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Chelsea speaks with recruiter and content creator Jazmine Reed-Clark to answer audience questions on everything from how job-hopping looks one a resume to getting the upper hand while negotiating.

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Hello, everyone, and welcome back to an all new episode of The Financial Confessions.

It's me, your girl, host, founder, CEO, New Yorker, Manhattanite, dog owner, wife, wife to hubby, Chelsea Fagan. And as you guys know, I love to talk about money.

And for many of us, the biggest thing when it comes to how much we're going to earn is our professional pursuit, is our, for many of us, 9:00 to 5:00. Now, we talk a lot on the channel about things like the importance of negotiation and kind of how to navigate the professional world, especially if you're just starting out or you're in, for example, perhaps, a very male-dominated industry and you're not a man. Or you might be, for example, the first person in your family to graduate college and didn't necessarily receive the tools that many of the people you're competing in the job market with did.

We also talk a lot about the dynamics that financial privilege can play in and around the workplace, especially when it comes to things like unpaid internships. For a lot of industries, it's basically a requirement to do unpaid internships. But for many people, that's just literally not economically possible.

And when it comes to increasing your income, yes, side hustles can be very important. And we have an upcoming episode all about maximizing and diversifying your revenue streams. But for most of us, the largest gains that we're going to make in our income are going to come from our principal job.

Now, that could be from moving to another company, getting a raise or promotion within your own company, potentially going back to school to build skills and change industries, or any other number of ways of climbing the corporate ladder. But again, the question all comes back to what do you know, who do you know, what tools do you have to navigate this world and advocate for yourself. It's easy to say negotiate, less easy to do it in practice.

Last season, we had on my guest today to talk about all of these things. And we got a ton of comments and questions about more specific kind of nitty gritty professional queries. So we wanted to take a time this season to just do kind of ask a hiring manager slash ask a recruiter because that's exactly what she's done for many years.

I don't know how many. I guess we'll find out. She's someone I also think has a really interesting perspective on navigating the professional world because she comes at it from what I think is ultimately a very human and emotional space.

I think often we have a tendency to kind of separate our professional and personal selves. But the truth is that we bring our whole self to the office, so we wanted to have this ask a hiring manager Q&A with someone who brings their whole self to her answers. And before we get started, I want to thank Avast for supporting today's episode of The Financial Confessions.

Avast's new all-in-one solution, Avast One, helps you take control of your safety and privacy online. Learn more about Avast One at My guest today is recruiter, hiring manager, career coach, writer, video creator, social media person Jazmine Reed Clark.

Hello. I'm so happy to be back, Chelsea. We are so, so happy to have you back.

For those who may not be as familiar, can you just give a quick rundown-- you can start by answering my question of how long you've been in this space-- but of what you do and how you do it. Yeah, totally. So I transitioned from social media and advertising into HR and recruiting in 2016.

Now, since 2016, sometimes recruiting was exactly the big chunk of what I was doing. Sometimes it was a really small portion. But for the last two to three years, that has been my principal income.

And I'm actually in transition. So I currently am a recruiter for a consulting group. And starting next week, I'm actually going back to a former client, and I will be doing recruiting for a PR agency.

So excited to start that up. I love that. And as I mentioned in the intro, there is, I think, a huge kind of power dynamic in the workplace in terms of the resources that you bring when you come into the professional space, whether it's negotiating or being able to do those unpaid internships we talked about or even just kind of knowing the language of the professional world, which, for many people, if their parents, for example, are maybe English as a second language or not from the professional world, they're not going to gain those skills.

So before we dive into all of our audience questions, how do you sort of make your career coaching and advice accessible for people who don't necessarily come from that background of privilege? Absolutely. In fact, I feel like that's really where the purpose-driven part comes from.

Most of my clients, like you just said, their parents-- English isn't their first language. I'm working with somebody right now who's like, my parents immigrated here. They literally just don't know the ins and outs of how to write a resume, get a job, apply for a job.

So honestly, I think it's just continuing to have diverse clients and learning, OK, what are your different roadblocks and bottlenecks? Also, some of my friends are able to share their stories with me. But I think it's also just leading with empathy of, OK, when I was younger, what was I confused about, but then also going back and asking other people-- I do campus recruiting, and I just did a small conference last week.

And I just sat and asked them, like, hey, you're graduating during a semi post-COVID world, what are you afraid of? And we got to talk about things like background and economics and socioeconomic status. So I think just having conversations, to answer your question more briefly, and then just having enough empathy to ask, OK, if I didn't have the privilege of blank, what would I'd be curious about, and then providing the resources for that person.

Yeah, I really-- I think it's really important that your work focuses mostly on people who don't have those resources, because, I mean, for me anyway, I like-- in my early 20s when I was working for other companies and I was kind of in this space, I had a really hard time not feeling, quite frankly, super bitter and resentful towards the people in my field who literally did not have to care about money. I was working with 25-year-olds who were living in $5,000 a month lofts that their parents paid for in Brooklyn. And they did not give [BLEEP] what they were being paid at our job.

And I'm like, OK, fine, but now you're messing it up for all of us because we now have to compete with someone who has no stakes. Exactly! Absolutely.

And even working in consulting for the past season, it's-- while things are getting better and more equitable hiring practices are being introduced into, frankly, an archaic hiring system, it still is-- you meet those people who are like, yeah, whatever, my dad works for insert big four company here. I don't care. And you just-- you see, definitely, the disconnect and if-- and the-- you know what, let me just keep it cute.

But you see the disconnect, for sure. And I think that's why it can't just be a Black problem or a poor problem or a female problem. It really-- I mean, it frankly is all of our problems.

So again, just having conversations are so important. And giving [BLEEP] is also very important. I agree that giving [BLEEP] is super important, which is why we've turned this entire episode into giving [BLEEP] about your questions.

So we have about 1,000 questions. I'm not going to be able to get to all of them. But let's just start working through some of these.

OK. "I've heard from multiple sources that it's extremely hard to get hired for a normal job after a period of freelancing or entrepreneurship. Is this true, and why?" I would say I'm living testimony that it is possible. I think what you're going to find the issue is with the roadblock is people see freelance as not real.

So one thing I know I've done with clients is take off CEO and founder. Yeah, that's what you are, but-- OK, sometimes a recruiter is going to read that and think, OK, but did you make any money being the CEO and founder? So I know when I was going through a life transition and knew that I needed my own health benefits, I had to take the last two years of freelancing, and instead of saying founder and CEO, I said recruiting and talent acquisition consultant.

I made sure to say the clients on the resume, explained the gross revenue that I made in two years, and my portfolio of clients. Ultimately, you just have to, I guess, make it legit. So yes, there are definitely roadblocks, but it is possible.

And something else I would say-- and again, this is happening in real time. Also, look back at the clients that you've been able to freelance for. They are usually looking to bring people in full house-- or full-- [LAUGHS] OK, Bob Saget.

I know. RIP, OK. Oh gosh, RIP.

Whoops. We're looking to bring people in in house. So I also think leverage that network that you already have, even if it is as simple as, Chelsea, I'm looking for full time work.

I know we worked on a freelance basis. You're not looking for anybody full time. Do you know anyone who is?

So there are ways to make the system work for you. Yeah, what I'm kind of hearing from you-- and I would really agree-- is you have to make whatever you were doing about the actual tangible product or service or whatever you were actually doing on a skill level, because I do agree that-- even myself. Yes, I'm a CEO.

And yes, it's a little bit more structured, obviously. We have employees and an office and all of those things. But ultimately, even for me, saying CEO doesn't really say what I do.

And the majority of the tasks that I do-- like, I would not be suited to go be a CEO of any old company. It's very specific skill set. So I definitely agree.

Highlighting what you were actually doing is so important. Definitely. Yeah, that's my next move.

I'm going to be CEO of Wendy's. OK. [LAUGHS] I love this question because I honestly have thought about it myself, not that I'm going anywhere or have gone anywhere. But for people around me who've been doing this-- and I feel like it's especially relevant in the great resignation. "At what point does job hopping become risky to your hirability?

It seems like over the years, the amount of times that you're expected to stay at each company has decreased. But do recruiters notice this? What stands out as a red flag versus what's considered a normal career progression?" I love this question, because, yes, we all have likely heard the data points of every time you switch jobs you're able to get more money, which is true.

I-- in my little career coaching circle, we were talking about this recently. I think the red flag that I've seen is when you keep staying a place one year here, 18 months here, I really want to see that you've been able to do something full cycle. Now, that's going to look different for a recruiter versus a marketing manager.

But if you're not able to really illustrate a campaign that you've done from conception to completion, to me, I'm just like, well, how can I trust that you're going to be successful at every stage? So to give you a number, I would say when I keep seeing ones and 1 and 1/2's, that can raise a red flag. I will still take the phone call.

I'm just going to dig deeper into, what are you looking for? Was it simply monetary, or was it, oh no, I was working for, like, WeWork and it was a [BLEEP] show and we go there? Yeah, my husband is in tech, and I feel like it can be very difficult-- when he hires, he talks about how it can be very difficult to suss out, because there are a lot of people who have a lot of names on their resume.

And he's like, you honestly have to look up a lot of these companies and be like, how many of these went out of business? Yes! Yes.

Especially the startup land, abso-- or-- and you guys can go to my author analog-- how many of them were scams? Yes. It is-- yeah.

And I would also say, I totally agree with that assessment. And when I'm hiring, personally, I also-- I agree that if you see a lot of ones, you're like, maybe they're vibes are just bad. It does become a little suspicious.

But to your point, did you never get a promotion? We never made it far enough at a company for you to rise a little bit it. It does, to me, kind of illustrate, like you said, that there's kind of a limit to the extent to which you can grow in a role.

Absolutely. And I think the pandemic has really changed that, because for such a long time, if you had an employment gap, that was a red flag. And now it's like, no, people get laid off.

People have to become caretakers. Life happens. They sure do get laid off.

That WeWork thing is so funny. It's so crazy that WeWork is still a company, like, and people are working at-- my husband has a WeWork membership. And I'm like, do they even have offices anymore?

He's just going into a cardboard box. OK, so we're getting, now, into a LinkedIn question, which we have quite a lot of. So "I have a lot of recruiters who reach out to me via LinkedIn and ask for my resume for the roles that they're hiring for.

A lot of times they then ghost me or they quit the recruiting firm. And so I know LinkedIn is useful, but should I take the outreach that I get there seriously?" I love this question. It is a catch-- well, not a catch-22.

It's just kind of like a catch. Sometimes things are going to bite, and sometimes you got to throw that fish back in the sea. Yeah, I do think you should take it seriously.

I won't lie. Most of the time, we have 50 job recs, and we have metrics-- we have reporting that we have to send in to our manager. The reason you get ghosted-- I'm not saying it's OK.

I just want to explain why. Recruiters are overworked, unfortunately. And sometimes we're talking to literally 300 candidates at once.

Again, it should not happen. Our systems need to be more sophisticated, both internally and with the ATS systems that we're using. That's why some people are like, why don't I get a personalized rejection note?

I'm going to be honest-- because we can't always do that if we need to send 300 rejection letters. However, I still think there needs to be a human connection and empathy. But I just wanted to answer the question of why are you getting ghosted.

Now, how to take them seriously-- get on a phone conversation with them. I would just say, hey, would love to discuss this further. Here's my resume.

When can we set up a time to talk? And I think if the conversation goes stale from there, then you know they're probably just trying to get warm bodies on a pipeline and you don't really need to take that one as seriously. But if they're very responsive, I mean, clearly, that is something that has more legs.

But yes, take it seriously. And yes, you are going to have a few frogs before you find your prince or princess-- Your prince. --opportunity. So staying on the LinkedIn one, we have a lot of questions about the extent to which people should be using LinkedIn as like social media.

Now, I personally find that the people who make posts on LinkedIn, content on LinkedIn, are the most psycho. But I also know that some of the [BLEEP] is getting a ton of engagement and it seems useful. So a lot of people are like, how should I be using it as a social platform?

I love this question. I talk about this in my Job 101 But first, Chelsea, yes, the person who's like, today I had a sandwich, and it got me thinking, everything is like bread and cheese-- and I'm just like, where the fuck are you going with this? It really does give American Psycho vibes.

But I really love the people who add value and explain-- like, one guy I know, he has no idea who I am. I actually do like following Reno Perry-- I think is how you say his name-- because he will say, OK, if you get rejected from a job, here is a networking template you can use. And I've joined some of his webinars, and I do think they're helpful.

Now, how can everyday Joe Schmo use it to land a job? We do, as recruiters, look at your activity because we get scammed, too, just like candidates get scammed. So seeing, like, what are you liking, who are you connected to, what are you posting, that can kind of give us a feel for the culture fit or the culture add that you'll be.

So I would say, don't feel like you need to be a LinkedIn influencer. However, I think you can post-- so for you, Chelsea, it could be posting different financial articles that you're reading, giving your two cents, and then starting a conversation from there. I absolutely hate the phrase "thought leader." But I don't have a better phrase.

But I think, ultimately, we want to know that you're an expert on something. And so when we can kind of suss out your professional brand, that is really helpful. But again, if you are just like, hey, how should I use it-- I just worked with a client on this-- just start liking a few things, reading articles, commenting.

And if you want to take it further, you can, but you don't need to make LinkedIn a side hustle, for sure. Just a note on that-- my arch nemesis-- well, my arch nemesis is probably Dave Ramsey. But my other arch nemesis is that fucking Dan Price, the CEO with the long hair who gave all of his employees $70,000 baseline.

Look up why he did that, baby. It's because his brother was suing him for mismanaging the company funds and spending them all on himself-- but aside from that, waterboarded his ex-wife. Google that, also.

Just google Dan Price. Like, have a grand old time. I think he recently just got arrested for hitting a woman out in California.

Either way, that man's traction on LinkedIn is unbelievable. And I-- his posts literally are millions of likes each. And I'm like, what does it take this-- sorry.

The cancellation discourse is such a joke because that man is like doing the biggest numbers ever on LinkedIn, and I'm just like, get a better thought leader. Get a better one. [LAUGHS] Wait, do you-- are you into true crime? Do you know who Bailey Sarian is?

I don't. OK, well, she always says, "Get better idols," and I just think your new catchphrase can be, "Get better thought leaders." Truly. And I'm just like-- I don't have the craziest standards for my professional influencers, but I don't want them to have waterboarded their ex-wife.

Like-- Wait, what are your-- because everyone-- in addition to writer, da da da, I'm also president of the Chelsea Hot Chicks Club. So do you have any thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg resigning and all that good stuff? Yeah.

I mean, we've talked about Sheryl Sandberg in previous videos, and I do think there is something so noxious about what she brought to the culture. I do think that she often doesn't get acknowledged in the girlboss discourse in the same way that all of the young, cute CEOs did or do. And I feel like she really was kind of the mastermind of that really specific brand of feminism.

And if you go back and read LinkedIn now, it's deranged. She really has this incredibly toxic attitude of, like-- you know, it's that very like second-wave feminism of we got to break ourselves in order to be competitive with men and really does not at all acknowledge it. Of course she's able to do that.

She's a billionaire. She has like an army of servants that can take care of all of her domestic tasks. But I do think that, yeah, it's fine that she's stepping away.

But for me, the whole thing with Facebook in particular is like, oh, now that you've completely undermined democracy and caused genocides, now we're going to step away to make candles or whatever, I really do find it very offensive. And I know that exact type of person. I would be shocked if she didn't put out a book about stepping away for my own mental health in a year or two.

If she leaned in, is it going to be like leaning back? Like-- Lean out? Maybe, honestly.

I mean, yeah. I don't know. I just feel like she's so toxic.

Do you still-- actually, out of curiosity, is the leaned-in mentality still really present in the recruiting game? Oh, yeah. Oh, god.

Oh, sorry. I just-- I'm like PTSD, combat, war zone. Yes.

Is it getting better? Absolutely. But-- give me a second to think how I want to say this.

I will just say, in the last two years-- so it could be anybody-- I did-- so two things. I know someone who was told you need to smile more if you actually want to get ahead despite what you're saying, and it was a male manager speaking to a female direct report. And then I personally was told one day I will really learn that you have to be a bitch to be a good leader.

And until I learned that, I will always hit a ceiling in success. So again, who said that to me, we'll never know. But, no, absolutely-- that you still need to be a bitch to get ahead, you can't have humanity in the workplace, that you need to have clear boundaries on bringing your whole self to work, that-- and I think there's actually a really interesting conversation I do have with my friends, my Black friends, because I know one thing I do struggle internally, just to put myself on blast, is at what point do you rage against the machine but also realize there's a cost at raging against the machine?

So I did have a little kiki sesh with some Black employees, and it was-- all I will say is I understand the pressure to give in to some of the advice we get to code switch to become more palatable. But then at one point you're like, OK, but then I now feel complicit in the exact thing I want to rage against. So I want to just share that I know it's nuanced.

But, yes, it is still absolutely a problem in recruiting, in business in general. Yeah. I mean, totally.

And I mean, as a woman, obviously it exists, all the more so if you're a non-white woman. But I definitely agree that there is something so cynical, ultimately, about feeling like the only way to achieve anything personally is to perpetuate the exact dynamics that kept you down in the first place. It's depressing.

Absolutely, absolutely. OK, one question is asking, "How do I negotiate when I really do need the money?" [LAUGHS] OK, so what I heard was, "How do I negotiate when I really do need the money?" Yeah, like you really don't have the power to negotiate at a leverage. OK, I know this is such a frustrating response because I'm like, oh, I just want to know what her background is.

But mentally, I'll decide that she is entry level. And then do you think most people are curious about negotiating after they have a job or before they get the job? I can do both, I guess.

Yeah, I would do both. I think both are important. So you're young negotiating before you get the job.

Some things have changed. Now, please look up your state laws. Colorado is different than Texas-- not shocking.

But you can't ask about compensation ban. I would say, a few years ago, that was very much taboo. But ask-- first of all, pay transparency-- I do think we should have legislation that protects pay transparency.

I don't know why it's ever a guessing game. But you can ask about pay compensation. And one thing I want to make note-- I saw somebody, actually, on LinkedIn talk about this.

And again, this is where I'm like, this is a helpful post. If something says, like, $50K to $75K, you might think, oh, well, I'll get the $75K. We are always going to come in at that mid-level.

I mean, that's probably not shocking. But just be aware that just because it says you could get this much doesn't mean that's what they're ultimately going to give you. Now, let's say you know the compensation.

You've asked about it. From there, that is when you do, yes, talk about years of experience. But the biggest thing I've seen, especially working in consulting, is having another offer on the table if you can.

And I-- you don't always need one. But there's some finesse there that I don't want to get into quite yet. But that is really what I would say is even just asking-- you're never going to get an offer taken away from you by a legit healthy company.

So definitely ask about compensation ban, talk about your years of experience. When you can, talk about another offer you have on the table, especially if it's a competitor. And then when all else fails, ask about performance bonuses, if this is applicable to your industry, commission structures, and really just see what you can get out of the company, honestly.

Now, if you've been working there a year, you're up for a promotion, or, hey, typically in a year, this is what happens, that is when you have to-- I mean, really, it starts well before the conversation. But keeping track-- I call it a highlights journal or a career journal. You need to really ultimately answer the question-- let's say you want 20,000 more dollars.

How have you basically paid for yourself in the work that you've done? So that's going to look different-- but highlight achievement, projects. But another thing is get sponsors within the company that you work for.

What is a sponsor? A sponsor is a little bit different than a mentor. It is somebody who's going to go to bat for you because we're typically having these compensation conversations with multiple people.

So if you can have somebody say, oh my god, actually, yeah, she deserves that full 10%, it really does make a big difference. But ultimately, go into it-- think of it like you're a lawyer and you have to present the best case for yourself. Let me know if I can add more color anywhere.

No, I think that's really sharp. And I think the most important thing for me that you said is that any company that would revoke an employment offer because you tried to negotiate, like, you dodged a major bullet by not working at that company because it is truly-- you would be better off working gig working for a while and temping or doing whatever you need to do until you find a better full-time thing, because any company that's that fickle and-- what's the word I'm looking for, like-- any company that would effectively try to punish you for advocating for yourself is, like, what a nightmare. Exactly.

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OK. So when I work with clients who are looking to switch industries, lately, I would say, 75% of my clients are teachers or social workers who are like, [BLEEP] this. And they're like, how do I get into corporate?

I only know teachers. That is where joining online communities, I think, is really helpful. And I know, Chelsea, when you were introducing me and talked about bringing yourself to work, this is where I think you get to connect authentically.

So specifically, I'm thinking of this one client. She'd been working in special education for seven years. She is looking to leave.

She wants to go into corporate. And while we are looking for opportunities related to learning and development, I also told her, you know, now's a really great time to connect in the right circles. There are some groups that are dedicated to educators leaving education and getting into corporate.

Or you can join things related to special education since that's already where your heart is, because, yes, while the girl next to you might also be a special education teacher, her partner or her sister could work for, I don't know Kellogg's, and you just have to really think of it that way. But then you don't feel slimy, like you're handing out your business card and schmoozing. You actually get to connect with people on a topic or a theme that is really precious to you in your heart.

So yeah, online networks are great. There are LinkedIn group, Facebook groups, Instagram groups. You can also join, obviously, just social groups.

Look for organizational chapters. So I'm a part of SHRM. It's for HR professionals.

But there's a Dallas chapter. And if you're like, I still don't even know where to start from there, if you did graduate from school, there are often alumni groups that you can join. And a lot of-- this, I guess, is-- this is only applicable to some.

A lot of companies are now-- because of the layoffs, they have alumni groups where you can connect with people who have previously worked at a company who are now working elsewhere but just want to help a fellow-- like a former TFD employee. So there are definitely options. And also, look at virtual career fairs.

That is huge. Honestly, if you want to know how us recruiters build our pipelines-- because we have to prove that a virtual career fair was worth the time, money, and effort. So if you go to them, we will interview you-- 99% chance.

We will definitely interview you. So yeah, those are just some options. And I also just tell people, you do have a built-in network.

You never know who knows the other person. But I also think it's great to just practice saying what your intention is-- like, I want to get out of gig work, and I want to go into nursing. The more practice you have saying it, I think that also helps you when it comes time to negotiate and building your confidence and getting over some of the imposter syndrome that you're going to feel switching industries.

All excellent tips. And I would also say, it's interesting that you are working with a lot of educators who are getting out of it. I actually have a friend whose husband is pivoting to become a teacher.

Yeah. He's been working in the restaurant industry, and he's burned the hell out. He's like, I can't do this anymore.

I'm going to go teach kids some English. And another friend's husband is already a teacher and has some people who are currently shadowing him who are doing that same transition toward teaching. And so we're just all going to grab dinner this weekend so that they can meet and talk.

And I feel like it's probably likely that, in your personal just friend and family group, someone in there knows someone who's in that industry. 100%, 100%. Man, do you know what he wants to go teach? You said teach-- Teach English.

Yeah. Nice. Yeah, yeah.

I mean, the thing is that I totally-- my mother is a teacher. We have a weird preponderance at TFD. Everyone here's mom is a teacher.

I don't know how that happened, but 80% of the company, our mothers are teachers. And I totally, of course, understand how it could be such a draining job and not compensated enough and all of those things. However, at least in places like New York City, the level of job security and the pension and the benefits and all of that stuff, it's pretty unbelievable compared to the private sector where, like-- I mean, I'm in a particularly volatile industry and media, but even in tech, in consulting, all of these things, layoffs constantly, benefits getting slashed, people having to take on three jobs because four people around them got laid off.

It is really-- and also, being a Union job, the incredible respect about work hours and time off and all that stuff. I do think people-- as we increasingly have a really atomized workforce, I think those jobs, in a lot of ways, are perhaps underrated. Definitely.

Actually-- I don't know if you've ever asked your mom this question, but how-- and I guess anyone at the TFD office can answer this. How did she battle compassion fatigue? Because that is the top driver of people leaving.

It's really tough. My mom actually has primarily taught at schools for kids who have behavioral issues. They're sort of academically, intellectually on par with their age.

But they might act out or have gotten violent, been in fights, things like that. So I think for her, especially, it's very-- it's just like a lot of empathy and, like you said, compassion all the time. And it's so sad.

A lot of the schools that she's worked at, the kids have-- perhaps they're in the foster system or they don't have a very stable home life or whatever it may be. And a lot of them, she's the only person-- every year, there's four or five kids at least where she's the only person who celebrates their birthday. She'll get them a gift and take them to a special lunch and stuff.

And they don't have anyone at home who does that for them. And I think, for her-- I think, weirdly, at least in my experience, when you're so kind of in it all the time, I think you don't even really necessarily process it as much, at least in her case. And I feel like it's almost during the time off-- or right now, they just moved, so she's not teaching right now.

She's looking to find a new school. It's almost I think, then, that you sort of feel the weight of it, because when you're in it every day, I think you almost don't even have time. You know?

Yeah, for sure. Man, that is so hard. And then those are the kids who are probably going to have-- I think people forget there's so many privileges that we have even just having a parent in the household.

Oh my god. I, like-- yeah. I mean, we were-- like I said in the intro, obviously everyone runs the gamut about the tools that they bring with them to the workplace.

But it just is unbelievable to imagine how people can be competitive in their professional or academic life when there is literally zero support system. It's one thing to have a support system where maybe your parents don't speak English or maybe you're super low income or whatever. But to have no support, it's just-- I don't know.

The illusion that we're all playing on an even playing field and it's a meritocracy is so insulting. Ugh. Man.

Shout out to teachers. I know we shout them out quite a bit in this society, but not enough in my opinion. You should be paid more.

OK. Ooh, I really love this. "I have a very toxic manager, but I love my job and don't want to quit or change companies. What should I do?" OK, this is hard-- very relatable.

Few things-- so obviously there's the option-- thug it out till the manager leaves or dies. But I think you can also look at-- I did have a client who dealt with this, and she was open to an internal transfer. So that actually worked for her.

I know I personally had a similar situation where I loved my manager. I just knew I wanted to learn more. He was specialized in a specific part of HR and people operations, and I wanted to learn from a different leader.

So I took time to begin to cultivate-- identify the leader that I admired, took time to cultivate her, cultivate a relationship, those virtual coffees, those, hey, can I do an extra-- like, can I help on this project? And then, I would say, six to eight months later, a spot opened up, and I was able to transfer to her team and learn from her. And she's still a mentor, and I'm set to go visit her this summer.

So those are some of the options. I also think-- if you're like, OK, well, I don't want to transfer and I don't want to thug it out, I also think the third thing is learning to cope, so figuring out what is it about your manager that makes them toxic. Again, speaking from experience, when I look back at my career, a lot of managers really crave control.

Maybe they don't have control at home, or perhaps they're dealing with a sense of I'm bullshitting this too, but I'm going to be really, really mean because I think that's what I need to be, and they're putting on a performance. And it's not your responsibility to soothe their inner child. But I think, if you can, for yourself and your own survival, reframe-- OK, this is somebody who is emotionally immature, and that has nothing to do with me.

And then, again, depending on the manager, maybe you want to build a relationship with them so that you can, honestly, just have a healthier working relationship with them, or maybe sometimes things are so toxic that you do go to HR or an employee hotline. But when I really think about the person who's like, my boss is just toxic, I hate them, they're never going to change, I think it's just having coping mechanisms and sometimes putting systems in place that keep them at arm's length. So for a micromanager, you already know they're going to micromanage.

Go ahead and get ahead of that [BLEEP] and say, in the morning, hey, this is what I'm working on, or in a day, hey, this is what I accomplished. Almost play them at their own game a little bit so that you can then have the space to breathe and actually do your job. So those are some of my tips.

It's always going to change depending on the person. My advice is to sleep with that boss and work it all out over pillow talk is what I say. [LAUGHTER] No, that's terrible. That's terrible.

But I feel like almost everyone deals with that at least once in their career. And I do think it's, like-- I don't know. I'm sure this person actually knows that they do want to stay at their job.

But it's at least worth doing a self-assessment of how much of that is just the familiarity of the job, and what is the potential value in having a job where you feel supported and not under the thumb of a tyrant, you know? Exactly. OK. "Describe the ideal cover letter and resume." I love this.

So cover letter, you ultimately-- just know, we read so many that the "dear hiring manager, I am thrilled--" da da da da da. Really tell a story. Add a little bit of dimension.

So I think, if you're changing industries, you can say, I've spent the x amount of years in blank. But due to this passion for y, I want to pair my expertise in here with my talent in z. I'm all over this alphabet.

But I think you guys can get the point. The cover letter should really tell a story. I wanted to add more dimension.

Really, again, think of yourself as a professional brand. And if LinkedIn is your, I don't know, Instagram, I want the cover letter to almost be like the cool DM that you send. And then-- but as far as the formula-- because that's always helpful-- salutations, a quick introduction, basically like your pitch elevator and why you're interested in the role.

I would always bring it back to the company's mission so that it feels tailored and thoughtful. I would then pick a project. So if you're reading something for a marketing manager, what is some-- and you say, OK, you need to drive revenue for-- I don't know-- consumer packaged goods.

All right, when have you done that? Tell a quick, little blurb. Basically follow the STAR method.

And then closing is what are you going to bring-- so the soft skills, the hard skills-- and then I look forward to hearing from you. Now, resume-- I love a tip that I heard on the Career Contessa, and it was-- it needs to almost read like a LinkedIn page-- up, down, minimal graphics. I know I've said this before.

Some ATS systems just aren't sophisticated enough. But ultimately, it should be very clear what you're an expert on. I want to know your hard and soft skills.

Tech is actually really great. When I can see you're already familiar with a certain system that we're using, that is huge brownie points. And then metrics, metrics, metrics.

We love seeing numbers. So again, I don't really need to know what you did. I need to know how you did it and how you did it well.

Amazing. Can we get a ballpark word count on that cover letter you described? Ooh, yeah.

Mine is always three to four paragraphs. And as a writer, I think I should know. Maybe that's like 250.

Wait, Chelsea, you're a better writer. Well, thank you. I would say that sounds like it's probably somewhere between 500 and 750 words.

If it's on a page but it's-- it's hard to-- it depends on how juicy your paragraphs are. I will say-- this is just like a personal observation. And also, I'm sorry.

I get dragged every single time I talk about the hiring process in any way that is even mildly-- I'll be like, we get people who, instead of applying the way that is asked for people to apply on the listing, they'll just DM every single person at the company on Instagram. And I'll be like, don't do that. And then people in the comments will be like, I do that, and it's like the only way I can communicate. [LAUGHS] And I, like-- and listen, I do understand that there are people who are coming to this process with all kinds of-- they might have ADHD.

They might have serious anxiety around these things. They might not have the best skill sets as far as copy editing themselves or whatever it may be. And I do understand that, and I think a savvy hiring person-- and I think everyone on our team here is.

Like, they will be able to suss out the difference from a minor sort of deviation in the sort of process and what is ultimately probably a red flag that they may not be a fit. But I will say, one thing that people, I think, really chronically underestimate-- and I don't know if it's your experience as well-- is how many people just are so careless in the application process, who don't read instructions, who don't send what you've asked for, who don't even literally bother to put the actual person's name and are clearly copying and pasting, I think that-- just being sure to really do everything exactly as it was asked for and, like you said, taking a minute to tailor your outreach, you are already leagues above a huge percentage of the applicants. Oh, huge.

Like, one time-- this happened recently-- they had sent their cover letter that was actually for our competitor. And I was just like-- you couldn't save it. It's just little, careless errors like that.

And-- so one thing I'll say-- everyone's a little bit different. And maybe that means you only apply to three jobs a day. Don't sit there and apply to 20, because by the time you get to the fourth, fifth, and sixth one, I think that's when you're going to make those-- because nobody intentionally means to do that.

But that is when you're going to send the wrong cover letter or have a typo or what have you. So again, just think strategically about how you want to even approach your job hunting strategy. Well said.

Also, you guys are crazy in those comments sometimes, because one time I got dragged because I said that it was really not cool that people literally just completely ghosted us on a project and then still had the audacity to invoice. I was like, you guys really take issue with that? What kind of chaos are you working in that that's acceptable?

OK. Do do do. Oh, I like this. "How do I stop or reduce uptalk, especially during meetings?

Is this even something I should worry about?" And for reference, for those who may not know, uptalk is when you end your sentences like this. Read it-- is she just like, is this really a problem? Is this a problem?

And if so, how does she reduce it or stop it? The reason I'm hesitating is because I can think of people who do that. But their work is so great that no one gives [BLEEP]..

They're just a great worker. But I can also see there are some people who, at the end of the day-- and I've said this-- extroverts have it a lot easier in the workplace when you have that emotional intelligence. So I do know some people who have been able to fail up because I think they're able to carry themselves with confidence and say the right thing just the right way.

Do I think it matters? It depends. But I think it's worth some-- it sounds like it's something that makes her insecure.

So that makes you insecure. I still think it's worth working on. So maybe-- I would actually want to know, why do you think you have to do that?

I know one thing I do myself is-- but I don't know. Maybe that's a dumb idea, right, because you want to distance yourself. So really understanding why you do it and then, I think, when you can start to unpack that so that you can be more secure, that is how you can fix that.

Or you can just also look in the mirror and practice it. There's actually this girl-- I wish I could remember her name-- but on TikTok. She has these different exercises for public speaking, like setting a timer and every time you say "um," you have to start over again.

So you have some exercises you can do, too. As someone who listens to hours and hours of her own voice every week, I say "like" all the time. That's definitely my bad habit.

That being said, we work with all women. So this is a safe space to say "like," "um," uptalk, cry. I cried a couple of weeks ago at work, and it was great.

But I definitely, like-- so we don't particularly have that dynamic internally. Although when we are interfacing with clients, often men, then you do become pretty self-conscious of those things. And one thing that I find personally very helpful is to really sort of picture a period at the end of sentences, because I do think that it can often be a matter not so much of the disposition of the way you communicate.

It can often be more a question of feeling uncertain or feeling kind of hesitant. And I think it's honestly more so than the upspeak itself. I think often, especially when we're talking about this, is people are really picking up on what sounds like a lack of confidence in what you're saying, a lack of certainty.

And so I think when you practice really saying, there is a period at the end of this sentence, I think it forces you to express it more as a thought and an observation rather than a question or kind of like a timid interjection. I love that. I'm going to steal that, Chelsea.

You should-- well, thank you. But you should. I really-- I personally do-- in high-stakes conversations where I feel very nervous, I definitely practice that.

OK. The "likes," though, they're just going to have to live with because I can't get rid of them at this point. Do do do. "Does one include past roles on LinkedIn after a career change or only include new and relevant positions?

For example, after 10 years experience in the non-profit sector, now entering law school." This is really good. I went through this myself. And I would say, once I had five years in my new industry, which is HR, I did take off everything related to social media.

As far as looking at it from a recruiter standpoint, there's absolutely nothing wrong with keeping it on there. If anything, it kind of adds more dimension and texture to your candidate profile. However, if you're asking me what I would do is what I did, which was once I had five years of HR experience, I did take it off, only because I wanted to really position myself as a specialized expert.

So a little bit of it depends, but that's what I personally chose to do. So for our last question-- and we got many, many, many versions of this. And I know it's broad, but I think it's good to speak to a wide range of experiences.

Basically, a lot of people asking, I want to make a total career change, but I don't even know what the first step is. Well, I mean, honestly, the first step is knowing what you want to do and-- do you think more people are confused about I don't even know what I want to do, or it's I know what I want to do, I just don't know how to get from point A to point B? Maybe answer for both.

OK, cool. So if you're like, I don't even know where point is, what I did was I did a complete retroactive of-- first, I do believe we in our gut sometimes what we want to do. But we like to back it up with evidence.

So retroactive-- what did I like? What didn't I like? What-- so one client we're working on is, what environments do you thrive in?

What environments do you want to thrive in? What is the relationship you want to have with work? Do you want to do your passion?

Like, one thing when I was doing copywriting is, when you're doing it 40 hours a day and you have to write about insurance and deodorant, you don't always want to write about things you care about in your personal life. So I realized there's certain skills I'm willing to trade for money. And then there are certain things I'm not willing to trade for money.

Like, I have some friends who are like, you should become an interior designer. And I'm like, well, A, no, because I feel like everyone wants shiplap and things I would never want. Like, Dallas, I could just see-- I'd have to go into Z Gallerie every day.

But also I love this for myself. I don't want to trade that for money. But-- so those are some things.

And then I would also kind point out-- see what kind of management you worked with, what company cultures. I'm finally comfortable admitting I do best in smaller companies and startups where I get to kind of put my hands in different cookie jars. When there's too much red tape, I actually don't really do well there.

So having honest conversations with yourself, looking for common themes, and letting people who know you-- like past managers, past coworkers-- enter that conversation and kind of give their two cents as well. Now, let's say exactly where point A-- or, I guess, point B is-- and you just don't know how to get there. I think that's just where informational interviews-- I know, I know.

Networking-- it's like, ugh, are there any other ways? But really getting into informational interviews-- so I would say, at least once a quarter, I have somebody who's like, hey, I want to be a writer. Can I just pick your brain?

And I'm like, yeah, sure. This is what it means to write a pitch. Here's how you write a good pitch.

Here's what rates look like. And here's how I got started writing. And actually-- I don't think I've ever told you this, Chelsea.

Can I tell you something? Yes. I started writing because of you.

Oh my gosh, stop. Aw. No, it's true.

I was, like-- I was obsessed with you-- Oh my gosh. I'm blushing. --you know, in that old media-- I don't know if you say their name anymore, but-- Thought Catalog? Yes!

Thought Catalog. Oh, rip. I was just like, she is the voice of the generation and-- Oh my gosh. --I'm going to write like her one day.

So you don't even understand-- That's really sweet. --what it meant that you know of my existence. So-- but to use that, I was like, OK, I want to be Chelsea Fagan. And I was like, OK, well, Chelsea writes about all these different things.

Well, let me try those different things, too. And then I realized what I am comfortable writing about. And you try on different hats.

But ultimately, find somebody who is doing what you want to do or works in the industry you want to work in and ask them about their trajectory, their path, how they got there. And then that's a really good starting point. I love that.

And I will-- first of all, I totally hear and love that you don't want to monetize being an interior designer. But you could. I totally agree with that.

But I also think, when it comes to those skills that you have, I think a lot of people kind of tend to make a dichotomy between what you 100% don't monetize versus what you make your full-time job. And I think it's also very important to explore, is there a middle ground with some of these things? Is this something that you could do a couple hours a week on the side?

Maybe-- just using an example of interior decorating. Maybe once a month you work with someone as kind of a consultant, and you do that rather than being the person who then becomes a Property Sister and is going into all those homes in Dallas, which I have to say, if you were to become an interior designer, you got to get out of Dallas, because, like you said, they are going to be asking for some ugly [BLEEP] out there. Ugly-- oh my god.

Oh, yeah, yeah. No, you're right. You're 100%.

But yeah, no, I definitely agree with that. I will also-- as a last note on that, when it comes to informational interviews or reaching out to people-- this is a non-work-related example, so I feel like it's going to be lower stakes for the people getting on me in the comments. But-- so I like to do phone banking for political campaigns and stuff like that-- or canvassing sometimes, too, but mostly phone banking because it's easier to fit into schedule and whatnot-- because Lord knows I like to talk, and I'm an extrovert.

I'm not afraid. But I put out on my social media-- I was like, if you've been thinking about doing it and you have some questions, feel free to email me. A bunch of people emailed me, and I was going through them and answering them.

So many people-- now, some people asked some really good, thoughtful questions, like how do I schedule, like can I do this only five hours a week, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Many people wrote to me and were like, "I'm interested in phone banking," period. And I'm like, OK, do we have a question?

What are we doing here? And I feel like it's so important, whether in work or in just kind of networking in general-- have a specific ask. Have a specific thing to say.

Make it as easy on the other person as possible, because in this instance, I really do want people-- in this case, actually, phone banking for Beto. So I really want people to be doing that. I'm going to get you a new governor, girl.

But even in something that's-- so obviously I care enough in this instance to be like-- I wrote so many emails back that were like, thanks for reaching out, are there any specific questions I can answer for you? But if that was a job application, this person would be, like, out. Oh, no, no, no.

You would be shocked how-- like, this just happened last week. Hi, I just graduated. What jobs do you think I'd be a good fit for?

I'm like, sir, I'm not your personal headhunter. I don't fucking know. Like-- and then I-- same thing.

Thank you for reaching out. Here's our Careers page. If you see anything that interests you, please let me know.

I'm like, yeah, people-- What is wrong with people? Yeah. Or people who truly have not even taken two seconds to research the industry you're in-- and maybe this is my own ego coming out.

I'm sure it is-- when people are like, oh, I really want to be a recruiter because it looks like fun. And I'm like, I mean, it's a job. Do you know what-- OK, well, tell me what skills you have that make you want to recruiting.

It's just-- sometimes, yeah. I'm like, did you run any of this by somebody? But-- yeah.

People. Well, Jazmine, as I knew it would be, it has been a pleasure and a delight. We'll have to have you back next season, if you'll have us, to do more mailbag questions about professional stuff, because I have to say, I find it incredibly fascinating, even just personally.

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for having me on.

Of course. Where can people go to find out more about you? So you can go over to-- because I'm going to change some of my domains.

So just go over to my Instagram, my professional Instagram, which is And I actually had Chelsea Fagan on season 1. And yes, I was very nervous, even though I had worked with TFD.

I-- No. No, you don't even the story. I reached out to Kristen.

And I was like, I want to ask Chelsea to be on the podcast. But do you think she'd say no? Because I don't want to embarrass myself.

And she was like, I think it would be fine. But I'll do a soft ask and then-- She soft launched you? I love that.

Well, I had a fabulous time. I got to get out to Dallas and give you a hug in person. I would love that.

And you can stay here and admire my not ugly apartment. Oh my gosh, what a dream. I would love that.

So thank you again. And thank you all for tuning in. And we will see you back here next Monday on an all new episode of The Financial Confessions.