Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love – Cal Newport

Nowadays we are often hearing of job layoffs. In a single day all of a sudden your company tells you that your services are no longer required. Do you worry about your potential job loss or you are feeling underappreciated in your company then this book is for you.

The Words of Wisdom from the book are as follows:

  • Definition of JOB, CAREER and CALLING :
    Job, in Wrzesniewski’s formulation, is a way to pay the bills,
    A career is a path toward increasingly better work, and
    A calling is work that’s an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity.
  • Passion Is a Side Effect of Mastery
  • Work Satisfaction/Motivation of an Employee:
    Motivation, in the workplace or elsewhere, requires that you fulfill three basic psychological needs—factors described as the “nutriments” required to feel intrinsically motivated for your work: 1. Autonomy: the feeling that you have control over your day, and that your actions are important
    2. Competence: the feeling that you are good at what you do
    3. Relatedness: the feeling of connection to other people.
  • In other words, working right trumps finding the right work.
  • There are two different approaches to thinking about work:
    the craftsman mindset, a focus on what value you’re producing in your job, and
    the passion mindset, a focus on what value your job offers you.
  • The first is the craftsman mindset, which focuses on what you can offer the world.
  • The second is the passion mindset, which instead focuses on what the world can offer you.
  • If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).
  • Giving people more control over what they do and how they do it increases their happiness, engagement, and sense of fulfillment.
  • To summarize, if your goal is to love what you do, your first step is to acquire career capital.
  • Your next step is to invest this capital in the traits that define great work.
  • Control is one of the most important targets you can choose for this investment. Acquiring control, however, can be complicated.
  • “Do what people are willing to pay for.”
  • The law of financial viability is a critical tool for navigating your own acquisition of control. This holds whether you are pondering an entrepreneurial venture or a new role within an established company. Unless people are willing to pay you, it’s not an idea you’re ready to go after.
  • Think Small, Act Big (Or, the Importance of Mission)
    Her (Employee) happiness comes from the fact that she built her career on a clear and compelling mission—something that not only gives meaning to her work but provides the energy needed to embrace life beyond the lab.
  • “You’re either remarkable or invisible,” says Seth Godin in his 2002 bestseller, Purple Cow.
  • As Seth Godin elaborated in a Fast Company manifesto he published on the subject:
    “The world is full of boring stuff—brown cows—which is why so few people pay attention…. A purple cow… now that would stand out. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing.”

This is the second book of Cal Newport I have read. Earlier I have read his Digital Minimalism. As usual Cal writes very comprehensively in his book. So this is good book which makes you think about your work approach and how to make yourself job loss proof. Read it if you are having job blues or feel unworthy in your workplace.

I have quoted the statements from the book to illustrate how the content of the book is good and readable. I have attributed the author for his/her words. My intention is only to spread good word about readable books. I encourage the readers to read the books.