Don’t Follow Your Passion and Other Good Advice

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Career advice 101… follow your passion. Blah, blah, blah. My passion changes and what’s more.. there’s not much money in my passion for eating chocolate. So I am pleased to introduce you to Cal Newport’s new book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Cal is very smart young man who at the start of his career had some terrific choices.. MIT doctoral program or a job at Microsoft. He’s not really like the rest of us, so why should we listen to him?

Because he has some very good advice...

— #1 Don’t follow your passion

— #2 Be so good they can’t ignore you

— #3 Turn down that promotion

Counter-intuitive? yup? Against conventional wisdom? yes again. So what are we mere mortals to do? While I don’t agree with everything Cal writes, I especially like his… “be so good they can’t ignore you” advice. He focuses on having special skills but I would like to expand this idea. Be really good at what you do. I mean really good. Be a leader in your chosen field. Write blog posts, become a speaker, share information on LinkedIn.

But on top of that, be a person who is trusted and who cares about others. This is the secret sauce to a happy life. Passions change and skills need to be constantly updated, but a person who can gain quickly earn the trust of those around them is invaluable. Be genuine, be kind and find way to be of service.

Photo credit: Banners from Rochester, NY East End Business District (Philipson Group)