projects that take no more than a few months, give you valuable feedback, and help you determine your next steps.
You don’t need to commit to a project that will determine your work life for the next few years. Take on small projects and continuously adapt.
The “law of remarkability”
To create a successful project, it must:
Compel people who discover it to tell others (nothing that has been done before or is boring)
Be launched in a venue that supports that sharing (the internet, social media, research journals, etc.)