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May 31, 2018

#61 | Acing the Interview, Quitting Your Job, and Switching Careers with Jessica Smith

About This Episode

Finding a job can be frustrating. Quitting your job can be terrifying. Switching careers altogether–that can seem impossible. Lucky for us, Jessica Smith, the author of Your Twenties, career coach, and host of That Valley Vibe and Expressness Radio, is here to share her expertise with us. Jessica works with people at all stages of their professional lives, and she does all of this while also having a day job!

“If I stay on this path of ‘do, do, do, hustle, grind,’ then I’m not going to be around, doing this work, for much longer.”

Jessica will be discussing the three main questions that people have when they start working with her. How do I answer the “Tell me about yourself?” question during a job interview? How do I know when it is time to quit? How do I interview for, and get, a job outside of my industry? These questions are universal, and Jessica gives Girlskill listeners concrete steps that they can take, from preparing a “personal” and a “professional” answer for the interview, to talking to your boss about your dissatisfaction at work, to finding a way to put your book club or blog about beer on your resume.

“Femininity to me is listening to my ‘-ness.’ Making the decision that is best for me, even if it doesn’t make sense to other people.”

After she graduated from college with a B.A. in Events and Tourism, Jessica went to New Zealand for two years. When she returned to the U.S., she moved back in with her mom and dad and started applying everywhere–social media, marketing, writing, she had 70 versions of her resume! She got a job as a recruiter, and over the years she has helped hundreds of people find jobs in Silicon Valley.

Join us for an in-depth conversation about careers and changing directions in which Jessica will share her best advice for all kinds of professionals.

“Doing what’s essential, and understanding what that means at the end of the day, is very important.”


Jessness Required

Tools & Resources Mentioned


  • Insight Timer – The #1 free meditation app. Join millions learning to meditate on Insight Timer to help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, manage stress, sleep deeply and improve happiness. Guided meditations and talks led by the world’s top mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists and meditation teachers from Stanford, Harvard, Dartmouth and the University of Oxford. Music tracks from world-renowned artists.
  • Evernote – Organize your work and declutter your life. With Evernote on your desktop and mobile devices, your notes are always with you and always in sync.
  • Audible – Listen to your books wherever you are with our free app—at home, in the car, at the gym. Even if you switch devices, you’ll never lose your place.
  • Trello – Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.
  • Quickbooks – Connect your bank account to automatically import and categorize transactions. Sync with popular apps and easily snap photos of your receipts to store them with QuickBooks Mobile.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Founded on December 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking

People/Blogs to Follow

  • Classy Career Girl – They are an e-learning platform designed to be a one-stop-shop for all women in career transition. Their training is world class and they are dedicated to motivating and inspiring women who are job searching or starting businesses. To date, they’ve launched 1,000+ dream careers and businesses since 2010.
  • Career Contessa – They help women cultivate successful careers through expert advice, interviews, and videos, one-on-one mentoring, online skills-based courses and resources, and a curated job board that speaks to their audience. Everything they do comes straight from the best kind of experts—real women who’ve been there and successfully done that.
  • WhatUp Silicon Valley – WhatUp Silicon Valley is the podcast network looking to inform and inspire young professionals and entrepreneurs trying to find their way and make their mark in the hustle and grind of Silicon Valley.

Recommended Books

  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown – The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
  • So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo – Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement and the “N” word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.
  • The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford – In this enlightening guide, Debbie Ford explains that the dark side of our personality should not be hidden. By denying our dark side, we reject these aspects of our true natures rather than giving ourselves the freedom to live authentically. Here she shows that it is possible to acknowledge and accept our so-called weaknesses, proving that these qualities may be important, hidden strengths.

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