Steve Jobs Was Wrong

“People who tell you to follow your passion are already rich.”
– Scott Galloway

I know I’m getting older when young adults increasingly ask me for career advice.

Most of them are surprised when I suggest that “follow your passion” is dangerous career advice. This contradicts most of what is passed off as vocational wisdom, perhaps never more famously than in the iconic convocation address Steve Jobs gave to Stanford graduates in 2005. If you haven’t watched it I would encourage you to click thru to the video below.

Here’s the thing … I think Job’s speech is profound except for his “passion hypothesis” he so strongly advocates. A number of years ago I read Cal Newport’s brilliant and counterintuitive “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”.  Newport’s book radically changed my thinking from the conventional “find your passion so that you can be useful to society” to “first be useful to society in order to uncover your passion”. For those of us who would prefer a quick summary to this type of approach to career and life advice, I would encourage your to read Ben Carlson’s excellent “Useless Career Advice”  blog.


Keith Thomson

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