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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 they 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The greatest impediments to growth and happiness are the fear of quitting or failing…A brave book that opens us up to a life of renewing and adapting—and doing it successfully.”

    Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and New York Times bestselling author

  • “Tess Vigeland’s Leap is a brave book about leaving a job you love (or don’t really love) to find something even better. Even if you’ve already reached dream job status—and especially if you haven’t— it will show you how to get what you really want out of your career and your life.”

    Chris Guillebeau, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Tess Vigeland’s broadcast voice was notable for its satisfying clarity and intellectual certitude. The softer confidence evident in this audio is a good vehicle for her message that internal measures of success are more enduring than relying on a job to define one’s worth…More inspiration than advice, Vigeland’s book is essential listening in this age of professional insecurity.”


  • “Right from the first sentence, I was swept up by Tess Vigeland’s highly engaging memoir. Leap is a crisp, endearing, articulate tale of personal disruption.”

    Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself

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About the Author

Tess Vigeland was the host of NPR’s Marketplace from 2006 to 2012. She now spends her days pursuing what matters to her—speaking, writing, connecting with her fans, and gardening.