Highlights of Episode 37
- Why Jessica Barnak left her first job and how she started a photography business
- What led to her closing the photography studio and starting an interior design business
- The key action step she took each time she started a new career direction that helped her quickly gain traction
- Designing a business around life priorities and time constraints
- What helped her during the most challenging times and how she overcame adversity and move forward
Today, Jessica Barnak is a business coach. But her career started with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and as a social worker for mentally ill prison inmates in Texas.
It wasn’t one big giant step for Jessica. Instead, it was a series of career pivots that she’s made throughout her professional career and in this episode, she shares those transitions with us.
Jessica’s career transitions were triggered by different things: motherhood, a desire to do something different, the push to rebound from a business that burnt (literally) to the ground, her two daughters being diagnosed back-to-back with a terminal illness, and a drive to experiment and prove something to herself.
When my studio burned down and my daughters were diagnosed, personally the challenge was getting past the block of it not defining who we were. Learning that when something that big happens in your life, you give it the time it requires and nothing more. You don’t dwell on it. You give it what it needs and then you move on and live your life. —Jessica Barnak
Jessica talks about specific action steps she took to move from one career path to another. But what sticks out for me is the power of resilience and a strong sense of self-awareness. I think it’s Jessica’s self-awareness that allowed her to make huge direction-shifting decisions—despite major challenges that she encountered in her life.
There’s also the spirit of experimentation and putting herself out there to test and see what could happen that comes across when you hear her story.
You won’t make forward progress until you step into your own expertise. Nobody else will hire you if you can’t hire yourself. —Jessica Barnak
Mentioned in this episode
Jessica Barnak’s website
Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver (Jessica’s book recommendation)
You Are a Bad Ass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (Jessica’s book recommendation)
SBP 33: Overcoming Career Limbo with Alice Karolina Smith
SBP 34: From a Career in Banking & Finance to Running a Boutique Store with Ashlie Kennedy
Resources from Second Breaks
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