Sunday, September 20, 2015

Not Much of a Net

Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want - Tess Vigeland (Harmony Books)

In what can only be described as a changing workplace literally tens of thousands of people have gone through a dramatic change in their careers through no choice of their own as their jobs were eliminated. Many have transformed their former careers into new businesses, working as freelancers or starting their own company.

It may seem hard to believe, but there are folks who have made that choice, on their own. That’s where former NPR host Tess Vigeland, allegedly comes in with her book, Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want. Vigeland, apparently frustrated by her work situation and a career ceiling she was experiencing, decided to walk away from what she describes as a “dream job” and take the leap into an “uncertain” future.

If you are pondering taking a similar “leap” and you turn to Vigeland looking for advice in the pages of this book, you’re likely to end up deeply disappointed. You won’t find much in the way of actionable guidance or insight into steps you can take once you take the plunge. While the book alludes to such guidance, it reads more like part memoir and part journal, a pseudo-psychological run down of the thoughts and feelings Vigeland experienced post leap, and reads like so much self-indulgence.

Based on her own words, while Vigeland experienced a lifestyle change, she really never had to worry about the roof over her head or food on her table, given that her husband was there to play safety net for her leap. I think I would find greater value in a book written by someone who was displaced from a career and successfully reinvented themselves.

Call me a commercial radio snob, but I built a successful career behind a microphone, without the aid of a team of producers to do the heavy lifting or the relative security of having taxpayers to fund the operation of my broadcast company. Sorry, but Vigeland comes off like a whiner who couldn’t get what she wanted so she took her ball and bat a left. When the broadcast industry changed, I reinvented myself and changed careers without the luxury of a safety net to protect my family.

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