So good they cant ignore you by Cal Newport
Unproven, young and inexperienced. That what senior employees in any company would describe a fresh graduate. To be honest, that’s what I got from my current client and I am still trying to sharpen at knives (skills) at work. Of course, I did whatever I had to do, stay calm, take critiques in your stride and just learn as you go along. So, this book taught me two things:
1) Stop worrying about how you feel like doing (if I ever know) and what the world owes you. Instead, start creating something meaningful and then gives it to the world.
2) Regardless of how you feel about your job right now, adopting the craftsman mindset will be the foundation on which you’ll build a compelling career.
So based on these two elements, I’m going to write about what I feel will help me, or anyone achieve work satisfaction. Cal mentioned that one should adopt the craftsman mindset and do whatever it takes to be good at it. This includes improving my project coordination skills such as having good computer skills, communication skills and being efficient at multi tasking. Sounds like a mountain of things to do, but I guess they are manageable with little bit of passion. Note that I mention ‘ a little bit of passion’ here. Don’t get me wrong. I agree that passion is a poor driver to lead the path for a good, satisfying career, at least for most of us. But, at some stage, I hope to wake up and look forward to work everyday.
Cal provided a disciplined framework on how to obtain job satisfaction. So after you have achieved mastery and produce quality work, you leverage this advantage to gain control of your job in order to gain more happiness, fulfillment and engagement. This reminds me of a friend. He is so good in the field of computer security that the bank he is working at makes special arrangement for him to return to Germany and allows him to manage the security for Singapore branch remotely. Sounds cool and mind you, he achieved all these with deliberate practice with a little bit of fun to relax.
Lastly, once you have gained control, you explore the edges of your field to find an overall, unifying goal in your career. It can be anything, from working three days a week instead of five or to work remotely from another country. Either way, it doesn’t come free without being a linchpin, gaining control of your career and having a desire to make a contribution to the world, big or small.
So is passion really a advice to listen to? Honestly, I am not sure. But what I know one thing. People need time to understand how things work. We need to experience the way time can shape our vision of the world, what needs to be done and our role in it. These experiences will then change our mindsets, perspectives and expectations and hopefully, grow from them. And for most of us, following our passion and being good at what are doing are equally important starting goals. From there, we travel the long and maybe bumpy road before getting to where we want eventually.
I suspect, my bosses, junior and senior colleagues will agree.