Dear Jess...

Every Friday, Jess will be dropping by to help us overcome the obstacles and worries that are holding us back - the self-talk we can’t seem to silence, the struggles we can’t seem to shift and the challenges that have knocked us sideways. Share your questions with Jess at jess@jessratcliffe.com to receive a response here. All messages will be kept anonymous so please feel free to write freely.

Dear Jess, I’ve just started a new job and I’m struggling. The change of pace feels like I’ve gone from an easy sprint (in my previous role) to a screeching halt and I’m losing my mind. I feel a little scared at the thought of being in this new chapter - making new work friends, navigating a new manager and standing out in this new company. I’d really appreciate any thoughts you have.


First of all, let’s put it out there: starting a new job - or a new anything for that matter - is not easy, it’s uncomfortable, so the feelings you’re experiencing right now are totally normal.

We’re creatures of habit - of continuity and control, which makes change uncomfortable because change breaks continuity and throws us into the unknown. That’s where we can feel lost - and without control - because we’ve never been here before so we don’t know our way around (yet) and that not knowing feels uncomfortable.


This is heightened in a new company when we have to rely on others to know what to do: Who do I speak to about getting my email set up? What’s lunch etiquette around here, is it every woman for herself or do we hit Pret as a team? Do we take the full hour or...?

The not-knowing can be overwhelming, especially when we’ve come from a place of knowing “everything”.

It takes patience and self-compassion to readjust to a new chapter and the beginner’s pace that comes with it. We can’t expect to be sprinting from Day 1 and if we do, we’ll only fall short of our own expectations and then beat ourselves up for it.


Acclimatising to a new terrain takes time, self-compassion and remembering that it won’t always be this way. When you look back on the last thing you started, you made it through this slower pace to break into a full-on sprint. You’ll do that again.

When the slower pace is painful, remember it won’t always be this way.

Whilst time may heal all, if you’re anything like me and the other incredible ladies I’ve met in this community, you might be thinking “Seriously, Jess - time?! I haven’t got time, I’m here to make an impact, to show them what I’m capable of and crack-the-f-on!”


I feel you - let’s dive into how you can regain control of your pace and progress, no matter what’s going on around you.


Define a vision of yourself that excites the heck out of you.


For hungry individuals, like us, being bored is insufferable. We’re not here to twiddle our thumbs or clock-watch - we’re here to squeeze the most out of every day and get stuff done. Put simply, being bored goes against our grain.


In the new chapter you’re in, the boredom you’re experiencing is born out of not having enough exciting work to get your teeth into. And that’s painful because without work that stretches us, it can feel like we’re not growing.


On the positive side, in this fresh new chapter of life, you get to recreate yourself. You get to define who you want to be and make it happen. So, let’s do exactly that and get out teeth into the project of YOU.


Create the space to reflect deeply on the following questions.

“How could I feel successful in 3 months?”

Imagine we’re in December, Christmas is around the corner and you’ve been in this new chapter for 3 months. You’re feeling the high of the holiday spirit, you’re no longer bored or stuck - you’re killing it. You’re fully settled in and you’re flying.


Turn to a fresh page in your notebook and get creative: capture every detail of the vision that comes to mind. Who is that you? What does your most extraordinary self look like, feel like? How do you walk into work? How do you show up everyday? What’s happening in your world that’s makes you smile?


Holding that future you in your mind’s eye, let’s work backwards…

“What could I do this week to lay the foundation for that future me?”

What moves could you make? Conversations could you have? Or strengths could you build upon to set your most extraordinary self in motion?


As much as it can feel hair-pulling-frustrating to be in this slower pace, consider it as an opportunity to take stock and gain clarity on who you want to become. And regain control of the exciting work you can do to start making your most extraordinary self a reality.

Jess helps people with big visions overcome the inner-blockers holding them back, so they can make their vision a reality. Jess started her founder journey in her teens, with a moment on Dragons’ Den, and has since worked in product roles in London and San Francisco in companies big and small. In 2016, a life-threatening and ultra-rare blood disease blew Jess’ world apart and set her on her path, harnessing her entrepreneurial and product mindset to build her most important product yet: the person she wants to be. www.jessratcliffe.com

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