Google+ Career Archives - Jill OzovekJill Ozovek

If You Don’t Have This One Thing, Your Career Change Is Doomed From the Start


Ok, so full disclosure here. I usually hate hyperbolic headlines like that, but here I am writing one. Why? Because there’s SO much advice out there and I so truly know this one thing to be true that I literally can’t stress it enough.

And no, it’s not a fancy resume or a kick ass social media presence. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not even your network or who you know.
While those things are helpful and can help you cross the finish line of your career change, nothing, and I mean nothing, can replace your mindset. Cultivating the right mindset from the get-go and revisiting it regularly (ie this is not a “Set it and forget it” kinda thing, guys!) is CRUCIAL to getting started and staying moving.

Sound Captain Obvious-y to you? I agree; this is not rocket science, but what I really want you to dig in to today is how YOU are actively cultivating that mindset on a regular basis. It needs to be crystal clear. Make a list of the ways you are clearing space for this change. I’m talking physical space- is your workspace cluttered? I’m talking mental space- is your mind cluttered? And I’m talking energy-space- are you drained each and every time you try to start? Do you not pinpoint your roadblocks and thus keep them up unwittingly, letting them derail you from your major goal of finally getting in a job that you actually want to go to 5 (or more!) days per week?

Below is a laundry list of potential ways that might help you with this big FIRST step toward making a career change. Maybe you do one or two of these. Maybe adding in another element to augment what you’re currently doing might help. For example, I recently added “Morning Pages”  to my morning meditation practice. They really go nicely together and help me clear my plate before I enter my day.

  • Daily Meditation practice (with or without apps like Headspace or
  • Daily intention journal
  • Daily gratitude list
  • 2 Minute End-of Day Recap (How am I feeling, what worked about today and what do I want to work on for tomorrow)
  • Morning Pages (to get the creative juices flowing and remove the clutter)
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness retreat
  • Work with a mindfulness teacher
  • Visit your local Shambhala Center
  • Books like “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, “The Alchemist” or “The Buddha Walks Into a Bar”
  • Checking in throughout the day with how you’re feeling and what might be getting in the way of this

Are you sitting there thinking, “Jill, I don’t have TIME for any of that. I gotta get to work.” To that I ask you: Do you have time to spend more years than you already have in a job you really don’t like? Do you have time to spend more late nights at work and miss time with your friends, husband, wife, kid, mom, cat?

Until very recently, I was very much like that, running around from thing to thing and checking boxes off my to-do list. And while I’m by no means a levitating Buddha nor am I telling you that you have to be one to change careers (quite the contrary actually), I’m saying that investing a little time in this each day will make a BIG difference toward achieving this really big goal you have for 2017.

I will add that sometimes-annoying people like me can tell you this til the cows come home, but it’s up to you to give it a whirl. And by ‘a whirl’, I mean dedicate yourself to it for at least a month, if not 3 months. I was one of those people who sort of internally rolled my eyes (not VISIBLY though!) whenever someone told me I should meditate. So that’s why I’m not telling you that you should meditate- because that’s annoying if you’ve heard it a million times or just don’t like being told what to do (who does like that?)

So what I AM saying is this: 

A career change requires the right Mindset Toolkit. It will be slightly different for each and every person. This is all I’m asking you to accept. THEN, I want you to fill your toolbox with what works for you and leave the rest. And as you grow and evolve, you might pick up new tools but your core go-to tools are always your stead standbys.

BOOM. Happy holidays ya’ll.

PS: Mindset is where we start in the Career Change Kitchen- our new comprehensive career change online course (with some extra goodies and various levels of support from me!) Check out the info here.

PPS: You may have noticed the blog is getting a little less love lately. That’s because we’re focused on VIDEO FUN as we enter the New Year, so I’m trying my hand at vlogging in front of my Christmas tree. You can check out the goodies on my Facebook here (like the page to know when we’re doing special offers on courses and other events!) or my YouTube channel here.

How to Navigate Your First Networking Event, Jill-Style

I know, heebie jeebies, right?! I’ve been going to these for a LONG time, and I still sometimes feel unsettled going to events with new groups of people! “What if no one talks to me?” “What if I try to say something and it sounds dumb and everyone slowly backs away in horror?” “What if my pants fall off mid-sentence?” (Ok that last one is a slight stretch.)

It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to the workforce or an industry veteran- if it’s something you aren’t used to doing, networking at events can certainly be nerve-wracking, anxiety-inducing affairs that invoke sleepless nights and maybe one too many trips to the bar at the event. Amirite?


BUT, it’s CRUCIAL to the development of your career. It’s crucial for obvious reasons should you want to change jobs or change your entire career track. AND it’s important even if you’re happy at work (YAY!). Why? Maybe you’ll meet just the person your company needs to hire for another role. Or maybe you’ll meet someone who can come in and help alleviate a problem your department has been having. (And then, brownie points for you!). On top of that, it’s ALWAYS prudent to see what else is out there for your own career development. Keeping tabs on opportunities can lead to better work-life balance, higher salary, a more challenging job or all of the above.

SO, now that I’ve pontificated on WHY networking is key, how the heck do you navigate your first few events? 

I’ll take you back to 2013 for a little ditty or two to show you how much I absolutely feel your pain when you think about going to an event.  When I got back from my time in Argentina, I started networking. I was TERRIFIED. Sometimes I would go all the way to the event (that I paid for) just to leave without going in. I don’t want to know how much money I wasted doing this.  Even as late as last year, I had signed up for my alumni association’s summer cruise on the Hudson River. I arrived to board, only to realize that everyone had come with friends or a partner. I was alone. And was gonna be on a boat for 3+ hours and knew of NO ONE going. I panicked. I boarded the boat, telling myself that if worse came to worse I could read my book about Abraham Lincoln that was on my iPad. Then, I made myself stand in line at the bar and get myself a drink. I turned around and….there was an old friend I hadn’t seen for years. “Jill, hi!,” he said. Phew. Exhale and release.

Ok, so how do we skip over the thudding heartbeat in the ears feeling? How do we make networking easy as pie?

  1. Get the book “Presence” by Amy Cuddy I just finished this for my own business and life, and it’s really helped me see how I’m “showing up” differently. From the Amazon description: “By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s revolutionary book reveals, we don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.” How great would it be to go into a room of people we don’t know or barely know in a state where we’re not caught up on how we’re coming across to others? How would that totally change the game for us? Believe me, this one is a doozy.
  2. Lean on your friends and colleagues. This stuff takes work and even after reading Amy’s book, you might still be like, “Umm Jill, I’m still not going to any events.” That’s ok and that’s also why it’s ok to lean on friends and colleagues. Go with someone you know and promise to split up for 30 or 45 minutes and then reconvene. I did this in the early days and it made it so much more palatable! I’ve also called a sympathetic friend before heading into an event alone and she helped me come up with my goal for the night (e.g. “Stay for 45 minutes and talk to 2 people and THEN you can leave.”). This held me accountable to someone who was DEFINITELY going to ask me, and it gave me a clear goal. It also got me started. I only stayed for the bare minimum of my goal for those first few events, but after awhile, I was able to surpass my goal. You will too.
  3. Ask Questions, Be Curious. Here’s the thing, though. People love to talk. And they love to talk about themselves. So, for your first few events while you’re getting your feet wet, go to the event with a few questions to ask  people. “What interested you in this event?” “How did you get started in your field?” “What do you like about what you do?” are all great questions. I tend to avoid the “So what do you do?” question, because if they do something so far afield from you that you can’t relate the question is DOA, but it’s asked often.
  4. Remember, They Are People Too. I know that sounds obvious, but it’s true. These people are going home to be moms, dads, daughters, sons, girlfriends, boyfriends, pet owners, etc. They are also going home to do water color paintings on the weekends or play in a sports league. They’re people with insecurities and dreams and hopes too. If you can remember that in a particularly anxious moment at an event, I guarantee you that you’ll feel some relief.

What are some other tactics you’ve used to navigate your first few networking events? Share ’em below!


Healthy Eats- CSA Recipe of the Week: Summer Salad

SO. I’ve been talking about my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in which I have a share with my pilates instructor and we started getting the goods a few weeks ago! Until sometime in November, we will get fresh, organic, seasonal and healthy fruits and vegetables from a local farm. Mmmmmm.

Because my work with clients has its foundation in wellness and healthy/affordable eats, I am going to be including recipes from time to time of what I’ve made with the goods so you can follow along with your own farmer’s market purchases or CSA. As we talk about often, career changes are tough and are loaded with ups and downs, so having the right healthy basics down that work for you will keep you grounded in times of uncertainty.

Anywho, at the beginning of the season we get a LOT of lettuce, so I’ll try to be creative with my salad-making at the beginning here while we wait for heirloom tomatoes (EEE!!), summer squash and more. And bear in mind, I am not a wellness practitioner, so this isn’t meant to be dietary advice or advice for various conditions. I’m merely putting out there recipes that are seasonal and fresh and TASTE GOOD! I do not count calories (except when they’re screaming down at me from the Chipotle menu- thanks NYC!) so I have no idea on any of that.

Shealthyo without further ado, my summer salad:









image courtesy of (I failed to snap a picture and they had a close-ish recipe!) 

-1 head of CSA romaine lettuce
-1 bunch of CSA spinach leaves
-1/2 cup of diced red onion (not in season for CSA yet, so purchased elsewhere)
-1 package of CSA strawberries

-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-1/2 tablespoon of grain mustard, or to taste (binds the oil & vinegar)
Most strawberry salads have sugary dressings which are DELICIOUS, but full of sugar. Since the strawberries already have natural sugar, I leave it at that and instead opt for a more neutral dressing. If the mixture of balsamic and strawberries isn’t your jam, you can just opt for a light olive oil dressing.

Mix all that jazz together and enjoy! If you’re an almond fan, a great way to get some added potassium and protein is to throw a few in or better yet, toast them and toss ’em in!

If you have variations of this, please do share in the comments below! And I promise to take pics of my own creations from here on out!

Operation GTFO: Quitting Your Job & Reclaiming Your Life

Let me start this one by saying the following: This is not one of my favorite topics. I have a hard time with the fact that SO MANY people are in work environments that are hurting their health and well-being.

I could talk about the injustice of that in a world so full of injustices or I could get on my rant of “Aren’t we all people?! Why do we treat each other in horrible ways at work?!” but I’ll leave it at this: I’ve seen many friends, clients and colleagues go through this cycle of pain, and I have gone through it myself.

There’s a position that I do not list on my resume or LinkedIn. I had a nine-month stint there, and I was so appalled at the way the company operated ethically and treated their employees (including me), that I quickly launched Operation #GTFO (Get the Eff Out) and ending up quitting outright. However, there were a couple of really confusing weeks before I did that when I felt so beaten down, scared of what I was going to do and unsure of how I was going to come into work everyday. An additional layer for me was that I had also seemingly figured out my previous unhappiness when I moved to Argentina, so it felt like a huge failure in those early, dark days. I was someone who “had it figured out”, so to feel these familiar pangs of terror and dread felt like this Paula Abdul video (minus the opposites attracting part).

I remember my birthday that year. I was out with my friend Molly for a nice birthday dinner. She had offered to come to my neighborhood and take me out for dinner and a glass of wine. Supposed to be fun, right? Well, I ended up getting myself so worked up after she left that I spent the entire night puking and crying. I lived alone at the time and was too embarrassed to call a friend for support, so I suffered alone.

That is not recommended. 

Soon after Puke-Gate, I had a super strong conviction that I had to #GTFO. (Puking, feeling physically ill, actually BEING physically ill, going to the hospital, having chronic pain, etc, etc are all bodily responses to an untenable situation at work B.t.dubbs) Anyway, I started to put actual feelers out to my peeps and I was also sending good vibes to the universe and all that jazz and soon enough, my friend Lauren contacted me with a mid-term contract position she thought of me for. I went in, interviewed, got the position and was happy helping that company out while I built this business on the side.

So, if you are in an untenable situation at work, and you know it’s gone on long enough, how can you figure out when and how to go about quitting your job? I’ve created a checklist you can use to make sure you’re ticking all the important boxes for yourself before making this big quitting decision. I do not take quitting outright (much less without a job) lightly AT ALL, so I hope you are not reading this post that way. Instead, I want to make sure you’re prepared and feel supported so you can reclaim your life.

Get the checklist here. 


Because life is short, as we see time and time again with all of the crazy and horrific things that happen in our world. Hating your job and making yourself sick over it should absolutely not be on your list of things to worry about. Ever.

9 Brilliant Career Bloggers to Follow ASAP (Repost)

My blog was recently featured in lifestyle brand Brit + Co, and I couldn’t be more jazzed! Writer Krista Gray rounded up the best 9 bloggers on the ol’ career topic, and we made the cut! You can read her article below for more intel on other great bloggers to follow too! Trying to change careers can be tough, but with such a wealth of good information out there, it doesn’t have to be….

9 Brilliant Career Bloggers You Should Start Following ASAP

Krista Gray


There’s no doubt about it, navigating your career path can be complex. Whether you’re looking for a job straight outta college, digging yourself out of student loan debt or trying to jump on the right opportunities (even if that means accepting a job you don’t really want), there’s never a shortage of questions that come up when you’re tackling something for the first time. While friends can dish awesome advice, we love following top-notch career experts for tried and true tips about all things work. Read on for a list of nine super smart bloggers we recommend you start keeping up with ASAP.

bloggers1. Marie Forleo: The brilliant brain behind B-School, Marie has championed a digital movement while educating thousands of women who have become brazen careerists and business owners. As if that wasn’t reason enough to follow along, even Oprah has named her a thought leader.

2. Jill Ozovek: Jill is the best source for advice on finding everyday balance and focus. A career coach living in NYC, her posts cover tough to tackle topics like how to tell if your prospective boss is a jerk and how to stay focused when your mind is elsewhere. Her blog is designed to help you identify and land your dream job.

keep reading here.