I often recommend Cal Newport's book to other fitness professionals, but this book can help anyone be the linchpin in their organization and become indispensable. This book is a MUST READ for anyone who hates their current job and wants to do something they're passionate about, but doesn't know where to start. This too, is a fantastic read for anyone who's working hard to build a long career in an industry they love.
Newport goes to great lengths to explain just how terrible "follow your passion" is as career advice. He argues against the "passion" approach, as it can lead individuals down a road that may not be financially viable; just because you enjoy something doesn't mean that you'll be able to make a living doing it.
(GH Note: If you had the choice between making 100k but being miserable and making 70k but being happy; I would choose the latter and find areas of my life where I can scale back. Being happy needs to be at the top of your to-do list when assessing career options)
There's a few reasons one might fail such as an insufficient demand in the market for your skills, or because you may not have enough "career capital" to be successful in the early stages of your career transition. Career capital is described in the book as a set of rare and valuable skills. So as to say these are traits that greatly define amazing work. With competency comes higher job satisfaction. This key component to happiness even outweighs earning a higher salary alone.
The author sites several key case studies that backs his career capital theory. Many professionals work long hard hours acquiring rare and valuable skills that will allow them to have more control over their careers by making them indispensable in their field. They are now able to afford to ask for more compensation and flexible schedules but also to take chances on finding a speciality to further enhance their career financially and increase satisfaction.
Just because you love exercise, don't blow your life savings on a gym when you don't have the rare and valuable skills to succeed in the fitness industry. As it currently stands I believe there's a few reasons why people are so quick to want to jump from behind their desk job to a gym.
The ease of entry into the field is what makes it so appealing to the workout junkie. You can become a personal trainer RIGHT NOW. You can trade in your suit for dri-fit clothing and get a pretty flexible work schedule. Could you "survive" this transition? Yeah you can but you don't want to only get by, you want to thrive in this or any industry of your choosing.
So whether you've been contemplating a change of careers or want to get a promotion, Cal Newport's book will help you better understand how to further your career by putting in the work to go from good to GREAT.
If you found my book recommendation compelling and feel that it might be a read a friend you know needs to get going on, please do share this post. Thanks!