The subtitle to this book by personal finance journalist Tess Vigeland is a bold proposition indeed: “Leaving a job with no Plan B to find the career and life you really want.”
Let me say that I do not necessarily recommend leaving a job with no Plan B. However, I’ve done it myself and survived – and I sure wish I’d had “Leap” to help me along the way.
It would have made things a lot clearer and helped with the anxiety and doubt. Part autobiography and part self-help book, it helps readers deal with the fear and uncertainty but also gets them to think clearly about their working selves: “Who am I without my job?”
The answer may enlighten in terms of what new work to seek – or, indeed, whether to seek a new definition of labor.
That’s not as privileged as it sounds. Sure, some people have to get work right away in order to keep the wolf from the door. Others might revamp their budgets and their lives, and maybe make deals with their partners/spouses (“If my pet-sitting business doesn’t prosper within six months I’ll take a regular day job again”) in order to try something different.
And speaking of budgets: This week’s winner will also get the PDF version of “Your Playbook For Tough Times: Living Large On Small Change, For The Short Term Or The Long Haul,” to help him or her get creative about finances.
(Those who don’t win can get a PDF for just $4 by visiting this link and using the discount code LEAP. That code is good through Feb. 3 only; after that, the price reverts to $6.99.)
Taking that leap of faith
I had no job and no prospects when I fled my abusive marriage. But if I hadn’t, who knows where I would be today? Miserable, certainly; or maybe dead from stress and heartache.
So I leapt.
Then I made the choice to go back and finally get a college degree – and not to work a regular job, even a part-time one. That was another big leap, because I had divorce-related debt and no savings. Yet it led to a job as three-times-a-week personal finance blogger at MSN Money, which got me through college and also let me pay off my debt and help my daughter.
This leap wasn’t only about making a living, though. The MSN gig allowed me to share what I’d learned about frugality and intentional living with a huge audience, many of whom were being hammered by the recession.
And back in September 2013, when MSN Money fired all its writers on the same day, I took a long, hard look at my next step. Did I want to find work to replace the darned decent salary that I’d been receiving? Well, sure. But didn’t I also want more time with loved ones and the chance to try new things? Yes to that as well, and yet another leap.
By deciding not to push it, I opened myself up to other opportunities: to help family and friends (with child care, rides, editing and more), speak at conferences, travel, create my online blog-writing course, and write “Playbook” and its sequel (not quite done but I’m getting close).
Fully aware that I’m one of the lucky ones. Yet I’m also increasingly cognizant of the fact that intentional living and careful spending helped me put myself in the position to make such choices. As they say, “‘Luck’ is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
To enter the giveaway for “Leap” and “Playbook,” do one or more of the following:
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The deadline to enter is 7 p.m. PST Thursday, Feb. 2. If I don’t hear back from the winner by 7 p.m. PST Friday, Feb. 3, I’ll have the random number generator pull another name.