GSD Blog_Hungry for more_Jes

Hungry For More Jess Vargas

How many of you have built out a plan and have followed it?  Have you ever been paused and had to pivot?  Did you ever get the sense or feeling that you needed that change?  

Pivoting is part of life, and it’s healthy.

Friend and insurance colleague Jes Vargas recently posted on this very thing, and I’m excited for us to dive into this topic a little deeper together.  

Jes, as a coach and mentor, clients will reach out asking me for advice or guidance.  They are looking for a change but are unsure how.  Some of them are looking to change industries, careers, or positions but are lacking the confidence to make the move or lacking the plan to execute.  

Take us back to 2012 when you had that gut feeling of needing to change, and,maybe, walk us through the progression of your feelings and internal dialogue?  

Jes’s Response: Well, I had been working on food service and retail for about 5 years (full time). I honestly was sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck and making minimum wage; that was the main impetus for me to want a change. With student loans weighing down on me and just an overwhelming desire NOT to have a completely empty savings account…I said enough was enough. I was tired of feeling rudderless.

I really didn’t know where to start. I looked at some job boards and nearly everything I was finding, I wasn’t “qualified” for. It was extremely disheartening, because I knew I was smart and plenty capable for those roles, but I was being turned down because I had a fine arts degree, not business or marketing. So, I decided to try out a temp agency. I filled out all the paperwork, took the tests, all of that…and they placed me in a slot at Prudential working as an entry level claims examiner.

I believe that  in life, we need community.  I talk about the importance of having our clan, which is for our personal life and our insiders’ board, which is for our professional life.  Did you have an existing support system in place that you could discuss these decisions with, or did you have to proactively go out and find people that you could bounce these ideas and thoughts by?  

Jes’s Response: I didn’t really, I was lacking in that area. I had my group of friends from school, who were all doing more creative jobs (remember, art major), and my family & partner, but no professional support system. I had terrible imposter syndrome and felt like I was “selling out” because I wasn’t in a creative field. Looking back…it was completely insane for me to feel that way, but its’ just how I felt. I had to navigate a lot of that in the beginning, alone. It was very isolating, because I didn’t know anyone in a similar field, so I couldn’t take example/guidance from anyone.

When did you know you were ready to make the change?  Is there ever the right time to make such a change like this, or is there a measured amount of risk associated?  

Jes’s Response: I don’t think there’s ever a ‘right’ time to do anything like this. There will never be a time when x, y, z all line up perfectly. The more that you keep saying, “I’ll make the move once this happens” or “Once I save up this much money” … the more you are hindering your own trajectory. That’s just self-doubt creeping in. There will always be risk, you can try to limit it as much as possible of course, (i.e. securing a new job while still employed)…

I’m by no means recommending that you should quit your job today so you can figure out what you want to do…we all need paychecks to survive unfortunately. But there is nothing holding you back from taking courses, to get you to the next level, or applying for new jobs, interviewing etc. I am a firm believer in trusting your gut when it comes to these types of changes.

I just love how you closed your post:

If you find yourself not where you want to be, my ad vice is simple: trust your gut, and make that change. Sometimes, the most unconventional paths lead to the most fulfilling destinations. Take a leap of faith; embrace new opportunities, and never underestimate your potential for growth and success.

This is so eloquently stated. Is there anything else you would want to add for our readers today?  

Jes’s Response: First, Do not limit yourself to what your experience in the past dictates, whether its job history or schooling. If you are motivated and driven, your potential is limitless.

Second, surround yourself with a tribe of professionals you respect, your journey doesn’t have to be a lonely one and you will find that those people bring out the best in you and help you see your potential.

Third, keep learning, stay curious, take classes, read white pages, and absorb all the knowledge you can. This is where you will discover your path ahead.

Lastly, I think the key here, is don’t just stay in what you’re doing because you’re comfortable. If you ask me, being comfortable in the day to day of your job is more toxic to your career than a bad boss. John Assaraf said it: “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”.