Book Reviews by Devorah Allen

An Uplifting Book about Changing Careers with No Net

Leap, Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life you Really Want, by Tess Vigeland, 2015, New York, Harmony Books, 242 pages, $23.00 hardback. ISBN 978-0-8041-4075-1

This book is not a primer on how to leave your job and what to do next. If only it was that easy.

Ms. Vigeland is transparent that she and her fellow leapers were insecure, doubtful and at times even self-loathing during the journey of leaping from a career to what’s next without a net.

She is clear that this is not an easy step to take in one’s life and she doesn’t attempt to sugarcoat the issue as some other ‘self-help’ books tend to do. There isn’t any little magic pill one can take to make it all easy. It’s not easy. She offers no guarantees you will land nicely (some don’t) or that you won’t regret leaping (some do). The uplifting part is that, despite all you will go through, she still believes ‘Leap and the Net Will Appear’ (pg. 236).

One thing I really appreciated about the book is that she has given concrete examples using real stories of the emotions that play such a huge part in the pre-during-post leap. It’s not just dry details about how to structure your day or how to eventually charge for your products/services, but how the leaper feels in those moments, such as the gnawing, pervasive, constant fear that no Plan B = certain disaster. I mean, how idiotic do we have to be to leave a perfectly good, high-paying position to do …. what?

I do wish she would have spent more time elucidating how the leaper could go about figuring out what they want before leaping – some idea at least. One must figure out how to replace income (usually) very quickly after all. Leaping is not for the weak of heart or the unorganized.

Three positive thoughts from the book:

  1. You don’t have to be defined by your work (pg. 4). In fact, success begins to take on a different definition for each person who leaps (pg. 141).
  2. Other people’s reaction to your quitting without a Plan B says more about their own lives (secure or insecure) than it does about yours (pg. 90-91).Yay!
  3. The “sunk-cost fallacy” says that if you leave the career you’ve built over many years that you have essentially wasted it – but that’s not true; it is part of your DNA. You don’t just lose it because you decided to do something else (pg. 108-109, 225).

Consider before leaping:

  1. Having 6 months’ worth of salary saved to soften the landing (pg. 157, 163). Plan an escape fund if you can.
  2. Staying in a “stable” career may end up costing you more, because you are losing out on other opportunities and experiences that can make you even more marketable (pg. 176, 178, 230).
  3. Working through: who am I outside of what I do? (pg. 230). WOW.
  4. Surrounding yourself with people that can help you reimagine your life after the job/career you will leave, or who themselves are also living in the leap (pg. 91-92). YES. Stay away from Debbie Downers.
  5. Think about… “what you are willing to give up in the pursuit of happiness, fulfillment, curiosity, mental and emotional health… when you have, in fact, quit (pg. 157, 193)”.

Consider if you’ve already leapt:

  1. Taking some time to be unproductive. Rejuvenation is great for creativity and inspiration (pg. 80). YES. Decompress.
  2. Figuring out what you want people to know about you and why you are making such a big change. (pg. 230-231) – Because they WILL ask.
  3. Other people struggle every day with their own leap, and although it isn’t easy, it canwork (pg. 233).
  4. Getting comfortable in being uncomfortable, but also being proud that you were brave enough to leap out in faith to create something that’s more meaningful for your life (pg. 235).

Overall this is a good read for anyone that has an itchy idea that they might leap out into the unknown – as a Consultant, or an Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner.

Devorah Allen is owner of Allen-Solorio Consulting and a Certified Professional of Learning and Performance. She has an MBA from Cal State Long Beach and has written several blogs and articles for the Association for Talent Development (td.org) and Training Industry (trainingindustry.com).

 

 

Review Copyright Devorah Allen 2018. All rights reserved.

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