“We’re going to have to let you go.”
One of the hardest experiences to endure is losing your job. The ensuing identity crisis, financial pressure, and loss of control can be overwhelming. Nearly every job-seeker battles fear, as the job search demands a sense of resilience, courage and hope.
Enter my friend, Jessica Pierce.
Out of her experience of losing a job, Jessica founded Career Connectors. Career Connectors connects professionals in career transitions with hiring companies and qualities resources. Since 2009, Jessica and her organization have helped thousands of people through career transition, with several thousand landing new jobs.
For several years, my church has hosted Career Connectors events and I’ve seen first hand the impact Jessica’s team makes. She is a force of hope, energy and passion, in the corner of professional in career transition! I’m grateful to call Jessica Pierce a friend and I’m excited to share her story and perspective with you.
Scott: Jessica, thanks so much for sharing with us today! This series of interviews is entitled Overcoming Series. Tell us what fear sounds like in your head.
Jessica: Fear comes over me when I feel out of control, when the finances don’t make sense or something feels much too big to handle. I get in a state of frozenness and have a hard time moving forward with anything.
Scott: When has fear held you back in the past?
Jessica: I remember being gripped in fear when the recession hit our family in 2009. My husband and I both lost our jobs, we had to short-sell our home and then the home we renting went into foreclosure because the owners weren’t paying the mortgage. I remember feeling that my kids didn’t have a safe place to live, they were not feeling stable and I wasn’t taking care of my responsibilities as a mom.
Jessica Pierce on Finding Courage
Scott: What helped you become courageous in the face of fear?
Jessica: I prayed a LOT, and then I listened to what God was saying. I leaned on my husband for emotional support when I didn’t feel like I could move forward. I also surrounded myself with positive people – people that spoke affirmation into my life. I took a look at the people in my life and made sure my friendships were strong and they were an encouragement. This is also one of the few times in my life that I felt a clear call from God, because of that I moved forward with full courage even though the circumstances didn’t make sense and people thought I was crazy.
Scott: Is there someone’s story that particularly inspires you to be courageous?
Jessica: I’ve worked with over 22,000 people that have gone through career transition. The individual stories of the talented folks that come through our program are so inspirational. Almost every person that comes through our program and lands a job, will someday say that they are glad they went through career transition. They are in a better place since being removed from the previous company. One of those people was hit extremely hard through the recession as well. She had been a stay at home mom for many years raising her kids. Her husband lost his 6 figure job, and they ended up going through a divorce. She had to figure out how to support her 3 kids and herself, so she took action. She ended up landing a position with the City of Phoenix and that led to a future opportunity as a community liaison with a large company. She was able to buy a home again and support her children. I love seeing the strength of people that aren’t sure what is ahead of them but go for it anyway.
Almost every person that comes through our program and lands a job, will someday say that they are glad they went through career transition.
Jessica Pierce on Staying Hopeful
Scott: How do you stay hopeful in the face of adversity?
Jessica: I could sit in fear everyday wondering if the non-profit I run will be able to sustain another year. I don’t sit in fear, though, because I’ve been called to this, I know God is working it out. I take another step, show up to another meeting, ask the hard questions and serve the best I can. Outside of that, I have family and friends that I fully trust. We pray together, provide guidance and support/encourage each other to move forward. Then, I laugh A LOT and also don’t work on the weekends. Ensuring I have time each weekend to fully devote to my husband and 3 kids is essential to seeing the hope in front of me every day.
Scott: Someone reading this post is being rocked by fear. If they were sitting with you over lunch, how would help them move forward?
Jessica: I’d listen to them, cry with them and then encourage them. We need friends, we need people and we need encouragement.
Jessica, your heroic work helps job-seekers overcome fear, discover courage and choose to look forward with hope. Thanks so much for doing what you do and for sharing with us today!