Jessica Amico

How Playing It Safe Can Harm You: With Jessica Amico

The current situation has affected every single one of us... Mentally, physically, emotionally, and economically. On the other hand, it has also given so much to think about, and a lot of time to reflect on those things.

Today’s guest on The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast is Jessica Amico, and I must say it was a pleasure to coach her. With experience as an executive assistant, sales, and finance, Jessica struggles to figure out exactly what job position she's really looking for.

In this episode we explore different job hunting strategies and knowing which ones are a better fit, how you could be downplaying yourself, your energy and your passion by settling and not taking any risks, and we sit down for a minute and ask ourselves: am I going in the right direction?

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we welcome leaders from all over the world onto the podcast to be coached live and in-person.

Today my guest is Jessica Amico from Toronto. Jessica, welcome.

Jessica Amico: [00:00:26]
Hi, Kim. Thanks for having me.

Kim Ades: [00:00:28]
How are you?

Jessica Amico: [00:00:29]
I'm good. I'm good.

Kim Ades: [00:00:31]
So you're in Toronto. What are you up to? What's happening in your world? Let's talk. Tell us a little bit about you.

Jessica Amico: [00:00:37]
Well, we are on lockdown again, which is... Gives me a lot of time to do some face masks.

Kim Ades: [00:00:46]
Well, you look fabulous. You're glowing!

Jessica Amico: [00:00:50]
Thank you. But yeah, still on the job hunt that is...

Kim Ades: [00:00:54]
Still on the job hunt. So give us a little history. What were you doing in the past and what kind of job are you looking for? Just give us a little bit of job history first.

Jessica Amico: [00:01:04]
Okay. So I used... My longest term was at a bank, a major bank in Canada, and, honestly that... I gained so much experience from that.

Kim Ades: [00:01:16]
What were you doing at the bank?

Jessica Amico: [00:01:18]
So I started off as a mortgage renewal specialist. So for people that had mortgages that came up for renewal, we would negotiate rates and terms and, you know, give them all the information. I had incredible training, could not have had better mentors. And then I went into lending.

So after that, I just kind of progressed through the company, but I wasn't client facing. So finally I ended up being in a branch, had a portfolio of clients, which was really refreshing, being able to see who I was working with and, you know, they built that trust and relationship, which was great. And then, some life events happened, as they do.

And I took a break from the bank and decided to go into more of a service role. So I decided I wanted to be an executive assistant. And I thought it would be a bit more glamorous than it was, but it was still rewarding. But it was... It was a great experience.

Kim Ades: [00:02:27]
So you did that for a while, executive assistant. Do you think you had more fun in the role of executive assistant or in the role of lending? Where did you feel like your talents, your skills, your abilities were being used better. And where did you feel like you were growing?

Jessica Amico: [00:02:47]
I still feel that my passion is finance. Because I'm interested in it. I grew up in a household where my parents were in finance and education. So I just... I always try to incorporate the finance aspect into any role that I have as an executive assistant, which is not necessarily necessary. But...

Kim Ades: [00:03:13]

Jessica Amico: [00:03:15]
But I just, you know, I can't escape it. I'm... You know, I read business articles, I read everything and I keep my finger on the pulse of the economy. But the sales aspect was really the kicker for me. It was...

Kim Ades: [00:03:33]
You liked that part?

Jessica Amico: [00:03:34]
No, I didn't, I didn't like that part.

Kim Ades: [00:03:36]
Oh, you did not like that part. You didn't like sales.

Jessica Amico: [00:03:39]
No, I wanted to give more advice than I was... Just sell something to somebody that didn't need anything or...

Kim Ades: [00:03:47]
Okay. So here's something interesting because you think that offering guidance and advice is different from sales, and I would suggest to you that they're the same thing. But I just want to explore. What have you been doing right now to try to look for something new? And what, ideally, are you looking for? Like, what would be an ideal role for you right now? Given your background and the fact that you tried these two different things, what do you think is the right fit for you right now?

Jessica Amico: [00:04:13]
Right now, to be honest, I don't really know. I've been given this opportunity... Because of COVID I've been kind of given this opportunity to reflect and think about exactly what it is that I want to do. But I am drawn to finance. I am drawn to the economy and everything like that. So I'm kind of in a limbo of...

Kim Ades: [00:04:39]
Okay. And what have you tried to do in order to explore different job opportunities? Like what are the actions, what's your strategy for job searching?

Jessica Amico: [00:04:50]
So, my strategy is definitely networking, LinkedIn. Fortunately a neighbor of mine works as a head of HR for a company. So he's giving me a lot of advice. And I don't know. I think working as an executive assistant for a financial company, would kind of mesh the two.

Kim Ades: [00:05:14]
And yet, did you love being an executive assistant?

Jessica Amico: [00:05:18]
At times, yes. There's... You know, there's ups and downs of any position, but with the CO--, I hate to always bring up the COVID thing, but being an executive assistant during this time, you know, normally you would make travel arrangements, events, arrangements, and, you know, you'd kind of be the one following around the CEO and doing all these interesting things and being able to be resourceful. And you can't really do that now. So, again, reflecting on what it is...

Kim Ades: [00:05:54]
Here's what I'm hearing. I'll tell you what I'm hearing. I'm hearing that you're looking for something, but that's something that you're looking for a feels a lot like settling. That's what it feels like to me. That's what it sounds like to me.

"Okay, fine. I'll go be an executive assistant because I have experienced there and it's a little safe, it's a little easy, but really I have much bigger ambitions and I have a lot more drive than that".

And so I see definitely a disconnect between your desires and your nature and what you're going for. There's a huge disconnect there, and I think you're not only playing it safe, but you're downplaying yourself. Downplaying your energy and your passion. And like, that's certainly not coming through because I think you've been hit by COVID and you're kind of going "well, I've been in this for a long time. I'll kind of like... fine", right? Like "I'll settle". Right? Is that what I'm getting from you? Is that accurate?

Jessica Amico: [00:06:51]
Yes, that is absolutely accurate. But I feel at this time, you know, sometimes you have to settle so that you can get where you want to go. Because, you know, financially, you have to make money.

Kim Ades: [00:07:07]
Sure, you have to make money. And so the moment that anybody, by the way, says "but" is the moment that there are a set of beliefs that underlie the "but". And some of the beliefs you may have are "nobody's really looking. It's hard for me to get a job. It's hard for me to get attention from people I'm looking to get attention from. It's hard for me to network. I can't go see people", and you have all this stuff going on in your brain. Correct?

Jessica Amico: [00:07:32]

Kim Ades: [00:07:32]
Is that accurate? Okay. And that's stuff that's going on in your brain is absolutely fundamentally affecting you in a negative way. And so for me, the question isn't so much, like how do you find a job. It's really how do you connect you with the passion that you have?

So you keep going back to this issue of finance, but what you said early on was really interesting to me, and it was "sales really got to me", right? Like, that was the kicker. You use the word kicker, right? And so for me, What I see is you have an ability and you were in a very specific, let's say industry or place where you were rewarded, recognized for how much you sold.

Jessica Amico: [00:08:15]

Kim Ades: [00:08:16]
Right? And so you're saying like, you know, "that didn't feel good to me. It felt like I was pushing things on people that they didn't necessarily need, and that clash with my values". Is that accurate?

Jessica Amico: [00:08:27]
Yeah. And it's also on the opposite spectrum that if you didn't sell, or if you thought you were doing a service to somebody, but you didn't sell anything, you didn't get rewarded, even though the customer was happy and left happy and satisfied, but if you didn't get anything for the company...

Kim Ades: [00:08:46]
Right. So let me kind of put some pieces together for you. I will tell you that there are industries where the better service you give, the more sales come as a result, right? So it actually sometimes has value to say, "Hey, you don't need that. You need this instead", because what happens is when the client says, "Hey, this person isn't just trying to, you know, upsell me or sell me a product or a service, that they're actually trying to help me", what you get is a longer term client. You get more loyalty, you build a relationship.

So I would suggest to you that customer service, as opposed to maybe being an executive assistant, maybe even sales, where you are providing a guidance, recommendations consulting is actually a really great fit for you. So I think your search is very narrowly defined and it's inaccurately defined.

Jessica Amico: [00:09:42]

Kim Ades: [00:09:42]
Does that make sense? So you're looking in one direction and it's limiting all these options. And when you're only looking in one direction, you don't see what else is out there. And while typically we tell people to focus, right? It's easier to find what you're looking for when you focus, I really feel like you're focused in an area that doesn't match for you. Because that area doesn't match your drive, your ambition, or even your interests. Like, you're going into an executive assistant position and trying to fit in your interest in finance, when it's not necessarily a natural fit.

And what I would recommend you do is rather than do that, look at a sales position, look at a customer service position and say, "how do I sell by offering service?" Right. Instead of being pushy and, you know, even... You know, kind of going against your values. You don't want to do that. But I think that there's a wider market out there for someone like you, who is authentic and really, really tries to help the client as opposed to pushing product.

Jessica Amico: [00:10:55]
Right, but there's always a quota. You know, you have to meet your quota.

Kim Ades: [00:10:59]
There isn't always a quota. Sometimes the quota is customer loyalty. And so you're looking very narrowly. And my thought is that there are so many entrepreneurs who are... You know what? Just the other day, I had a conversation with an entrepreneur who runs a company that does... They install sprinklers in the ground.

And he said, "you know, my installers go and they do their job, but they don't offer really great customer service. And I really want to offer great customer service. I want to make sure that my clients are wowed and over the top, happy with what we do, but installers? That's not what they do. They just want to go in, get the job done and move along".

Someone like you, not that you should be doing this specifically, but someone like you is exactly the kind of role that they're looking, for making sure the client is over the top happy. That's something that would light you up.

Jessica Amico: [00:12:01]

Kim Ades: [00:12:02]

Jessica Amico: [00:12:03]

Kim Ades: [00:12:03]
Do you agree?

Jessica Amico: [00:12:04]
I agree. Yeah, that sounds great!

Kim Ades: [00:12:07]
And for those of you who are watching, look at Jessica's face, she just lit up!

So my recommendation is this. It's not, "here's the strategy to go and look for a job". It's really: think hard about what you're looking for. And while you are looking for an executive assistant position, maybe you're better off looking for a customer service position, or even a sales position where your focus, your intention is to deliver the most extraordinary experience that anyone can have on the other side of the table or the phone, for that matter. Right? Now all of a sudden you're looking differently, you're looking in different places.

Jessica Amico: [00:12:55]
Well I'm thinking. So, my belief is that if you're selling something that you believe in, you can sell... It's a piece of cake. So, if you're trying to push something on somebody that you... That I personally don't believe in, it's not going to happen. So...

Kim Ades: [00:13:14]
You're 100% right.

Jessica Amico: [00:13:15]
So I need to find something that I believe in so that I can... Not convince, like, I don't want to manipulate...

Kim Ades: [00:13:26]
So you can demonstrate your conviction and passion.

Jessica Amico: [00:13:29]

Kim Ades: [00:13:30]
Yes, yes, exactly. But up until now, you've closed off all sales positions because in your mind, you're like, "I don't want to have to push something on someone that they don't need or want that I don't believe in", but I'm willing to bet that there's something out there that you do believe in. And that you're willing to share with people if the fit is right.

Jessica Amico: [00:13:55]
Spot on.

Kim Ades: [00:13:56]
Got it? So my suggestion is open up your scope and look for other opportunities that you haven't looked at thus far.

Jessica Amico: [00:14:06]

Kim Ades: [00:14:07]
Good? Makes sense?

Jessica Amico: [00:14:08]
Makes sense.
Kim Ades: [00:14:09]
Okay. Amazing. I hope that helped. I hope I gave you some direction moving forward...

Jessica Amico: [00:14:15]
Yeah. And motivation.

Kim Ades: [00:14:17]
Right. For those of you who are listening, I want you to think about this.

Sometimes we're just so focused on heading in a direction that isn't actually a good fit for us, that we don't open ourselves up to other opportunities and other options, because we think that those options aren't the right fit. But when you're not feeling good about what you're doing and what you're going after, it's an indicator that you're heading in the wrong direction.
So stop for a moment and think, "what do I really want? What are my beliefs about what I really want?"

In Jessica's case, her beliefs were well, "it's hard to get a job, so I kind of have to go in this direction. I don't have much choice", and those beliefs are invented beliefs. They're not true, and they're keeping her stuck in her spot. The truth of the matter is that when Jessica is passionate, there's no stopping her and she needs to find the thing that she can be passionate about and actively endorse.

Hope you got something from this conversation.

For those of you who are listening, if there is a challenge that you want to discuss on the podcast, please reach out to me.

My email address is

And if there's a challenge that you're not so comfortable talking about on the podcast, please reach out to me anyway.

My email address is

Jessica, thank you for joining me here today.

Jessica Amico: [00:15:43]
Thank you, Kim, for having me.

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