Interviews

Jessica – The Career Exclusive

Kirsty Turbott

Firstly, please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your job? 

Hi, I’m Jessica! I grew up in Southern California and have relocated 6 times in the past 10 years for my career. I met my husband while working in Aspen, Colorado, where we got engaged just after knowing each other for 5 months! We have been together for 5 years and now we are moving to Chicago, Illinois for an amazing career opportunity.

I essentially have 3 jobs.

  1. My “day job” is working full-time in a corporate environment as Head of Human Resources. I oversee everything from Recruitment & Retention Strategies, Employee Labor Relations, Employer Branding, Culture Creation, Employee Benefits, Training & Development, and the overall company People vision.
  2. My “side hustle” is investment property. I am fascinated by real estate and believe you should always have passive investments that make money for you. We purchased our first investment property in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this year. It has absolutely been a learning experience, but worth it. We decided to do long-term leasing instead of AirBnB, it made more financial sense for us. We currently have renters and it cash flows. The goal is to own several and grow our property investment portfolio.
  3. My “new job” is building my brand, “The Career Exclusive.” Being in HR, I interact with so many employees, managers and candidates applying for jobs. When I would give them advice on how to get a promotion, how to land a job or how to be a better leader, they would tell me how helpful the guidance was. As I have been doing this for so long, these things are second nature to me and it surprised me that it was so helpful. I decided to start a platform where I share career and leadership advice to help others reach their goals. I also use the platform to promote women supporting other women in the workforce. Women are underrepresented in decision-making positions; we need to lift each other up to have representation and a seat at the table. I am launching a blog with more in-depth advice later this year, and am currently active on Instagram @thecareerexclusive

What was your dream job as a child? 

I was into musical theatre and wanted to be on Broadway! My parents took me to NYC when I was in 5th grade and let me audition for a few shows. When I was sad that I didn’t get cast, they told me life is full of rejection and the quicker I learn how to deal with it and keep going, the better off I would be. 

As this week we are focusing on motivation, what keeps you motivated and what do you do when you start to lose motivation slightly? 

Motivation is a funny thing. I find that it is impossible to ALWAYS be motivated, but it is quite possible to always practice discipline. If you are disciplined in your approach to accomplishing your goals, you will make consistent progress each day. I have learned to be extremely disciplined in my daily routine. It helps me get the most out of each day and closer to achieving my goals. When I start to lose motivation, I give myself a pep talk! I review my short/long-term goals to remind myself why I started, and then I listen to audio books and podcasts. I love hearing other people’s story and learning new things, it inspires me to get back in the game.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking for the motivation to start a new project/ challenge?

 JUST START! Don’t over think it, just dive in. You can always go back and tweak and change things. A draft is a draft for a reason. Starting is the hardest part, but once you get going, it will begin to snowball. If I am really dragging my feet and putting off starting a project or challenge, I text a friend and tell them I am starting project X tomorrow and I am giving myself a deadline of X. I ask them to hold me to it. I know myself and I would rather work through the night on that project than have to tell someone I didn’t do it, or worse… I didn’t even start it! 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 

This is a tough one! I had a boss that would always tell me, “Just because it has always been done that way, doesn’t mean it’s the way we should be doing it.” This always stuck with me. Now, I always ask questions as to the reason why something is done a certain way. The history of the process is important, as it tells you who you will need to collaborate with if you want to make any changes. Next, I always do my own research to determine if there are any other solutions we should be considering. In my experience, 3 out of 4 times, there is a more beneficial way. Evolving is key 🙂

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

No matter how hard you think something is now, one day you will look back and think “that was easy.”

There have been so many moments in my career where I struggle with a new situation, task or project. I remember pulling all-nighters and working weekends to accomplish something, that I can now do with my eyes closed. It will always be challenging in the beginning, but once you work at it and learn how to be more efficient, you will master it. And that is when you will look back and think “that was easy.”

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