was the tweet I got from a friend when the press release went out
announcing I'd resigned. It was a typical and understandable reaction.
I'd spent 20-plus years in public radio, eleven of them as a host for
public radio's business and economics program Marketplace.
It was a great job, my dream job, for a very long time. But I knew I
had to go, and I left in November 2012 (after giving three months'
Looking for a job? Check the Los Gatos Patch Jobs page. How do you know when it's time to go? It
was an extraordinarily hard decision for me. Partly, I was tired of the
subject matter. There are only so many times you can tell people to
save for retirement and college and not to rack up credit card debt or
buy things they can't afford -- before you feel like a broken record
week in and week out.
I also left for internal workplace reasons
that I'm keeping private. I will say, though, that you know it's time to
go, when you have too much self-respect to stay. And when you're so
stressed out that you start losing your hair. Yes, that actually
happened to me.
Who was I now, without my job? Leaving
led to a year of me trying to find out who I was. What dream was I
chasing? What the hell had I done, quitting without a safety net, or a
plan? I was no longer "Marketplace's Tess Vigeland." She was awesome!
She had this fantastic job that made her kinda famous (at least in the
public radio universe), she had a national microphone, she had fans, she
had twenty years' worth of incredible opportunities. She was
Less than two weeks after I left, Guy Raz announced
he was leaving as the host of NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Seven
months followed of interviews, auditions -- and then rejection. They
told me I was runner-up.
Then I gave a speech In July, only one week after learning I hadn't gotten the NPR position, I gave a speech at the World Domination Summit,
an annual gathering of creative types, entrepreneurs, and bloggers. And
I told them why I quit and my confusion about what to do next. Some
3,000 people were in the audience. One of them was an editor at a book
publisher, who contacted me as my speech went viral.
later I had a contract to write a book that I'm calling Act Four. Soon
after, I got a call from AOL Jobs' editor asking me to blog. So here I
am, blogging about my journey -- and people like me.
not the only one questioning modern notions of success, experiencing
both fear and excitement while being "adrift," wondering how to pursue
genuine happiness in the face of constant pressure to top our own
accomplishments -- and others'.
Are you dreaming of bailing too? Tell us below in Comments.