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Jess Wass is a Career Coach & OD Consultant with a Masters in Org Psych focused on helping people achieve with intention. Check me out at

Something funny begins to happen in your late 20s/early 30s, or whenever you face a massive crisis or life stage transition. You start to look at your life and ask yourself, am I really happy? Is this the life I wanted to lead? What you find is that the early part of our life is guided by what I call “box checking”. Influenced by the “shoulds” and the “coulds”. I should do that. I could do that. If you’re lucky you hit a bump in the road that allows you the chance to pause and question, is this what I…

“What are you?”

I was daydreaming a bit while waiting for the train to arrive, but the question interrupted my thoughts.

“I’m sorry, what?”, I asked as I came out of my mental slumber.

“What are you? You Puerto Rican or something?”, he asked.

This is where I sigh silently to myself as I make a quick calculation on whether I have to divulge my personal family history to a stranger in order to make polite conversation or risk upsetting them by rebuffing their question.

I should note this is unfortunately not an unusual question or occurrence for me. You would think it…

Identifying the sneaky ways we derail ourselves when we think we are being productive.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I never thought of myself as a procrastinator. I never waited for the last minute to get work done. I was seemingly a productive person with a great work ethic. However, I noticed that I still was falling behind on some of my work tasks and it seemed impossible to get all of my work done within the normal work day. I knew I was working all day, yet I felt like I didn’t get anything completed. What was going on? This is what I refer to as “productive procrastination “.

There are obvious forms of productive procrastination such as…

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

In the past, I struggled with carving out time between 9 AM — 5 PM to get my work done. You know what I’m talking about if you don’t sit down until 5 PM to start working on your to-do list because of the endless meetings and interruptions throughout the day. It’s completely demoralizing and leads you to feeling like you’re constantly underwater. So how do you break the cycle? It starts with setting some boundaries.


You can become more productive at work simply by creating and protecting time to actually do your work. First, you need to block out…

“I’m feeling really frustrated because I told [insert name] to do [insert task] and they never did it.”

I hear some version of that sentence often when with my coaching clients. We often get frustrated when we feel like we communicated and we aren’t getting the results we want. This applies whether the other person is our business partner, or a direct report, or just another team member. …

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Back in 2018, I finally had the right motivation to make significant changes in my life, but struggled with how to turn those ideas into action. Despite being a high-achiever with a string of past roles at high-performing companies across Finance, Consulting, and Startups, I had never set personal goals for myself. There was always a fear that if I set goals then I’d feel too pressured or overwhelmed to achieve them. Or if I didn’t hit my goals, I would somehow be a failure. The key to overcoming my fears was to adopt a growth mindset and create a…

There are often two schools of thought when it comes to deciding whether or not you need to focus more on your strengths or weaknesses. On one hand, you could focus on addressing your weaknesses so they do not hold you back in your career. On the other hand, you can ignore your weaknesses and focus on leaning into your strengths. But which is the correct approach? In order to answer that question we need to explore a bit more about each perspective.

The first important question to consider is, “What is a weakness?” Is it a skill in which…

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Our thoughts can influence our feelings which then affect the actions we take. As a result, negative self-talk can often become a vicious merry-go-round of negativity. So how do you get off the ride? Here are four steps you can take to combat your negative self-talk and start to break the cycle.


Respect yourself and your feelings by acknowledging, yet not judging, your negative feelings. The first way that people get stuck in the quicksand of negativity is by beating themselves up for having negative thoughts in the first place. For many of us, our negative thoughts are automatic. Changing…

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

It’s easy to get so caught up in our to-do lists that we lack the time to think about the big picture, solve hard problems, or just reflect on the work we are doing. We are constantly moving at a million miles a minute and that constant go-go-go is not beneficial to us. So I was inspired by Marie Kondo as I thought about how to change up my daily routine to allow more time and space for reflection and what brings me joy.

Mario Kondo’ing your work-life means maximizing the time spent on the things that bring you joy…

At one of my earlier jobs in my career, I was like any young overachieving 20-something. I was eager, hungry, and wanted to have a huge impact on my company. Being promoted was on my mind from the moment I stepped foot into the building. However, promotions require more than executing your job well. One of the core skills you also need is being able to “manage up”.

When most people think about the term “managing up” they think about how to communicate with and manage their boss’s expectations. However, it’s less about managing or trying to control your boss…

Jess Wass

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