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Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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"The greatest impediments to growth and happiness are the fear of quitting or failing. Vigeland boldly stares both fears in the fact, undaunted. A brave book that opens us up to a life of renewing and adapting - and doing it successfully."
-- Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage
"Right from the first sentence, I was swept up by Tess Vigeland's highly engaging memoir. Leap is a crisp, endearing, articulate tale of personal disruption."
--Whitney Johnson, Author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work
"Tess Vigeland's Leap is a brave book about leaving a job you love (or don't really love) to find something even better. Even if you've already reached Dream Job status - and especially if you haven't - it will show you how to get what you really want out of your career and your life."
-Chris Guillebeau, New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup and The Happiness of Pursuit
About the Author
TESS VIGELAND was a host/anchor with public radio's Marketplace from 2001 to 2012. Since leaving her position at Marketplace she has hosted NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, America Abroad, Take Two (at KPCC-LA), and To the Point and Which Way, L.A.? (at KCRW-LA). She's also written for the New York Times, The Guardian, Forbes, and AOL, and has been a featured speaker and emcee at World Domination Summit and Chicago Ideas Week Edison Talks. She now spends her days pursuing what matters to her—speaking, writing, connecting with her fans, and practicing her new passion of photography.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tess Vigeland spends much of the book talking about her own situation and how great she was doing in her public broadcasting radio career--I guess to dramatize what she was giving up by resigning. I go through spells of listening to NPR and in general like their stories. But the author lacks a filter in describing what she had accomplished and how she talked to her parents, her friends and to others who contacted her in her research for this book. Those stories were almost too emotional and personal--relevant to her and not people hoping for some insights about whether or not they should leap to another career. Not until the very end of the book does she even mention what she saw as her purpose in better informing her audience. Up until then it was only her side of the job, how far she had risen in the NPR organization, how good she was at interviewing people, how others did the dirty work of putting together the broadcast, etc.
I wondered throughout if this was indicative of the celebrity culture we're increasingly a part of. People getting exposure, gaining Facebook and Twitter followers, getting people to admire them from afar. Was Tess Vigeland worried more about that side of her career or what she was able to do from that platform? As other reviewers have mentioned, the book and chapters jump around from one point to another and it's difficult to figure it all out.
Others' stories of their own leaps are sprinkled in throughout the author's own story. At the end of the book she talks about how important it is to be able to tell your story about how and what you've accomplished in your career. That's essentially what is done in these stories about others. While several of those people apparently benefitted from their career shifts, very few seem to have found what they were hoping for. If this book was meant to encourage people to make the leap, it doesn't do a very good job of accomplishing that.
Finally, in the last chapter, Vigeland almost apologizes for having implied up-front that she could give others insights but has pretty much failed to accomplish that. She admits that she was approached about writing this book (for money) only 11 days after she resigned from her job. And this was her first book. Writing your first book is tough, so you have to admire the effort. But people have to admire the person who has written a memoir, and it felt like the author needed to build up her credentials so as to be admired. At that point some insights might have been helpful, but--unfortunately--they never came.
I've been anticipating this book for months, and well, it's a book written for herself, not for the masses. It's as if Vigeland took her worry journal and peppered it with interviews with other professionals so that the book can appear "well researched." She spends the majority of the book telling herself that she's not a loser and not to worry about what other people think. The book has 13 chapters--she reiterates this self-preserving sentiment in every chapter.
"Leap" was a fast read and filled with Ms. Vigeland's charm, personality and personal insights which included some painfully personal ones. This self-scrutiny and honesty endeared me to the book and its author but many of other 'leapers' stories set my teeth on edge. Almost all of them seemed to have 'leapt' from fairly secure platforms: financial savings, personal and professional contacts, and often options for free-lance work (such as Ms. Vigeland herself had access to). The one example of an 'everyman' who leapt from his job ended badly and sadly for him.
This book felt half-baked, as if it was written from a perspective too close to the event (as apparently it was). I kept feeling I wanted a longer view perspective, say 3 to 5 years out when the realities of a major decision can take on a more meaningful shape. Maybe a follow-up book titled "Leapt and still Living" ?
It was a fast read.