When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want

When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want

When Mike Lewis was twenty-four and working in a prestigious corporate job, he eagerly wanted to leave and pursue his dream of becoming a professional squash player. But he had questions: When is the right time to move from work that is comfortable to a career you have only dared to dream of? How have other people made such a jump? What did they feel when making that jump—...

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Title:When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want
Author:Mike Lewis
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Edition Language:English

When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want Reviews

  • Kim

    won from librarything.com

    got in mail today

  • Serendipity Marie

    Watching my niece's gymnastics competition - I use the term "competition" loosely considering I changed her diaper less than 3 years ago - I'm struck by the difference in the little girls' faces as they jump from the balance beam. They are all the same age. They all have had similar classes. Yet, there is a hesitation and almost fear on the faces of some, while others leap without much of a glance at the ground. I was reminded of these girls while reading "When to Jump" by Mike Lewis.

    Lewis has

    Watching my niece's gymnastics competition - I use the term "competition" loosely considering I changed her diaper less than 3 years ago - I'm struck by the difference in the little girls' faces as they jump from the balance beam. They are all the same age. They all have had similar classes. Yet, there is a hesitation and almost fear on the faces of some, while others leap without much of a glance at the ground. I was reminded of these girls while reading "When to Jump" by Mike Lewis.

    Lewis has built a sincere compilation of both his own career change and the stories of over 40 other individuals who take that step into the unsure world of a new career. He organizes it in a way that lays out how to plan one's own career move. The variety of starting points and landing points is vast. Each individual's story is short and to the point, making this an easy to read and widely applicable volume. If you are considering a career change and want a way to organize the chaos that decision may bring there is plenty here you will find useful.

    The only flaw to this collection is the sampling bias for the stories. Like many business or self-help books of it's kind, the advice is taken from individuals who succeeded in whatever the topic of the book is. There isn't a separate sample of individuals who did the same or similar and wished they hadn't or had to go back to their old ways even if they wished they didn't. I raise this critique simply to say the book offers great encouragement for those who want to plan a "jump." But it does little to remind readers of the adage wherever you go, there you are." Like many of the 40+ individuals detailed in the collection and the girls who leaped headstrong into their gymnastics dismount, who you are will determine a lot about how you view your landing.

    I whole-heartedly recommend this volume to anyone considering a career jump. It certainly provides a well-considered path to doing that jump wisely.

    I received an advance copy of this book through a LibraryThing giveaway.

  • Megan

    Some great stories and advice... and some that are pretty skip-worthy. Also, I had to power through the first part which was all about the author's life (it was a little too silver-spooned). I'm glad I stuck with it though and will be looking into some of the contributors' works.

  • Sarah Nosworthy

    I struggle to know what my 'passion' is - but it was nice to see how many people moved from one career to another, and talked about how it worked (or didn't!).

    Sharing the concept of the book with a friend; and the author's 'passion' being squash, my friend was rather bemused. Understandably too, as it's hardly a profitable career path.

  • Dimitrios Mistriotis

    I kind of cheated here as I did not read the whole book but only the parts that interested me. Being currently in "jump-mode" I read only the introduction and the final "Don't look back" section. Second cheat is that I did not purchase the book but was given to me on a promotion tour by the speaker.

    The book has a pattern on what to do if you do not like your job and/or the career trajectory and how to move from there to where you want to be.

    This theory has emerged from the life of the author and

    I kind of cheated here as I did not read the whole book but only the parts that interested me. Being currently in "jump-mode" I read only the introduction and the final "Don't look back" section. Second cheat is that I did not purchase the book but was given to me on a promotion tour by the speaker.

    The book has a pattern on what to do if you do not like your job and/or the career trajectory and how to move from there to where you want to be.

    This theory has emerged from the life of the author and people that have interacted with him, so we are talking about pure epistimology here. The vast majority of "When to Jump"'s content is two/three page essays of different people around the world in each stage. From this perspective the book is essentially an great articulation of very well edited blog posts about one subject put in one place.

    The whole premise felt like being in the category of books that one would love if given as a gift but would not buy. I would suggest to resist that tendency and give it a shot if you find it in a bookstore.

    Reminder to future self: write about my jump.

  • Gina

    A collection of mini-bios about people who made major career changes. It doesn't really offer any practical advice aside from telling people to just do it.

  • Caroline

    2 stars

    I will be honest, I skimmed a good portion of this book. I read all the sections from the author, as well as the recaps, but I only read about half of the case studies (mostly because a lot of them didn't seem relevant or interesting to me).

    If I recall correctly, at one point the author says he didn't want this book to be just a series of platitudes without any concrete advice, but that's basically what it is. I found some of the words of encouragement, well, encouraging! But for all the

    2 stars

    I will be honest, I skimmed a good portion of this book. I read all the sections from the author, as well as the recaps, but I only read about half of the case studies (mostly because a lot of them didn't seem relevant or interesting to me).

    If I recall correctly, at one point the author says he didn't want this book to be just a series of platitudes without any concrete advice, but that's basically what it is. I found some of the words of encouragement, well, encouraging! But for all the talk of how important it is to have a plan, there isn't much elaboration on what makes a successful plan and what mistakes to avoid.

    As many other reviewers have also pointed out, the author comes from quite a privileged background, and most of the guest writers do, too (I guess the fact that the foreword is by Sheryl Sandberg should have been a warning sign). It's kind of obnoxious to say "you need to have savings to jump!" and then almost exclusively talk to people who came from lucrative careers like finance. Easy to say when you're in an industry like that...

    And beyond the matter of money, the author's "jump" is to play professional squash? Seriously? It also rubbed me the wrong way that the last few pages of the book are him saying that he never intended it to be a long term "jump" and was already planning his next... writing this book. Sincerely glad I didn't pay for this, and rather checked it out from the library, cuz Lewis is playing us readers. Honestly...

    As I said, I skipped around with the case studies. I mostly read the ones that had to deal with creative careers (like writing, photography, fashion design, etc.), because those felt most relevant to my interests. Unfortunately I just returned the book to the library so I can't go back to find the name, but one of the guest writers spoke about how she got into photography, and how she had to do a "mini jump" by taking a job in her industry that wasn't her ideal job, but led to better things. She also said that she had taken more "meaningless" jobs while she planned in order to build up her savings. I thought her section had the most realistic and smart advice in the whole book. I also appreciated the advice from the cheesemonger lady, who pointed out that if you are so miserable in your current situation (job, partner, living situation, whatever), you really have nothing to lose and should just get started on your "jump." The longer you wait, the longer you have to live with that unhappiness when you don't have to! That's basically the place I found myself in last year before I decided to quit my job, so I related to that a lot.

    I feel like the premise of this book had potential, and probably would have been more helpful and informative in better hands. I don't recommend it!

  • Philip Shade

    Interesting premise, but in execution of most use to Wall Street bankers, stock traders, venture capitalists and pretty much anyone who can set aside money to take a year or so off work.

    If you've got bills to pay and family to support then there's not much you can get from this book beyond "make your jump, when you have a plan."

    Seriously. That's it. I just saved you hours of time. You're welcome.

  • David

    author left a Bain Capital job to play pro squash and couch-surf the world for a year and a half in his 20s, then returned to the states to write this book and develop a site and all that about people making bold career moves in an effort to increase life satisfaction. Got his cousin Sheryl Sandberg to write the foreword!

    most of the book is short essays by other people who made career jumps. A limitation of the book is that they're entirely favorable toward doing so. a few acknowledge that their

    author left a Bain Capital job to play pro squash and couch-surf the world for a year and a half in his 20s, then returned to the states to write this book and develop a site and all that about people making bold career moves in an effort to increase life satisfaction. Got his cousin Sheryl Sandberg to write the foreword!

    most of the book is short essays by other people who made career jumps. A limitation of the book is that they're entirely favorable toward doing so. a few acknowledge that their moves failed in conventional sense [e.g., one guy got sober himself but realized that running a recovery house wasn't the business for him after a year or so], and many were forthright about its having turned out to be a lot of work, or less lucrative than prior job, or a source of sleepless nights etc. etc., but all in the end believed it was a good move. It's not a tough call if it's the right idea 100% of the time, so i sense a bit of selection bias in the solicitation of contributors.

    some of the jumps were broad [bond trader to photographer who started the Humans of New York site, for instance], while others [at least in my perhaps naive reading] seemed so slight as to not really qualify for the category -- ex. "a former advertising operations associate at LinkedIn... internally jumped into a sales analytics position within LinkedIn".

    others struck me as meaningful changes of direction but not especially amazing -- with all due respect, the bartender who became yoga teacher for instance. lots of people change jobs in the course of their lives, and without actually knowing the stats i might have guessed that perhaps even a majority of 25-yo bartenders don't continue in that field another 40 years until retirement. And if you're going to leave it, yoga teacher is as good as anything else as a next move.

    my angle on it is perhaps skewed as a 56-year old tenured faculty member with a family, health insurance from the job, etc. etc., but i sort of found all the ones who were young single people with no one depending on them and no great job security anyhow to be kind of unremarkable jumps. maybe more of a dividing line than jump/don't would be employee/entrepreneur, as it seemed that some of the writers with the most turbulence in wake of decision were the ones who elected to start their own businesses, as opposed to just being employed in a slightly or greatly different line of work.

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