Why You Should Quit Your Job Now, with Tess Vigeland

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

This is “Find Your Dream Job”, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-hosts, Ben Forstag, our managing director, and Jenna Forstrom, our community manager. Ever think about quitting your job? That’s our topic this week. Most of us would like to change jobs now. One survey cited by CBS News found that eighty four percent of Americans want to switch employers.

Yeah, most of us show up for work every Monday, even when we want to be somewhere else. There are lots of reasons why we do this. Top concerns people cite include family, money, and opportunity, but what if you walked out of your office today without lining up your next job? Does that sound crazy? This week, we’re talking to author Tess Vigeland who will make the case for why you should quit your job now even if you don’t have a plan B.

Ben Forstag has a federal website you can use to determine which employers are hiring if you do make that leap and Jenna Forstrom has a question from a listener. Our show this week is brought to you by our sponsor “The Weekend Resume Makeover” course developed by national resume expert, Jenny Foss. To learn more about how you can develop a professional quality resume in just two days, visit macslist.org/jobjenny.

Ben Forstag:

Hey, Mac. Ben here.

Mac Prichard:

Hey, Ben. How are you?

Ben Forstag:

I’m doing great. We get a lot of questions about resumes here at Mac’s List. I tell people we are not resume experts, Jenny is. What are the questions that you get and how do you think Jenny’s course can help them?

Mac Prichard:

The number one question I get, Ben, is, “Do I really need to tailor my resume for every application?” The answer is yes, because if you want to stand out in a stack of resumes, and it will be a stack if it’s a publicly posted position, you have to address some needs and concerns of an employer. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch, but you do need to tweak your resume.

When you do that, you’ll increase the odds that you’ll get an interview. Jenny shows you how to do this. I’ve seen her work with clients and I’ve seen the results that she’s produced. Her course will take you through the steps you need to follow to get an interview and get the job. If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to visit our website and you’ll find a link there for “The Weekend Resume Makeover”. Visit macslist.org/jobjenny.

Now, let’s turn to the Mac’s List team. Our topic this week is quitting a job without a plan B. Now I got to ask you … Jenna, Ben, have you two ever just quit a job not knowing what you were going to do next?

Jenna Forstrom:

I have ended a contract, so not quite quit a job, but ended a contract without a plan B.

Mac Prichard:

Why did you do that, Jenna, and what happened next?

Jenna Forstrom:

I was just really unhappy with the way the client was working. I just felt like it just kept on getting drawn out and drawn out and drawn out. For me, I needed a plan, so I was like, “I’m just going to end this, free myself from all these contractual ties, and just start clean.”

Mac Prichard:

Then what happened, Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

I took a couple days off to recover, freaked out about my finances, and started job hunting right away and landed a job at an agency a couple months later.

Mac Prichard:

Good. How about you, Ben?

Ben Forstag:

Twice, actually. The first time when my wife and I decided we wanted to move to Portland, we both decided that it would be best to inform our existing employers that we were leaving in a month or two and then, start the job search process. We quit our jobs and started looking for the next thing, knowing only that it would be in Portland someplace. I also quit a job here in Portland once just because it was a bad situation and I didn’t want to be there any longer.

I needed to really just cut the ties and move on to the next thing even if that next thing wasn’t lined up. Interesting story about both of these situations though, is that within a month of quitting those jobs, I was informed by my wife that she was pregnant. That added a layer of stress to that whole big unknown of the job search, trying to find a job to take care of my wife and my unborn children. Now, the joke is, Erin, my wife, has told me I’m not allowed to quit any more jobs because we don’t want a third child.

Mac Prichard:

Okay. That’s a connection I didn’t know about, so thanks for sharing that. I’ve quit jobs twice without having a plan B. Once when I was in college, I worked at the university library. I was worried, fretting about getting all my papers done and I quit a week early. I probably shouldn’t have done that. I’d committed to staying through the end of the semester, but nothing terrible happened.

When I was a professional in my mid-twenties, I quit not knowing what I wanted to do next from a job in Boston. Like you, Jenna, I just was unhappy and I wanted a change. It took me about six months to find my next gig, so it was a education, but it did work out for me in the end.  Let’s turn to Ben, who every week is out there looking for resources that you all, our listeners, can use. Ben, what have you found for us this week?

Ben Forstag:

This week, I want to talk about an online resource that I found that it has all kinds of interesting employment data. This is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also known as the BLS. It’s a part of the US Department of Labor. It’s the principle federal agency responsible for measuring all labor market activity in the United States.  Working conditions, price changes, employment, all things like that.

They have this quarterly newsletter called “Career Outlook”. It’s produced by the BLS and it’s all around employment trends. Career Outlook articles provide data and information on a variety of different topics including occupations and industries, pay, benefits, and more. This is actually written for the layperson, people like you and me, to help them plan their careers.

It’s a little bit more lively than your usual government report. It has four different features each quarter. One is the feature articles, which are an in-depth look at a range of career topics. For example, there’s a really excellent article about job interviewing in the most recent edition. If you are up against a job interview here soon, I’d definitely check it out because it’s like a two thousand word, real thorough deep dive into job interviews.

It’s good stuff. Another section explores unusual jobs through the work of someone in that occupation. This month they actually discuss mystery shoppers. I guess it sounds a whole lot more romantic or interesting than it really is. After reading about mystery shoppers, I don’t think this is a career that I would want to embrace.

Mac Prichard:

I’ve only met a mystery shopper once and it wasn’t their full-time gig. It was actually in Patagonia in Southern Argentina. They worked for American Express. They were on vacation, but they got to stay at a five star hotel in Buenos Aires as mystery shoppers.

Ben Forstag:

Well, that sounds cool.

Mac Prichard:

That was very cool.

Ben Forstag:

The article I read was about going to grocery stores and buying Hostess Cupcakes-

Jenna Forstrom:

Avocados. Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

Avocados and things like that. One of the things it said is oftentimes, mystery shoppers don’t even get paid. They get the product they’re supposed to go buy is what their payment is. They get to keep that.

Mac Prichard:

These people weren’t paid. Just for the benefit of our listeners, I’m usually not walking around Patagonia all the time. This is kind of an exotic aside, but I have a mystery shopper once.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah. Well, I guess it depends on where you’re mystery shopping. A third section includes interviews with specific workers about their career paths, what worked and what didn’t, helping them get to where they are today. What I found most interesting is the section called “Data on Display”, which is a graphic presentation of all kinds of different data, economic data, on employment and other topics.

Mac Prichard:

Ben, you’re a numbers guy, so I imagine this was a favorite section.

Ben Forstag:

I am. Yeah. Going through the archives, there’s all kinds of interesting nuggets of information, many of which might be able to help you in your career decisions. One of the most interesting ones is some hard data on the value of education, specifically how much more people make on average as they acquire more education and how unemployment decreases as you get more education or higher up the education ladder.

There’s a pretty strong correlation until you get to PhD’s and then everything takes a step backwards. The person with the PhD ends up making less than the person with the master’s degree, on average. Unemployment for PhD’s is actually higher than people with master’s degrees. Interesting stuff. This is called “The Career Outlook”. It’s on the Bureau of Labor and Management website. The url for this is bls.gov/careeroutlook. As I say every week, I will include a link in the show notes.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Well, thanks, Ben. If you’re not getting the show notes, you can go to our website and sign up for our weekly newsletter. If you’ve got a suggestion for Ben, write him and we may share your idea on the show. His address is ben@macslist.org. Now, it’s time to dive deep into the Mac’s List mailbag. Let’s turn to Jenna, who has the question of the week. Jenna, what do you hear from our listeners?

Jenna Forstrom:

Today’s question comes from Chris, who asks, “How does one brand themselves in the midst of a career or industry transition?” I thought this was a really great question. If you’re radically changing career paths midway through your career, some of the tips that I have are to review the current skills and then, compare them to job postings that you see online in your new career or your new industry, crafting a story around the change.

What’s the story behind why you’re making that change? “I’ve been doing X, but I found that in my personal life, I’m spending a lot of time doing Y and I would like to move that way and invest all of my time in that” using the pivot method, which I know we’ve talked about in previous podcasts. Then, just being honest, like, “Signed up for this, I’m not happy with it, I’m going back to school and changing my story.” How about, Ben, Mac, any other tips?

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. I mean, I think the big one is when you make a decision that you want to switch to a new career or a new industry, just looking at your current skills and seeing how they translate to the new job you’re going for. It may well be in a lot of situations that there are a lot of transferable skills there, it’s just about reframing that experience you have in a new direction.

It may also well be that you don’t have all the skills that you need to have to get to where you want to be and then, that’s where you consider going back to school so you can get those skills or volunteering or doing some other educational approach. I think framing everything, what you’ve done around the new objective, is the key.

Yeah. I like your point, Jenna, about having a story, an explanation, as to why you’re making this change. When you offer that up, you remove an objection that might be in the employer’s mind that maybe they never raise with you. By laying out why you’re doing this and how it’s going to benefit the employer, you’re going to increase the chances of success.

Jenna Forstrom:

Awesome. If you have a question for me, leave a comment on our Facebook page. If we use your question on a future podcast, you win a special prize.

Mac Prichard:

Thanks, Jenna, and thanks, Ben. These segments by Ben and Jenna are sponsored by “The Weekend Resume Makeover” course from renowned resume coach, Jenny Foss. Now when you find that perfect job, you need to craft a killer resume, one that gets noticed and lands you an interview. You need to do it quickly before someone else snags your dream job. You could pay for a custom resume or you can save time and money by learning the tips and tricks for resume writing yourself.

Job Jenny’s Weekend Resume Makeover course teaches you how to think like a hiring manager. It takes you through a step by step process that’s proven to make your resume stand out and get the attention your application deserves. Weekend Resume Makeover captures everything Jenny Foss does best: making things simple, getting results, and having some fun along the way. To see the Weekend Resume Makeover course for yourself, visit our website. Go to macslist.org/jobjenny.

Now, let’s turn to this week’s guest, Tess Vigeland. Tess Vigeland had her dream job in broadcast journalism for twenty years including serving as anchor for National Public Radio’s “Marketplace”. She’s the author of “Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want.” Tess also writes for the New York Times and the Guardian, among numerous other publications. She joins us from Southeast Asia. Tess, thanks for being on the show.

Tess Vigeland:

Thank you. It’s a delight to be here.

Mac Prichard:

Now, Tess, tell us about your story. Why did you quit your job?

Tess Vigeland:

It’s a long story, but I will give you the Cliff’s Notes version.

Mac Prichard:

All right. That’ll be great.

Tess Vigeland:

Okay. I had been in public broadcasting for more than twenty years and I, as you noted, had my dream job and was in a job that I absolutely loved. I loved the work itself. For various reasons, I just felt like it was time for a change and I don’t go into.  Some of those reasons, clearly, you don’t leave a job if you are super happy with the people you’re working for. The problem was, for me.  Well, it was two things.

First of all, I wasn’t sure where to go after I reached the top of the career ladder. You kind of look around and you’re like, “Well, what are my options?” The second thing was that I didn’t really have that second career that everybody is supposed to have. You’re always supposed to have this dream job that you’re reaching for and I already had it. I had no idea what else I wanted to do in life, because I really I loved the work that I was doing. I think it was the work that I was meant to do.

What I ended up doing was I left that job without having any idea what I wanted to do next. I think it was partly I was a little crazy, but I also just decided that after twenty years, I, at the very least, would be able to make it on my own, at least for a little while. I was pretty confident that something else would come along right away. It didn’t come along right away, but I did end up writing a book about this experience. It’s been quite the journey, quite the adventure. Again, there were a lot of things that went into that decision, but I look back and it was absolutely the right decision to make.

Mac Prichard:

I’ve had a chance to read your blog posts and articles you’ve posted about your experience. You make the case for why people should consider quitting a job without having a plan B in place. Of course, that goes against the conventional wisdom, which is, you should always be thinking not only about your next position, but perhaps the one after that or even the one after that. There was no master plan in place and you’ve had a good experience. Tell me, Tess, for people who are listening, how would they know that it’s time to quit without that plan B in place? What signs should they look for?

Tess Vigeland:

Yeah. Well, Mac.  I had a personal finance program, a call in show actually, for the last six years of my career. I was among those people who would say, “Never ever, ever, ever quit your job without having something else lined up.” I don’t say that anymore because I think life is much more complicated than that. I think that just looking back, I’ve found that there are a few things that are hints that you need to pay attention to if maybe it’s time for you to, if not up and quit without another plan, then at least think about what your next steps might be.

One of those is actually a line from a speech that I gave several years ago. It’s that, “It is time to go when you have too much self respect to stay.” This is what I was kind of alluding to when I talked about not being particularly pleased with the people I was working for. I think that if you have that feeling of being undervalued constantly in what you do, disrespected in any way, shape, or form, and certainly if you are being mistreated, you don’t have to put up with that.

Life is far too short to be saying to yourself, “Oh, this is the only thing that I can do. I’ve got to keep food on the table, I don’t have any other options.” Well, there are always other options. Yes, money is a consideration that you must deal with before you do anything like this. That said, I think what keeps us back even more than anything else is fear. If you are experiencing something that is not good for you in your workplace, you really need to take a look at that. If the cost outweighs the benefits, you got to get out.

Second of all, your body will tell you that it’s time to go. My hair started falling out. Some of the people that I talked to for the book, they either got back pains that they had never had before and they were in perfect physical condition or they started getting migraines, something like that. You need to pay attention to those signs as well. Honestly, if you are asking yourself the question “How will I know when it’s time to go?”, it’s past time to start thinking about that. You really need to start making a plan.

Mac Prichard:

I can certainly identify with the signals of the body comment. In my twenties, I had a job doing media relations in Boston. It’s a tough market. I learned a lot from that job and I won’t go into the details, but it was not a good fit for me because of many of the things that you’re talking about. When I left that position for another job, magically, those pains went away.

Tess Vigeland:

Yeah. It’s not magic. Your body speaks to you. It really does. You know, YOU KNOW, when something is amiss. The problem is it’s too often, way too often, we just kind of shove that down, we try to ignore it, we try to tell ourselves that there’s something else going on, but we know. You know deep in your heart of hearts that something’s going on with you at work. Your body is screaming at you. The thing that you need to do is really pay attention to that and honor it.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I think that’s a powerful message. Now, Tess, you share your own story in your book, but I know you interviewed, I think, more than eighty people about their experiences. What were some of the benefits you saw either personally or in the people you talked to about the benefits of quitting?

Tess Vigeland:

Oh, man, there are so many. They’re different for every person, but I think first and foremost, and this went for me as well, ultimately what people garner is a sense of confidence, of renewed confidence, in your ability as a person to bounce back from adversity, to find a way to get through the tough times. There will be tough times after taking such a huge risk.

Aside from just personally having more confidence, really what it tells you is that you have skills that are marketable. I think we don’t take the time to really look at what we do in the workplace and figure out how those skills are translatable. There are things that I did in my job, and I’m sure that this is true for you as well and a lot of your listeners, where you’ll be describing what you do to somebody and you’d say, “Oh … I could do that by the back of my hand. That’s just simple. I can do that in my sleep.”

Well, if you look at what that is.  Probably most of the people out there can’t do that. It’s a skill that you’ve developed over the years, particularly if you are mid-career, that because you do it so well, because you do it so often, you forget that it’s a skill. I didn’t even think of public speaking as a skill. I spent twenty years on the radio and during a lot of that time, I would go out and visit public radio stations around the country.

I would talk to audiences and I talked to audiences every day on the air. For me, that was just part of who I was. It was just part of my DNA. What I found out after I quit was, no, actually that’s a very valuable skill. Most people … The last thing in the world they want to do is get up on a stage and talk to even one person, much less thousands.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. I think public speaking ranks as the second or third fear that people have.

Tess Vigeland:

Right. Exactly. For me, that was a skill that I could market. I really encourage people to sit down and think about what you do on a daily basis that you don’t even realize you’re doing that, perhaps, is a skill that is something that you could take away from that particular job site and turn it into something different.

It’s really, really valuable to sit down and do an exercise of that. Just figuring that out will, again, give you this confidence that so many people don’t have because they’ve been doing the same thing for a long time and they cannot imagine doing anything else. I think that is the most valuable thing that most of the people I talked to walked away with.

Mac Prichard:

Okay. Well, I can imagine our listeners saying, “Well, that sounds great, Tess”, but let’s bring it back to your old beat, finance. What about money? What advice do you give people about how they should take money into consideration before they take the leap?

Tess Vigeland:

Yeah. The original working title of the book that I wrote was, “Leap Without a Net”. We decided at some point in the process that that was a really bad piece of advice. I think you hear a lot that, “Oh, just quit your job. Follow your passion and the riches will come.” Well, first of all, I didn’t have another passion and second of all, that is not how it works.

You have got to be able to have a roof over your head and food on the table before you do something like this. Now, perhaps that sounds like it’s coming from a place of privilege. “Oh, yeah, Tess. You must have won the lottery and that’s what allowed you to quit your job.” No, but I was married at the time and my husband made enough money to pay the mortgage.

Now, things got really tight in the house and we couldn’t do a lot of the things that we did before I quit, but that said, we pared down. Our life became much more simple, which was a blessing in disguise. We did know what our worst case scenario looked like, right? You go through the exercise of what that looks like.

Does it mean that you tap into your retirement fund? Which, of course, as I was doing a personal finance show, I would never recommend, but we knew that it was an option if worse came to worst. Do you go back and live with parents or friends? What are you willing to do financially in order to make it so that you can take a leap like this without ending up under a bridge? That’s very difficult.

I understand that a lot of people live week to week, month to month, and they don’t know where the next paycheck is coming from. If that is the case for you, do not do this. This is not something that everyone can do. I think we also sometimes take a look at our finances and just automatically assume that there’s no room to breathe and that we can’t do anything about our own lifestyles to make it so that this is possible for ourselves.

You need to do the hard work of really taking a look at what that bottom line is for you and see if you can cut back somewhere. See if you can make changes in your financial life to make it possible for you to step back for a few weeks, can it be a few months … For me, it’s been a few years, although of course, I’ve been freelancing. That’s been wonderful for me. What can you do to allow yourself the room to breathe?

Mac Prichard:

Well, let’s talk about identity because certainly in the United States, but I think this is true around the world, a lot of our identity is tied up in our job. How have you dealt with that and how have you seen other people deal with those barriers? What’s been your experience, Tess?

Tess Vigeland:

Boy, Mac, that is really just a function of time. For me, my identity was entirely my work, in part because I was a public figure. I had an identity that was very exciting. Journalism is a very exciting thing to do. I had a national radio show. People would recognize me by my voice in elevators. I never thought of myself as anything other than Public Radio’s Tess Vigeland.

What I had to figure out ultimately was who I was just as Tess Vigeland. That was a really long process. In fact, if I’m being honest, I am still figuring that out. I still don’t know really who I am outside of what now I used to do for a living. That’s a very difficult process to go through. The first time you walk into a party, what’s the first question you ask? What’s the first question people ask of you?

Mac Prichard:

“What do you do?”

Tess Vigeland:

Yeah.  I don’t do that anymore. In fact, it’s the last question I ask. I will even tell people, “Look I’m not going to ask you what you do for a living because I don’t want to know. I have a feeling that is not the most interesting thing about you and I would like to hear about other aspects of you that might be interesting.”

I have made sure that.  I have figured out what those other aspects are for myself that are interesting about me aside from the fact that I used to be on the radio. Now, I am fortunate that now I can talk about being an author, so I’ve had new identities. Now I’m a traveler. Now I’m a professional wanderer. You mentioned I’m in Southeast Asia. I’m doing that for the next year.

Find things about yourself that you can talk about with people. Maybe it’s something that you do on the weekends. Maybe it’s something you do with your family. Maybe it’s an identity that people don’t even know about you. Do you love video games? Do you play the cello? Is there something else that you can build an identity around?

It doesn’t just have to be one thing. I mean, that’s the other thing with making it what you do for a living. That’s just one thing. There are so many other things about us as human beings that make us far more interesting than what we do from 9:00 to 5:00. It’s a tough process to go through that and figure out what that is, but it is entirely worth it and you will find those things.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. I think that’s great advice whether you’re currently employed or you’ve taken the leap and left a job without having that plan B. We are much more than our jobs alone. Each of us has so many different skills and relationships. I think we do ourselves a discredit when we focus just on our career and our job title.

Tess Vigeland:

Amen, amen.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. Well, Tess, what else would you like to add for our listeners?

Tess Vigeland:

I suppose that my final piece of advice would be, “Don’t keep waiting.” When it comes to, for example, monetary goals, don’t set them so high that you will never make them. This is another thing we do. We decide that we need five million dollars in the bank before we’re going to quit our jobs. Well, what are the chances that you’re going to get the five million dollars?

You’re setting yourself up not to be able to do something that you really need to do. I think that goes for emotional preparedness as well. We tell ourselves, “Oh, I really need to think about this for a really long time. I need to have it all mapped out” and then, we never draw the map. We never get ourselves to the point where we’re willing to just jump off that ledge.

As I said, it’s not wise to jump off without having any sort of net below you, but I think we expect that net to be a foot from us before we do something like this. Mine was at the very bottom of the canyon. I just decided that I had to do it for my own sense of well-being, for my own sense of self worth. Don’t set those goals so far ahead of yourself and so high that you never take that leap. You never know what it’s going to do for you. Risk is really scary, but the rewards can be quite remarkable.

Mac Prichard:

Well, thank you, Tess. Tell us what’s coming up for you next.

Tess Vigeland:

Well, I decided late last fall actually, in the fall of 2015, that one of the things I really wanted to do with my life was see other parts of the world. That’s what I’m doing. I sold my house, packed up everything, and left in December. I am now in Southeast Asia where I just moved to Bangkok after four months in Saigon. I’ve visited Sri Lanka and Thailand and Cambodia and Japan in the process.

I don’t know when I’m coming back. I have lived my life without a plan for the last almost four years now. I’m really enjoying it. I actually have no idea where I’m going to go next. I’ll probably be in Bangkok for a couple months, then I’ll live somewhere else. I’m not doing the whole backpacker one country a week thing that a lot of people do, that’s not how I travel. That’s not how I roll.

I am living a life that is peripatetic and very adventurous. I’m enjoying every single moment of it. It’s not easy. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m having a lot of fun. I never would have imagined three and a half years ago when I quit my job that this is what would have happened. It’s great.

Mac Prichard:

Great. Well, thank you. To learn more about Tess, go to her website. It’s tessuntethered.com. We’ll be sure to include that in the show notes. Tess, thanks so much for joining us.

Tess Vigeland:

Mac, thank you. Great questions and I really enjoyed it.

Mac Prichard:

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Ben and Jenna. Now tell me, are you two ready to quit your jobs? Will I see you tomorrow?

Ben Forstag:

Well, no.  Actually, hearing Tess’s story brought back all these memories of the last time I quit my job. Like you, I was having physical ailments before I made that decision. I was waking up in the middle of the night and headaches and backaches and things. I remember when I finally made that decision that “Enough is enough, I’m already in a hole I need to stop digging”, a lot of those problems went away.

I really liked her point about finding other things to build your identity around. I was so tied up in my job at the time. When I forced myself to take time off and quit, it opened up all of these other opportunities that I didn’t have. The big one for me was my wife and I had a eight month old son.

It gave me this great opportunity just to spend time with him. I was his primary caretaker for four or five months, which is an opportunity most parents don’t get. For me, it was a great situation. Fortunately, I had the means to do it, but it’s pretty scary at the same time, not something I necessarily want to do again.

Mac Prichard:

It is scary. We didn’t have time to talk about this in the interview, but reading Tess’s blog posts, I know one of the things that she recommends that you do when you do leave a job is take advantage of the time. Don’t spend all your time plotting your next move or looking for your next position. Take time to pursue personal interests. When I was out of work once, we actually got a puppy. That was Kaiser’s predecessor two dogs ago, but it was a good time to have a dog.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah. We’ve talked in the past about the gift of time. I’ve often told friends, “You either have money or you have time, but you rarely do have both. When you have one or the other, take advantage of it.”

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. What are your thoughts, Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

I had a similar thought about the identity. Even when I was job hunting most recently before I came to Mac’s List.  Getting coffee or meeting new friends, they’d be like, “What do you do?” I was like, “I’m a skier.” I needed an identity and I needed something that wasn’t like, “Well, I’m unemployed and looking”, even though Mac’s List says to tell people right away. It’s just so hard to get over that cultural acceptance and wanting to feel a part of something. I’d just say, “Oh, I’m taking the winter off and being a ski bum.” That worked.

I also really liked her thoughts on, in the middle of the conversation, talking about thinking about what you do really, really well and what your friends say you’re really good at. She’s really good at public speaking and I was blessed to see her speak at WDS a couple years ago when she announced that she was leaving … Yeah. I can’t imagine being on stage and saying something like that. Just thinking about what you’re specifically really good at and using that to market yourself.

Ben Forstag:

I should note, Jenna, that in Oregon, being a ski bum is a recognized career.

Jenna Forstrom:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

I think that’s actually an elite profession.

Jenna Forstrom:

I’m working on my goggle tan.

Mac Prichard:

Okay. Well, thank you, Jenna, thanks, Ben, and thank you, our listeners. If you like what you hear on our show, you can help us by leaving a review and rating at iTunes. This helps others discover the show and helps us serve more job seekers. Take a moment and leave your own comment and ratings. Just go to www.macslist.org/itunes.

Now, here’s a email we received from John in Hartland, Wisconsin. He writes, “I just finished listening to your podcast regarding work over fifty. Very well done. I found it very informational. I look forward to hearing more of your podcasts. Keep up the great work.”

Ben Forstag:

That was a good show. I remember Kerry had some really astute points for older job seekers. I’ve heard from other folks who’ve said that they got a lot of good lessons from her as well.

Mac Prichard:

Well, I enjoyed that show too, Ben. I thought Kerry did a great job. We’ve had actually a lot of positive feedback about that episode.

Jenna Forstrom:

Hey, Mac. We’ve got some more exciting news here on our podcast.

Mac Prichard:

Oh, what’s that, Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

We are now available on Google Play for our Android users.

Mac Prichard:

Okay.

Jenna Forstrom:

Spread the word.

Ben Forstag:

If you have a friend who hasn’t been able to listen to the show because they’ve got an Android device, let them know the good news.

Mac Prichard:

Well, great. Well, that’s a great tip. Thank you all for listening. We’ll be back next Wednesday with more tools and tips you can use to find your dream job.

Ever think about quitting your job? A vast majority of people do. One survey cited by CBS News found that 84% of Americans want to switch employers. Yet most of us show up for work every Monday even when we want to be somewhere else.

There are many reasons we don’t quit our job–even jobs that make us unhappy. Top concerns people cite include: family, money and opportunity. But what if you walked out of your office today without lining up your next job? Does that sound crazy?

This week on Find Your Dream Job, we speak to author Tess Vigeland, who makes a case for why you should quit your job now – even if you don’t have a “Plan B.” She shares her personal story and explains how to quit your job… today!

This Week’s Guest

Tess Vigeland had her dream job in broadcast journalism for 20 years, including serving as anchor for National Public Radio’s Marketplace. She is the author of Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want. Tess also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian, among numerous other publications.

Resources from this Episode