In this analytic article about a widespread verbal infection, Newport reframes us to develop Skills in the first decade or so, of our carreer, in order to love our jobs later on in life ..
The simple phrase, "follow your passion," turns out to be surprisingly pernicious. It's hard to argue, of course, against the general idea that you should aim for a fulfilling working life. But this phrase requires something more. The verb "follow" implies that you start by identifying a passion and then match this preexisting calling to a job. Because the passion precedes the job, it stands to reason that you should love your work from the very first day.
It's this implication that causes damage. When I studied people who love what they do for a living, I found that in most cases their passion developed slowly, often over unexpected and complicated paths, and the process of becoming good can be frustrating and take years.
The good news is that this explanation yields a clear solution: we need a more nuanced conversation surrounding the quest for a compelling career. We currently lack, for example, a good phrase for describing those tough first years on a job where you grind away at building up skills while being shoveled less-than-inspiring entry-level work. This tough skill-building phase can provide the foundation for a wonderful career, but in this common scenario the "follow your passion" dogma would tell you that this work is not immediately enjoyable and therefore is not your passion. We also lack a sophisticated way to discuss the role of serendipity in building a passionate pursuit. In short, we need information — concrete, evidence-based observations about how people really end up loving what they do.
Bonus Information: Vimeo of Cal Newport on Steve Jobs: http://vimeo.com/48041227 .
Via Peter Hoeve