This week, our pal Tess Vigeland has a book out titled, Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want (the book’s topic should be self-explanatory). Tess was the host of Marketplace for 11 years before deciding she needed to leave because she had begun to feel restless and unhappy. Leap is about asking ourselves the following question: “Who am I without my job?” Tess dove into this a little bit in the Guardian last week:
The psychological hurdle is significant because:
A. You’ve invested time and energy into your career, and quitting or reinventing feels like you’re wasting all of that.
B. Many of us don’t bother to figure out who we are outside of what we do for a living, so we face a potential identity crisis by leaving what we know.
This is why I argue that with proper financial planning, the best thing you can do is to give yourself the time and headspace to ask The Big Questions without the distractions of either workaday life or a full-time job hunt.
The proper financial planning being of course, “F- You Money.”
We’ve published lots of stories about taking leaps (see: here, here, and here), and I wrote last week about how it’s never too late to start over. But I’m especially interested in Tess’s story because people often take leaps with intent (“I’m moving to [x] to do [y]!”) and less often when we don’t know what it is exactly what we want to do besides what we’re already doing. It makes me think of this half-joking tweet by Adrian Chen, who freelances full-time:
I just tried to think of jobs outside of media and it sounded like a Richard Scarry book: "mailman, scientist, teacher…" Help.
— Adrian Chen (@AdrianChen) July 21, 2015
Times money reporter Ron Lieber put up a Facebook post announcing that he was giving away free copies of Vigeland’s book to five random people who left a comment about a leap they’ve made.
Here’s one I liked: “My now-husband and I quit our jobs to backpack around the world for a year before we got married. My mom said, ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’ I said, ‘Then it’ll be the best time and money I ever spent.'”
And this one because of how bluntly practical it is: “I leapt by leaving my tenure-track university position and taking a job in corporate America. My colleagues were stunned.”
A large portion of the comments are about a leap with intent: putting family first instead of careers. Money can only do so much.