People take great pride in flaunting their punishing work routines. The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work establishes that hard work is necessary but insufficient for success. In fact, misdirected hard work is way worse than no work at all. This book includes various real-life examples from the corporate world that has constantly exaggerated the role of hard work and underplayed the critical role of choices and mentorship in creating conditions for success. The young workforce is experiencing burnout and it is suspected that the romantic proclamations and obsession about hard work has lots to do with it. This book discusses all these issues and finally offers a solution-oriented approach to the myth about succeeding in work life.
This book hits so many sweet spots: It is broad (containing examples from science, arts, sports and, of course, business) but deep; it is academic yet actionable; it offers complex ideas but in bite-sized, readable, simple prose. One reason for this is Utkarsh Amitabh’s career achievements, which span mainstream career success, entrepreneurial achievement and academic knowledge. The book contains none of the self-promotional clichés typical of business successes—he speaks as a trusted advisor who has the authority, experience and compassion to be the voice of his generation.
This is the book every millennial needs to read! Utkarsh’s engaging storytelling provides a roadmap for what it means to ‘find your passion’ and other misconceptions of the business world. Insightful and practical—you won’t be able to put it down!
As the creator of the term FOMO, I loved how Utkarsh explored its nuances and offered tangible principles for shaping meaningful careers. The case studies in The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work are powerful—from the cognitive biases of the creator of Sherlock Holmes to the quirks of Paul Erdos, the legendary mathematician and networker. Given its cross-cultural and multi-generational appeal, I recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the future of work.
Community, collaboration and courage are timeless. In the new world we live, these three defining themes will determine how we relook at work and life itself. Utkarsh has captured beautifully how these will work together and their interplay. An important book. An essential read.
Utkarsh has a very interesting and sometimes counterintuitive take on the paths to success in life. This book is a very practical guide with tips that will make you rethink many things that you assumed or took for granted, especially your definition of success.
This book is a fascinating collection of mental models and career principles for discovering one’s purpose. Utkarsh is a powerful storyteller whose narratives cause us to rethink how to work effectively.
Pramath Raj Sinha
Utkarsh’s book is an uniquely interesting take on career intelligence and the future of work. It is sprinkled with original insights and relatable stories that will resonate not only with millennials but also with senior executives and founders.
Utkarsh Amitabh is the founder of Network Capital (network capital.tv), one of the world’s largest career intelligence communities, Chevening Fellow at Oxford University and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, who represented the community at the Annual Meeting in Davos. Set up with the core belief that everyone has something to learn and something to share, Network Capital has organically grown to become a global tribe of 100,000+ mentors from 104 countries, and content created by the community has been published by Harvard Business School, Harvard Business Review, Mint and The Economic Times.