When To Jump: How I Landed in a Book with Sheryl Sandberg!

akansha agrawal when to jump

A few months ago I shared that I had a full chapter dedicated to me in the book When To Jump: When The Job You Have Isn’t The Life you Want. Sheryl Sandberg wrote the testimonial, the famous author Michael Lewis was featured in it, and Tony Robbins wrote a testimonial. So how the heck did I get into this book? Well, let me tell you a story.

As some of you know, I was a marketing analytics professional at LinkedIn for 4.5 years…and I couldn’t sit still. Within those 5 years, I held 3 different jobs within the company. I was hoping to find that dream job, that perfect position that filled my purpose…but it wasn’t showing up.

I knew something was missing. I kept on wondering if it was normal to pretend to like your job and I was desperately seeking for others who viewed life the same way I did. I would show up to meet-ups, mixers, and minglings with the hope to connect with other millennials who weren’t thrilled about their current professional journey. I was hoping to find others also looking for the same green-light to pursue their passions.

At one of those meetups, I was asked to get in front of the crowd and share my story. I fumbled over words and spewed random details about my career and brand that didn’t really make any sense but it felt so good to get it out. And I guess somehow it stuck as the founder of When To Jump asked if I wanted to be interviewed for his book! I knew nothing about it at this point but I quickly agreed. Wouldn’t it be cool to be featured in a book (What was even cooler was that I was able to record my voice for the audiobook!).

when to jump mike lewis

In When to Jump, I shared that my parents were immigrants from India who were only allowed in this country if they followed the safe path. Naturally, I thought I had to stay on the same trajectory of success: go to a good school, get a great job, have a family, 401K, etc.

I followed this plan to T for the 25 years of my life but then the quarter-life crisis hit. I knew I had to take a leap of faith. But you know what’s ironic? The story in the book doesn’t even share my “big jump!” I was interviewed for it while I was still at LinkedIn. But in the book, I stated that I hope to create a path where I can combine my corporate skills and passion for wellness into one.

And what do you know? That’s EXACTLY what I’m doing now. As a content strategist and coach, I have the privilege to help many female-owned brands to create purposeful content for their audience. I’m fortunate that many of the brands I get to work with are in the wellness space!

Going back to the book though, I honestly thought my story was pretty boring and uneventful. It feels like everyone in my circle went down the same path. But I’ve been blown away by the heart-warming messages and DMs from strangers I’ve never met!

The moral of the story: we all have something unique to share with this world. You don’t have to be Oprah or Gandhi to be a source of inspiration. You have a story to share.

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