Earlier this year I was unhappy with my job situation. I knew I had the power to do something about it, but I felt overwhelmed with the thought of networking, applying and interviewing for jobs, and ultimately leaving the company.
Then one day, a good friend sternly said to me, “It looks like you have to practice what you preach and go scroll through your posts.”
But he was right! I had lost my way and felt as if I had no control.
So I took his advice and scrolled through all of the content I had created for The Jefa Life and remembered why I started the blog in the first place.
The truth is, we will all have those moments where we feel as if we don’t have control of our careers, our lives. Those moments where self-doubt runs rampant, and we question everything.
Does this sound familiar?
I realized I was being too hard on myself and decided to tackle my situation head on. But I couldn’t do it all, so I started small and celebrated small wins.
One day I reached out to a former colleague. Another day I focused on updating my resume. I took the Strengthsfinders assessment (again!). I learned about new technologies and completed LinkedIn courses.
And soon, I started to feel like a badass jefa again, in control and ready for change.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as you navigate your career, so I’ve compiled a list of Jefa Moves you can make to make you feel in control and in charge.
1. Identify your strengths and natural talents
Everyone has strengths! Knowing what you’re good at can be a great confidence booster, and there are many evidence-based assessments are available (Strengthsfinders is my favorite!) to help you identify your strengths and natural talents. Nothing can stop you once you know your superpowers.
2. Learn about new and emerging technologies
Not a day goes by that I don’t hear something about blockchain, crypto, and the metaverse. Although these concepts may seem foreign to us now, I have a feeling they are here to stay. Learning about new technologies can put you ahead of the curve and introduce you to new and fascinating worlds.
3. Update your resume
In case you haven’t heard, The Great Resignation is alive and well, and there are opportunities everywhere. So whether you are currently job searching or you’re content with your current situation, sprucing up your resume is always a good idea.
4. Reconnect with a former colleague
Keeping in touch with people you’ve worked with is a great way to develop your network. These are the type of professional relationships that are the most meaningful and valuable since you already have something in common with them. I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear from you, too.
5. Be a guest on a podcast and share your story
The podcast medium has exploded in the last couple of years, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. There are thousands of podcasts out there focusing on a variety of topics, and that means hosts are looking for interesting content and guests. So reach out to a podcaster you admire and offer to share your story.
6. Keep track of all your accomplishments
Let’s face it: we live in a fast-paced, busy world, and it can be hard to remember everything you’ve accomplished in your career. And I’m sure you’ve done a lot! You can either start an accomplishment file or jot it down in a journal, but make sure you keep track of it. Next time you update your resume, interview for a new job, or ask for a promotion—you’ll be ready to go.
7. Learn a new skill
A while back, I decided to learn Italian on my own. I can’t say it helped me professionally, but it did sharpen my communication skills. So whether you learn a skill directly related to your job or something you are doing just for fun, learning something new can sharpen your brain and give you a dose of motivation.
8. Connect with someone you admire on social media
There has never been a better time to meet people and make meaningful connections online. Whether you prefer to be active on Instagram, Clubhouse, Tik Tok, or LinkedIn, the opportunity to reach out to someone you admire is only a click away. I’ve made meaningful connections by sliding into someone’s DMs and connecting.
9. Research and determine your market value
Knowing your worth is one of the best things you can do for your career. Take time to research your current market value, which estimates how much you should be paid for a specific role based on your education, years of experience, and skills. You’ll see that being armed with this information can help you navigate future negotiations and ensure you are asking and getting what you are worth!
10. Create your own elevator pitch
Have you ever been asked “tell me about yourself” or “what are you good at” and you completely blanked? You most likely had an answer but afterward, beat yourself up about it because it wasn’t “perfect.” Does this sound familiar? That’s where the elevator pitch comes in. Having a quick (and memorable), 30-second overview of what you do, who you are, and what you’re all about will prepare you for these types of questions.
11. Become a mentor
We’ve all heard the advice to find a mentor, but often we are so focused on finding our own mentor that we forget we have the power to become one. The benefits are endless. When you mentor someone you are making an impact on someone’s life by sharing your experiences, your story, your challenges and accomplishments. This is the ultimate jefa move!
12. Take on a new project at work
If you want to learn something new and have the capacity to do so, taking on a new project at work can be a great way to gain exposure. I’m passionate about diversity and inclusion, so I was involved in my former company’s employee resource groups and I had the opportunity to participate in panels, plan conferences, and meet people across the organization. The skills I learned were invaluable.
13. Hire a career coach
If you find yourself in a rut and need some guidance in your career, hiring a career coach can help get you to the next step. A career coach will offer objective insight and steer you in the right direction. For example, I hired a career coach for one session to help me gain perspective during my job search. Figure out exactly what you need a coach for and find one that best fits your style.
14. Ask a colleague for feedback
If you want to develop and grow in your career, feedback is essential for your development. As daunting as it can be, asking for feedback can help you become more self-aware and help you identify what you do well and where you have an opportunity to grow. It takes a lot of courage, but it’s worth it.
15. Start a career journal
Starting a career journal has too many benefits to count. In fact, documenting your career journey can help you identify if you are on the right track or need to make a change. You can write about anything you want relating to your career. Your accomplishments. Your setbacks. Your thoughts, emotions, goals. There are no rules, just write!
I hope this lists helps you in reaching your goals and encourages you to continue making jefa moves!