Jessica Smith is the author of YOUR TWENTIES, a book about navigating change and taking good care of ourselves as we navigate the ‘real world’. She is a career advisor, public speaker, and podcast host of the show ‘Career Coaching with Jessness’. She also works as a Career Advisor and Learning and Development Program Manager for Xactly Corps, an AI platform for planning and incenting sales organizations. Every day Jessica reminds us we aren’t here to find out WHAT to do, but rather, discover WHO we ARE.
Jessica shares how applicants can go after their dream career. “The idea is to connect the dots as to how these other interests make you a well-rounded person to approach problems; what skills from there are related to the job because we cant assume people are going to connect the dots.”
Find out how Jessica followed her passions to create her dream job on the Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
It’s the dilemma we face when leaving college: generating a wealth of knowledge through our education and campus experiences only to question everything you’ve worked towards. After traveling to New Zealand to leverage her degree in events and tourism, Jessica realized the industry just wasn’t for her.
Connecting with nature
Back to square one, Jessica decided to connect with nature in order to realize her passions. In other words, she hit the pause button, physically spent time in nature and looked within.
“Once you get in touch with your internal interests, natural skills and abilities (and everyone was born with a unique set of those) the more you’ll feel fulfilled,” said Jessica.
Jess realized she was most passionate about helping young professionals navigate their career hurdles and problem solving. When the Career Advisor and Learning and Development Program Manager position became available she made herself valuable to the employers by translating her skills in a relevant way. Aka connecting the dots.
Life in her passion career
When talking about her career today, Jessica shares that she feels light and easy, and she welcomes the chaos.
Today as the Career Advisor and Learning and Development Program Manager for Xactly Corps, Jessica gets daily reminders that she created this for herself. She believes it’s all about the mindset you have when taking on a new position. You can freak out that you’re in a new position that you may not fully understand, or you can see it as an opportunity to grow (and innovate!).
“I want people to know you can create your own career internally and you can also pivot internally, and it comes down to having really open conversations,” said Jessica.
She wrote YOUR TWENTIES at a time when she was learning how to trust herself and her decisions in life. Jessica felt overwhelmed trying to achieve society’s expectations of the invisible timeline for when personal goals are supposed to be met. “News flash there is no order!”
Inside YOUR TWENTIES
In her book, Jessica shares the five areas of ones self where we experience the most ups and downs: self-love, body acceptance, career, healthy mind, and relationships. She also gives tools on how to check in with ourselves to navigate the stress. For example, because we’re constantly getting asked what’s next, it’s important to self reflect on each area to set goals for ones self in the future.
“It comes down to being very clear about what you want, what you need, and expressing those needs,” said Jessica
Taking the time to discover your unique skills and talents, or your “ness,” is Jessica’s advice for people in their twenties tackling the same hurdles she experienced. And, as always, look to your interests.
“Trust your own innate interest because that will lead you to the path that’s most fulfilling for you.”
She also encourages us to see our career challenges as a mirror. What does that mean exactly? You’ll just have to tune in to find out.
After listening to my conversation with Jessica, take 20-minutes today to press the pause button and get in touch with nature. Go for a hike, take a walk at a nearby park or simply eat your next meal outdoors.
Once you’re inspired by Jessica’s story, we’d love to read your review!