For Life on Purpose Episode #31, my guest is veteran journalist, speaker, and author Tess Vigeland, a well-known voice to millions of American radio listeners as the longtime host with public radio’s Marketplace. In the fall of 2012, she quit what she considered her “dream job” without having a Plan B lined up, or even any idea what she wanted to do next. This set the stage for what happened next…

Tess joins me for a great conversation about careers, being defined by our jobs, vulnerability, her life changing speech at WDS 2013 in Portland, and her brand new book Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want, which was published on August 25.

About Tess Vigeland:

Tess Vigeland is a veteran journalist, and a well-known voice to millions of American radio listeners. She is the CEO of Tess Vigeland Productions, a Los Angeles-based multi-media company. Tess spent 11 years as an anchor for public radio’s Marketplace, including six hosting the personal finance show Marketplace Money.

Her first book, titled Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want, is due out August 25, 2015, from Random House Harmony. When she’s not locked away writing, Tess can be heard as a backup anchor for NPR’s All Things Considered, as well as KCRW’s To The Point and KPCC’s Take Two in Los Angeles.

She also serves as a professional emcee, speaker, panel moderator, and interviewer for conferences and other events. Tess also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian, among numerous other publications.

To learn more about Tess, visit:

LeapAbout LEAP: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want:

Until recently, Tess Vigeland was a longtime host with public radio’s Marketplace; it was a rewarding, high-status job, and Tess was very good at it—but she’d begun to feel restless.

Without any definite, clear sense of what she wanted to do next (but an absolute certainty that what she’d been doing was no longer truly satisfying), she walked away from her dream job and into a vast unknown. Suddenly she was no longer “Marketplace’s Tess Vigeland,” she was just Tess Vigeland.

For the multitude of Americans who change jobs mid-career (by choice or circumstance), the growing legions of freelance workers, and the entrepreneurially-minded who see self-employment as an increasingly more appealing and viable option, Tess Vigeland has created a personal and well-researched account of leaping without a net.

With her signature humor, she writes honestly about the fear, uncertainty, and risk involved in leaving the traditional workforce—but also the excitement, resources, and possibilities that are on the other side.

Leap is also about finding a new definition of success. Tess poses the important question – “Who am I without my job?” She shares the accounts of people who struggled with this question before and after they took their own leap of faith, and ended up finding out more about themselves than they’d thought possible.

Success doesn’t have to be measured by salary or a traditional career path, as so many of us are conditioned to think, but by your own happiness and fulfillment.

Part memoir and part field guide, this book offers a funny, thoughtful, and provocative look at how to find satisfaction and success when pursuing a career less ordinary.