COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S1 EP33: AYANNA E JACKSON

September 27, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 33
S1 EP33: AYANNA E JACKSON
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
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COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S1 EP33: AYANNA E JACKSON
Sep 27, 2023 Season 1 Episode 33
NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

ANOTHER CAFFEINATED CONVERSATION! Sometimes paths cross and they have a big impact on you - AYANNA E JACKSON and I were partners in the corporate world for a short time  before we both jumped out to do our own thing! But the impact was memorable and her wisdom is powerful. Take a listen to her traditional turned nontraditional path to find inspiration for your own LIFE BY DESIGN! And EMPLOYERS, Listen up to the perquisites that enabled her success along the way!

Ayanna is a Trusted Career Coach -
Since 2001, she's worked with all types of professionals from interns to C-suite executives. She is a values based partner with a proven history, she's been there done that and she helps her clients break through the obstacles that come up in all of our careers. 

Her VISION: Helping you get to a career you love. 

​Her MISSION: To improve careers, leaders, and teams one day at a time. 

Want to work with AYANNA? Check out her website here: https://www.ayannaejackson.com/

She's the kind of LIFE BY DESIGN coach you can trust! HIGHLY RECOMMEND

WANT TO SUBSCRIBE:


Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

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Show Notes Transcript

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

ANOTHER CAFFEINATED CONVERSATION! Sometimes paths cross and they have a big impact on you - AYANNA E JACKSON and I were partners in the corporate world for a short time  before we both jumped out to do our own thing! But the impact was memorable and her wisdom is powerful. Take a listen to her traditional turned nontraditional path to find inspiration for your own LIFE BY DESIGN! And EMPLOYERS, Listen up to the perquisites that enabled her success along the way!

Ayanna is a Trusted Career Coach -
Since 2001, she's worked with all types of professionals from interns to C-suite executives. She is a values based partner with a proven history, she's been there done that and she helps her clients break through the obstacles that come up in all of our careers. 

Her VISION: Helping you get to a career you love. 

​Her MISSION: To improve careers, leaders, and teams one day at a time. 

Want to work with AYANNA? Check out her website here: https://www.ayannaejackson.com/

She's the kind of LIFE BY DESIGN coach you can trust! HIGHLY RECOMMEND

WANT TO SUBSCRIBE:


Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

***BUY NICOA A COFFEE
**COFFEE WITH NICOA MERCHANDISE SHOP
*SHOP NICOA'S COFFEE WITH NICOA AMAZON SHOP

|| Coffee With Nicoa Copyright 2023 ||

Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Okay, my friend, I Anna Jackson, how are you?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I am wonderful. I am amazing. Thank you for having me.

Nicoa Coach:

You are wonderful and amazing. Right when you were gonna answer that I saw something the other day where? A famous person I think she's a comedian, actress. She comes on the stage and, and the hostess says, Hey, how are you? And she goes successful? How are you?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Amazing. How are you? Yes.

Nicoa Coach:

Amazing. Thank you. Well, you are amazing and successful. Thank you. Thank you. And I've been enjoying watching you online on your social media. Everybody. Just a quick introduction. This is Ayana. E. Jackson. She is a trusted career and leadership coach. She is a very similar story to my own. We both did the big corporate fan, the big overachiever, we're going to be executives and knock it out of the park. She's actually yeah, so you and I met back at GE right? Yes.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Back in. Should I throw off a year ago? I remember the year.

Nicoa Coach:

I think it was like, Oh, 203.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Around that time. Yep.

Nicoa Coach:

So yeah, around that time Nicoa was having a existential crisis about life. And at the end of that time that I was at GE wind energy, I had left GE

AYANNA E JACKSON:

devastation, because I didn't know our existential crisis at this time. So I was devastated that she left

Nicoa Coach:

how far you are part of the Human Resources leadership program, because like I had been doing your your six month assignment correct far into your assignment? Did I? Did I abandon you?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Um, so I did my first there was three rotations. I did my first one. I want to say was it at HQ? It had to have been, and then I think second, and then I did the second and third out in to hatchapee, California, which is where we were located at a mass wind energy manufacturing facility. So I think I had you as my manager, the first rotation and then the next rotation was a cross functional assignment. So I had another manager. So you, you made it before I think you were gone before I finished?

Nicoa Coach:

I think I was. Yeah, I left in Oh, three. Okay, yeah. Well, yeah, to hatchapee. middle of nowhere. That was you. and I were like the only GE people that went and lived there. I believe. So no one would go now. It is a charming little town about two and a half hours northeast of LA. And you know, I think what was really cool about it, I know I shouldn't be talking about this. When you talk about we're talking about you, but what was kind of neat. Well, there was nothing going on there. GE wind energy was the number one employer after the prison. Yeah. And then right before the cement plant.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

That was I remember that. Yes. Oh, my God. And Jimmy Moore

Nicoa Coach:

had a house there. Oh, wait, did I know that? Oh, no, her, her and I guess she was with Ashton Kutcher right at the time and, and they were in there Helmer. And then Jack Palance lived there. Oh, it was an old guy that he's passed away now. But he was a famous actor. And then Casey Qassem, who used to do America's top 40 He actually started the cable company there so he could have TV. It's that small. I

AYANNA E JACKSON:

don't think I knew that. I don't know if I do any of that.

Nicoa Coach:

I'm sorry. I was not a good enough manager for you. I was having. No, you

AYANNA E JACKSON:

were fine. You were there before me though. So you went out first because GE had acquired that from me. After the big industry blow up. And you went out first. And then I came out happy go lucky over rotation. And I've got out there and I'm like

Nicoa Coach:

you know, you and I learned a lot there. Oh my goodness. Yes. We'll go into what we've learned and how our life by design emerged and evolved from that. But everybody, not only did we have a phenomenal experience at GE and the both of us loved GE. We still can't get we can't get that little GE tattoo.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

backside. They're still there.

Nicoa Coach:

The GE meatball meatball. Yeah, exactly. But you went on to work for a variety of organizations in the field of human resources. Because once you go through that program you are coveted you and sky's the limit. If the sky's the limit you were at, you worked with NAACP, you worked with NPR, Starbucks and discovery TV. I mean, you better than me, girl.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Fun times, all of it would change a day.

Nicoa Coach:

But now you have gone out on your own. And I want you to ultimately tell us what what made you decide to take the jump? Yeah, but but before we even go there, tell us who you are, where you're originally from, like, how you were raised? What's the foundation of Ayana?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Yeah. Oh, that's a good question. That foundation. I don't think I've ever had that one for foundation. I think about that. But in a nutshell, I was actually born in California, in San Diego. My parents were both in the Navy. But they left there and went to Detroit, which is vastly different. But my father's family was from Detroit. And so I grew up in Detroit, I went to school there. Had a relatively decent childhood. Both my parents divorced, but they both remarried. So I had a plethora of extra family and extra cousins and extra step brothers and sisters and all that good stuff. And then I graduated. I didn't graduate from high school early, but I was only 17. And like, literally the day after I graduated high school, I was on a flight to Atlanta, because I went to Clark Atlanta University, which is HBCU. And I was in a summer program. It was a pre summer engineering program. Now don't ask me how I went from my high school business curriculum to college, chemical engineering program. But I did. I had a scholarship, it was great worked out. But literally after my freshman year of college, or after my first semester of my freshman year of college as I am, this isn't for me. And so I switched a business, graduated within four years, got my first HR opportunity, and just kind of spiraled from there went to Michigan State for grad school and got a master's in human resources and labor relations just really, truly have always, for the most part, love the work that I do. And so it was a big deal.

Nicoa Coach:

Let me ask how did you go from, you know, chemistry to chemical engineering and engineering. We probably couldn't pass chemistry. That's what it was.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

It's super hard. And what I learned really quickly was that everything I learned in high school chemistry, we cover the first like three weeks in college. So everything after the first like, three to four weeks was pretty dope. And I was like, Oh, yes. And so what happened that Christmas, the Christmas break, I came home. My uncle at the time, was attending graduate school at the University of Michigan. And we went to the house we're visiting, I said, Hey, Anca said, How's everything going as a high school? Boy, he's like, Well, it's going great. He's like, take a look at this. And he has we this folder, and in the folder are like 678 offer letters, and major companies, and they salary at 90,000 100,000. Yeah, $1,000 sign on bonus. $10,000 Sign up. I said, Wait a minute. I said Uncle. So what's your major? He said Business Administration. I said, Okay, I went right back to school in January after Christmas, right? change majors and have been full path ever since I was truly credit my uncle Byron foundation of how I got into human resources. I don't know if he knows that story. But that is absolutely how it happened.

Nicoa Coach:

I think they call those the conversion stories. Yes. Exactly. Where there's a major life swing for you. And I'm glad you made the change so quickly. A lot of kids you know, I got six kids between John and me three in college right now. And we had to just graduate. Oh, my goodness. But we've been trying to give guidance to him to to say, you know, look, now's the safe time. Yeah. If you want to change your mind, change your mind. I mean, of course, you could change your mind at any point in time. That's what a life by design is all about. But so you go down this path, you've changed it to business. Well, what was it like to be you in school? Was that was was going to school an expectation in your family? Or was this you know, did you feel pressure like the American Dream pressure to do all these things? Or was this just comfortable for you?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I think overall, it was comfortable for me. I tried to play the let me take a gap year card with my mom. She was like absolutely not. You're not taking a gap year and this was before a gap year was even a really a thing as well. Maybe I should just because you know, we were trying to get scholarship money and figure out logistics and I was just like, I think I just got to a point of frustration. It's like, Well, mom, maybe I just take a year off work and save money. And she was like, Absolutely not. Because she said what's going to happen, you're going to start working, you're going to get used to the money, you're going to get comfortable, and you're not going to end up going and that was the worst case scenario, but I took her advice I kept going on I don't think I felt pressure to go, I wanted to go, I grew up in the timeframe where that was just kind of the expectation. That was just kind of the plan, you know, and especially, you know, in the African American community education is everything. You know, I was always taught that's, that's something they can never take away from you is your education degree. And so it was just the path. And to be honest, I hadn't seen that path modeled in my family. You know, I hadn't seen like, my mom went to school full time or part time while she worked full time while she raised me and my brother. My dad didn't go to college, my stepmother went to college. It's at some point, I know she would eventually but I don't think there were many people in my family who went right after high school. And so I didn't have that model. But I had a different world on TV. I had friends who were going, and I just really always kind of considered myself pretty fearless. I'm like, Yeah, let's do it. Let's figure it out. I'll figure it out. That's kind of one of my models. I'll figure it out. It's gonna work out somehow. And I don't always necessarily, especially when I was younger, like, wiser now. I didn't always have that fear of what's gonna happen, what's the exact plan? I was always just like, Dang jump in. Let's do it. And so, you know, going to college for me. It was it was, it was x, it was expected, but I didn't feel that pressure. And when I got there, it had its pros and cons. You know, it's a huge, huge period of growth. It's a huge, huge learning, you know, timeframe, trying to figure out who you are trying to figure out everybody else trying to learn trying to have a job at the end of this process. So it was a pretty, you know, significant time in my life and don't regret it. But it's, uh, it played a really big part in, you know, where I am today and how I operate today. Oh, for sure.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah. Back to that foundation. I mean, yeah, I didn't have parents that finish college. They both went, my mother went for about one semester, my dad went almost for the fourth year. And my brother and I were the first to go on his side of the family. And so you're right. It wasn't pressure, but it was expected. Yeah. That was the that was the story. Yeah.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Your parents want you to do more and be better and greater than what they were. So yeah, absolutely.

Nicoa Coach:

It gives you the keys to freedom in the game of this. It's a game that we're all playing here on Earth. Yeah. I can tell that your personality, and your ability to figure it out was probably one of the main reasons that you got chosen by GE. Because I think that's, that's one of the skills I walked away from GE knowing that they did they bet on us as leaders, we weren't asked, we weren't proven. And when you can bet on somebody and really everybody listening bet on yourself, just start betting on yourself. You know what, I may not know what today, but I can figure it out. And I got 42 people and call Exactly. It's in a freaking internet now.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

gptc Easy now. Today's kids, like, what's the problem, you have a plethora of resources that we never had. And I think back to when I was on GE HLP program. I'm moving across the country, by myself with a flip phone, two cats, and a Mapquest printout of a map from how to get to the hotel to the airport. Like it blows my mind when I think back to just how much I did alone, and how much I just I figured it out. And literally moving across country and I went up to Pennsylvania, already call that Dutch country farmland, and did an internship. And you look back on it. And it's so funny how you could think I didn't necessarily plan that worked out because I just did it. I just dad moved all over this country for years by myself and two cats.

Nicoa Coach:

And those two candles, two cats. You know, it is an amazing reflection when I think back on that time I am so I'm almost the opposite of that person. Now, in many ways. How would you say you've evolved over those years? And was there a point where you began to second guessed moving all around and, you know, taking those cats with you?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I think by the time I was in my early early 30s And I wasn't in a you know, full time regular relationship I had wasn't didn't have a marital marriage prospect. And not to say I did aspire to that right. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But I did kind of second guess myself like it kind of figured out Oh, I'm not in a long term relationship because I keep moving that space long enough and developing relationships and I have friends all over, but I'm not so focused on a romantic relationship. And now here are Yeah, I can see why I'm not right. really pinpoint. Oh, maybe because I don't stay anywhere long enough, you know to really settle down and so didn't have regrets but just kind of had that realization as I got older so

Nicoa Coach:

yeah, and that's what you know emotions are for if you're sitting there feeling like oh, how come I don't have a boyfriend? Oh well, what's, what's that message? Well, let me think about that. Yeah, what do I want? You did fall in love and you have a baby girl baby

AYANNA E JACKSON:

girl. Well, she's got a baby but yes. There always be our baby.

Nicoa Coach:

We I have not seen you since 2003 Yeah,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

yeah, it's been a good while and just you know, through Facebook and LinkedIn Yeah, you're able to better keep in touch with people and see what they're up to. But yeah, it's been a while

Nicoa Coach:

will tell us about being a mama and that transition and falling in love, like what was that part of the transition in my life. Um,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

so my husband and I met in 2006, when I moved to the DC area, I came here to work with Starbucks Coffee Company. I was the regional HR manager. So I had all the stores from like Philadelphia, all the way down to Delaware. Fantastic company, fantastic job, like, love it, loved it. And then I met my husband not too long after I moved here in 2006, and started dating the usual and then bought so that was in. We met in September. And I think by Jamie and

Nicoa Coach:

can I ask did you swipe right, what happened?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

We met at the club. It was this is how I usually tell people, right? We met at a networking event. Because it was it was it was Congressional Black Caucus week. And that's really, you know, big deal in this region. And there's lots of get togethers and networking events. We met at a networking event that just happen to be at a nightclub. And he was super tall, super handsome. And that was in September of 2006. And then by January of 2007, we kind of I think both that was kind of it. And so kind of alone dating period, trials and tribulations just like any relationship, and then we got married in 2011. And by that time I was I was in my late 30s Sounds like oh, we're gonna have a baby. So, my daughter was born in 2013. And the biggest thing I remember about when I was pregnant at that time, I cut out everything extracurricular. So I dropped out of associations, I dropped out of a photography class I was taking, I stopped all the extra after work, we're stuck, like, I didn't do anything, but I didn't want to do anything, but be pregnant. And just whatever responsibilities I had, like, I really made a conscious decision to enjoy my pregnancy, and to enjoy the process. And the reason I did that is because I kind of knew that will be my only child. Like I never had aspirations to have like, three, four or five kids like I bless the people who do, I'm just not one of those people, Sofia, but because I kind of knew she would, you know, this will be my only time I'm going to enjoy this process. I'm going to just take it all in and it didn't quite go as I expected in the realm of work actually got laid off when I was six months pregnant. Oh my. And so that was a whole banana sandwiches type of scenario and, and I like foolishly, maybe not fall asleep. I guess it depends on you faultlessly to me. I went out and kept interviewing and started interviewing for another job. And I distinctly remember carrying big purses like trying to hide my stomach, wow, this isn't working. And so I just shut it down, you know, continues to be pregnant had my daughter. And then I actually had about five months off with her at home, which retrospect is amazing, right, really great opportunity. And, you know, let's

Nicoa Coach:

think about that. Think about that for just a second. Because most people don't pause and recognize that the universe is always conspiring on your behalf. And if you had made such an intentional decision, yeah, I really want to savor this prime example to savor this baby. Universe. Okay. Five months,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

five months. Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. So I really did cherish that time and still cried when I had to take her back to bite here.

Nicoa Coach:

And I was My firstborn. What I got three weeks, six weeks, three weeks. Exactly. I mean, luckily we had, you know, my husband was able to stay home. Exactly. There was no way. No way. Can you imagine? Only got the three months?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. And like the leaf, and health care and maternity leave policies in this country are just awful. It's so hard. It really

Nicoa Coach:

is terrible. That'd be an entirely different podcast. Exactly. Call me back. Exactly. Well, I did watch you on a podcast the other day you were talking and giving opinions about you know, performance reviews and talent. And I love that your insights are there, right aligned with the way I see the world, I think we have, again, that same foundation of, of really, really thorough good HR, what good HR looks like, but let's talk about mama hood and working and a person with a life by design doesn't necessarily want to quit their job like you and I did. So how do you? How would you define that motherhood, life by design that you had to grapple with? Or was easy for you? I don't know, how was it? Oh, is it?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Well, it's okay. It's easier now. Right? My daughter is 10. So a lot more self sufficient. But I think in the beginning, I just think I was super blessed, both me and my husband, I had a relatively flexible job. At the time, when my daughter was born, I was working for Discovery Communications, this is before discovery merged with Warner Brothers. And they were pretty progressive at that time, they had an onsite daycare, they had special rooms for nursing mothers, they had special refrigerators to keep your milk if it was right, it was super, super progressive. And so even though I had a number of, you know, career related job related issues with that company, in retrospect, it's really easy to see how God put me there for a reason, and how that Job was a blessing to me at that time of my life. I had a private office being an HR, that's always helpful, but just now to have a private office so I could pump milk, and have where I didn't necessarily have to use the you know, the spaces they had I had, you know, so things like that. And then having mostly as in most organizations, mostly women, in the HR division, a lot of women were mothers. And so they understood, so I can't tell you how many times it leaves three, I ran out of the office to go rushed to daycare to pick up my sick kid, you know, and being in an organization and having people around you who understand that need and, you know, aren't harping on you? Well, who's going to fill your shift, when when are you going to get your work done? Or when are you going to make up these hours. And unfortunately, there's so many women who are under that type of model and under that system, and that's super, super sad and unfortunate. And it's something I'm I got really passionate about instilling now, when I was going through early motherhood, because your kid is your kid, and you don't get that time back. And the baby time is just so short. And so really grateful that I was with the company at the time that did allow me to maneuver and leave and take care of and this was before, you know, working from home was a thing. You know, before remote work was really common. So I was just really fortunate, I think, in the early years of my daughter's life, to have that flexibility.

Nicoa Coach:

I remember what right after I left you guys, and I went to thermo electron at the time, I started in one of their local divisions. I was anyway long story, but I got there. And turns out, I didn't know it at the time when I got the job, but I was six weeks pregnant. And they had they had a policy that said you had to be an employee for six months before you are eligible for maternity leave or something and I just changed the policy.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Here's a new policy guys.

Nicoa Coach:

I was like, Well, I'm pregnant. So we're gonna change that policy. I was like, Are you I felt like it was my one small way to change the world because God's sakes people don't know

AYANNA E JACKSON:

that it's really hard to plan your pregnancy around a business cycle and performance management.

Nicoa Coach:

And I took the two bathrooms are on Main floor and I made them unisex and I made one of them. Also the nursing room good and

AYANNA E JACKSON:

good people to do that. Yeah, it was

Nicoa Coach:

it was crazy. Well, you aren't you were lucky and are lucky and I'm hoping that people listening if you're part of an organization that has not yet become progressive when it comes to embracing motherhood and the miracle that our women yes and their ability to they will provide you with more results. While they're a fact Play? Exactly. I mean, no, no offense to my single friends and or non mothering friends, but at the end of the day, they do know. You have to. Okay, so it's just becomes a skill that we learned. So let's fast forward a little bit into the career, your daughter's 10. You've been working through your career. And then when did you start getting that inkling that you were not put on this earth to stay in a corporation and you should go out on your own

AYANNA E JACKSON:

26th day, it was literally 2016, my daughter was three, I have been with that same company had been with discovery that what I would have been about three years in. And I had primarily been an HR generalist throughout most of my career. So that's where, as you know, you know, you're kind of the master jack of all trades master. But you've got your hands in compensation and benefits and recruiting and talent and, you know, coaching, and you know, all the things. And I had been doing it for so long. And was just good at it. And I know a lot. I was just like, ah, what else can I do? So that was the first question like, What else can I do these skills that I have this thing I've been doing now for almost 15 years at the time, it's like, what else can I do? And so that really kind of opened the floodgates for me on some exploratory things and just researching and taking every assessment and looking at other jobs, and how do I turn my passion into a job? You know, just that kind of timeframe where you just you don't know, you're trying to figure it out?

Nicoa Coach:

Were you getting bored?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I was just bored. My boss even knew I was bored. And I wasn't bored to the point where I was quietly quitting my job, but even my boss one day in a one on one, she was like, are you okay? I tried to play it off. You know, I have a very expressive face. Just to see, you know, like yourself, you seem a little off, you seem bored. And I might have shed a tear, because she hit the nail on the head. And I sent it here because I was like, Oh, crap, it's showing. Oh, they know, you know, and I, one of the things I always prided myself on is you will never call me lazy, right? So I'm fully immersed in this capitalistic patriarchal society of Work, Work work, right? And so I just like, you'll never call me lazy. I'm not lazy. I do my work. I'm dependable. Like that was one of my foundational values of Ayala, right? And so for her to just pick up on it in a one on one. Like, oh, I should fix that. And so the fix was, hey, what am I gonna do different? And how do I go about doing that? And that, again, that was in 2016. That's what really set me down the path of what else? How do I take the skills that I have and do something different?

Nicoa Coach:

And we're back to that emotional feeling. Right? So And just because you think you're masking it well, and you're still showing up and doing all the things I see energetically? People feel it, that's the energy you're exuding. Exactly. And, and good for you for taking responsibility in your own mind, even before she picked up on it to say, okay, what can I do different? You know, what would be different? So you actually moved into a more specialized role, right? And leadership development. So was that when you went to NPR? Yes, or is

AYANNA E JACKSON:

That's exactly it. And so while I was at Discovery, I really kind of honed in on the fact that I'd like to help people with their careers. This piece where I got the most joy when I knew I could do the work where I knew I could help us out. Let me show you how to be better in your job. Let me show you how to get a job. Let me show you how to search for a job. Let me help you with your resume. Like those were the things that gave me joy. And so I partner with the director of learning and development, the company that I was at. I was like, Hey, what's going on? How can I help? Do you need to volunteer?

Nicoa Coach:

See, listen, y'all, everybody, pause, rewind. Listen, listen to it again. Listen. Don't be sitting around sitting. I went, I can't do anything. I want to go

AYANNA E JACKSON:

back. Go. And for me, it wasn't. Hey, I think his name was Bill. Hey, Bill. I want to come work over here. Pay me give me a job. Give me an opportunity. Give you know, it was what do you guys need? And how can I help? Bad a full l&d team, they didn't need me. You know, it was just like, let this is and I had a conversation in my head. This is why I think I want to go next in my career. What's one small thing I can do? Right? It's not how do I get a job and that tomorrow, but it's just like, how do I because I don't have any real experience in that area, you know, to go be in a learning and development partner department.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, I started out in corporate communications. I wasn't even in human resources. And I remember looking at a girl that came and did some training for us that was from gas turbine. And I was like, what's her job? Yeah, I was like, I want to do that I could do that exact what is that? Exactly? So I've moved into HR and you know, and I don't even have that great masters like you do. I mean, I've got one but not in HR.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. But no, I mean, you're absolutely right. It's something that piques your interests, go explore that, go figure that thing out. And so, by the time I did that, with discovery, I think I finally kind of figured that out in the winter of 2017. So this is about a year, right? This is a year of me trying to figure stuff out and talking to my husband and talking to my family and out. And so I just kind of made the decision in the winter of 2017 that I'm going to stay here, I'm going to get into learning and development. That was my plan, right? So what I'm gonna do when we make plans, he laughs. So that was winter by December 2017, January 2018, our chief HR officer calls all of us into a room and goes, Hey, we are going to move headquarters out of Maryland. And we're going to move it partially to New York, and partially to Knoxville, Tennessee. Well, I don't want to go to either of those places. No, and so and but you know, at the time, my job was safe. And it was, oh, there'll be lots of work to do and lots of restructuring and lots of reorganizing. And I immediately in that meeting in my spirit was like, No, don't do any of that. I've done layoffs, I've reordered like, I'm really well versed, I could do a riff in my sleep. I don't want to do that. And so that was in January, by April of that year, I was with NPR.

Nicoa Coach:

Okay, and

AYANNA E JACKSON:

because I was just like, Yeah, this this, isn't it?

Nicoa Coach:

You know, that makes me think of the thought. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you have to do it. Yeah, exactly. Or that you should and when you're looking at your career path, you know, an intentional career path. You got to listen to your body. I mean, you got told you in that meeting? Hell no. I'm done. I'm tired to organizations. Exactly. It is time for growth. So NPR probably was a really cool place to be I guess. I mean, I'm I am the demographic. Yes. I did. I did just turn my Volvo in. But okay. That is like

AYANNA E JACKSON:

with the NPR bumper sticker. Yes.

Nicoa Coach:

I have the bag. I have the free tote bag. Yes, of course. But you know in PR. So first thing I thought of was tiny disk.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Pictures of tiny discs? Yes.

Nicoa Coach:

Was that fun? Yeah.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Completely fine. The best part about joining NPR at the time is they gave me a choice. So they were ramping up their HR business partners. So So mind you, I did a lateral job, like I went to go do the same type of job, but more money and goodness. But they gave me a choice, because I was one of the first new HR business partners they were bringing on because they had increased the headcount. And they gave me a choice. She said, this was the chief HR officer. She said, you've interviewed with everybody. We love you. It's great. Do you want to support corporate? So like the corporate functions, finance, marketing, legal, all the things? She said? Or do you want to support the newsroom? And I thought about it. And I said, Well, give me the newsroom because I've supported corporate before. I've done engineering. I've done marketing. I've done it. So I was like, oh, let's do something completely different. Be careful what you wish for.

Nicoa Coach:

That was some drama.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I mean, no disrespect to my NPR friends. But journalists are crazy. Love you, we love you. They do phenomenal work. But just as a client just as a, a role, a function, the work they do, the way they think the fit. It's a different animal. It's a different animal. It is what you learn about

Nicoa Coach:

yourself in that process.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Probably that I was fearless. Even more. So I think by that point, it was like, no, look, this is what we're doing. Like, you know, out of that young, fresh out mentality of, you know, oh, I have to give them everything they want to have to kick. By that point. It was like, now we're not doing that. And let me tell you why. It was enough tenure. I had enough experience. I had enough Have confidence, I had enough knowledge, where and I wasn't mean about it, but it was just a different, you just have to approach it differently, you can't continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. So I went into the role once I figured out oh, this is how you guys are. Got it. You know, once I figured it out, it was like, Okay, and so I think I just really learned to just be confident in who I am be confident that I know I've got the tools, the resources, and I've said that I knew it all, I'm still learning. But I just felt for the first time in a long time, a lot better about who I was, as an HR professional that I had in a really long time.

Nicoa Coach:

You know, you learned how to trust yourself, and you trusted your experience. And you know, a lot of people I've coached a lot of executives as to you. And isn't it interesting how they can still find themselves. So insecure is

AYANNA E JACKSON:

even at the chief level,

Nicoa Coach:

even at the chief level, and, you know, I have this image like of one exec that I would work with and half the time, we were either rewriting emails on their behalf or they I was literally helping them get up out of the corner. Figure figuratively Yeah, they're crying in the corner. So everybody who's listening really, you know, trust that there is a certain point where you have to step into yourself and to your seasoned experience. Yes. And put the coat on, that says I am a professional in this field. And if you if you're still struggling with that, sometimes you're thinking maybe I should just leave. Yeah, but I would invite you to stay there long enough to be in that that archetype of of that queen or king, you know, step into it, trust it. And but like you said, I mean, you're still learning. Yeah, absolutely. But you're, but you're not hesitating, exactly, exactly. overthinking it,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

thinking, yep, that impostor syndrome, like we have got to get to a space where we're not so worried about what others think. And I think for a lot of us, that is the majority of the prop, we want to put forth. This style this, you know, image. And not to say that that's wrong. But if you're in a space where you think that that image is going to be contrary to what people are going to really believe about you, or you think that, Oh, they're going to think this is a truly meet, we got to get over that, we've got to get over that we really do. And it's, and it does take time. But I think when you get so for me, when I got so bogged down with being unhappy in this space, where it was just like, I got to do something. And what helped me to do something was not only my own decision to move it to do something different, but I had a supportive partner too. So you also have to surround yourself with people who are going to give you that motivation, who are going to tell you the truth, who are going to not sugarcoat, and you have to be strong enough to take that advice and to move otherwise, you're going to get comfortable, I could have easily got comfortable at Discovery, I could easily just stay there and continue to supporting it and continue supporting the Cisco and continued, you know, just doing what I was doing. But I was miserable. And it would have been so easy to just get bogged down in Oh, I can't step out, I can't do something different Oh, if I leave, what are they going to say? I tell people to NPR, you might want to consider leaving. Because sometimes what we want is it at that organization. And you just have people who just bled red, blue and black. But NPR was like, this is their identity, this is who they are. And I'm like, That's cold. But you have to decide out what is more valuable, what you really want, or the relationship and how you view yourself here within this organization. Because like I said, sometimes what we want just by here, so how do you get it?

Nicoa Coach:

That's right, and and how long are you going to hang on to the belief that the people around you or the organization are going to change to meet what you want?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Exactly. That was another good point. I would say that like what if that? I would even ask, what if that doesn't happen? What if they can't create that job? What if they don't give you that promotion? And I'm not saying if you don't get a promotion, you walk out the door tomorrow, but what if it doesn't happen in the way that you think it should? What are you going to do differently? And I coach people internally and externally and organization on that a lot.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, let's take a quick coffee break. And when we get back I want you to tell us how you jumped into that new role that age consulting. Okay, we'll be right back.

Unknown:

We hope you're enjoying listening to this episode of Coffee with Nicoa. Make sure to subscribe so that you never miss to an episode and follow Coffee with Nicoa on Instagram to find inspiring content that will help you begin creating your life by design.

Nicoa Coach:

Okay, we are back, nice coffee break. And I can't wait to hear about the Quit story. I always tell my story. So tell me your quit story. And then let's, let's learn a little bit more about your consulting business. Yeah,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

my quiet story began six years before I actually quit.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, my God, nine to six years before I quit. Yes. It was so weird.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

It was about six years. And I realized that the day I was in Seattle, Washington, I was sitting in that airport of the Seattle Tacoma airport. And I had my daughter in the back. And I was on the phone, my husband, and I was waiting for my mom was picking my mama. And my husband and I were talking. And he says to me, he goes, Well, you know, my goal is to retire you. So you can go do the work that you want to do. And my spirit just went whoa, like that. I don't know why that hadn't occurred to me. We always think we're going to work till retirement. It just, I don't know, to that point. It just had crossed my mind to Oh, quit corporate quit this thing over here and do your own thing. I had never envisioned myself as an entrepreneur. Hmm. And why I grew up in Detroit. Everybody worked in the office, or for one of the big three auto manufacturers. Entrepreneurship was a model. You quit a good paying job with benefits and go to your own thing. Nobody. Nobody does that. You know. And so when he said that to me, I literally feel something in my spirit go just Whoa. And so I didn't quit the next year. Like, a second year, it was like Now, fast forward to the pandemic. That was in January 2020. I got a promotion, I will finally out of being a generalist. And I took on the role of leading learning and development for all of NPR. I positioned myself for that role. I was ready for that role. I had volunteered with the previous l&d Director again, what do you need? How can I help? And so became open, I Jana was ready, stepped into that role had all these I had a whole entire team of two people. It was it was the three of us were gonna conquer the world, and all these plans, and all these things. And then COVID hit. Yeah. You know that it was just a game changer for everybody. So transition to working from home, transitioned to managing a team online. And then by April, May, it was, oh, hiring freeze. Oh, we can't backfill your generalist role. Hey, can you still do your generalist job and your new l&d role?

Nicoa Coach:

Of course, normal

AYANNA E JACKSON:

sure happened, I can tell you that. So fast forward another two years of doing that. And I was like, Okay, we're done here. And it was really just the emphasis of, you know, all the things that I'm doing for this organization. I love doing, I can go do this on my own. Yes, I could do this for myself. I can I can find. I have contacts. I have people I've known for years that are self included. Like, I finally got to a place where it's like, I think I can do this for myself. And so I officially resigned in August, I gave him like a month's notice, because I'm me, right? I gave a month notice. Very surprising. Everybody was super shocked. Because, of course, I went to my own home. I was doing great work.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, of course.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

And then I left my last day was September 22 of 2022. And then interestingly, I fell apart physically.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, that does not surprise me. I let me just pause before you tell us Yeah. Because what we what we don't recognize in the body with energy because you know, I missed energy leadership girl over here. But is that when we stay in a state where we're in? We're kind of in a restraint. We're working in a stress reaction most of our days, especially when we have to be responsive to tons of people all day long, especially in HR. When your body relaxes, you tend to get sick when I was in college, I used to come home from an intense way of living and I'd get sick over spring break or I would get sick over Christmas. Yeah. And so I began to notice that my body was holding tension. And then the minute I relaxed it, let go so what happened to your body when you

AYANNA E JACKSON:

left? So that was a September my mom was here for my birthday or our birthday. My mother and I share a birthday so she had come into town right after I left right and center for our birthday. You And I, she stayed for about a week. And then after that I just I didn't feel good I had, I was coughing, my back was killing me I couldn't sleep, like all the things you kind of think you've suffered through during stress, when you don't have to. Amazingly, when you don't have to get up and go anywhere, your body's like, Oh, we're done. We got it. And, and I literally felt like I was I fell apart. And I went to the doctor, and I was like, What is wrong with me and she was like, you just stop working. She was like, your body is recovering. And it was so unexpected, because me being me. I resigned on September 22, my birthday was September 30, October 1, I was gonna hit the ground running entrepreneurship, get my business and I had my businesses 2019. That's the other thing. Like I started my business formally in 2019, but just went full time earlier this year. So you know, me October one, I'm hitting the ground running, I got all these plans. I didn't know anything. Do anything. So it was like organize my pantry, clean my house get ready for the holidays. Like, literally, that's all I was capable of.

Nicoa Coach:

My darling, you had to have the break I had. How many people have we watched quit a job on a Friday start on Monday.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

And I did that from discovery to NPR. That's exactly what I did.

Nicoa Coach:

And that is I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

very unhealthy, and I think is unhealthy. For any body, you have to take a break, you have to give your body time to reset, you have to give your mind time to reset. And just that that stress of having to be at this desk online every day at 830. You know, first meeting at 930. Like that stress, it is stressful. You may not call it stress you might not think is stress. When you're locked into that structure and you're accountable. And you got to be there you got to show up. It is stressful. And you have to take it does and

Nicoa Coach:

and I think the the opportunity now, for people and the way in which I've been coaching more holistically is Let's prevent the breakdown, even if it's through the third day into the vacation week, right? Because that's a that's about how many days it takes a boss to my clients. Yeah, they're like by Wednesday, like Oh, starting to really relax. Oh, wait, we gotta leave on Friday morning. What? Yeah. But finding that flow in your day. So tell us what happened next. Were you able to transition out of that? Because really what you're telling me is I was resting. I was nesting. Yeah. You are preparing your you are creating the next foundation. Yes. For the launch. And you honestly, I'm glad that universe put your ask around because you really have to because you will create the same circus under a different. Exactly, exactly. So tell us what that's been like since then.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Yeah. So I went to physical therapy, I got on an antidepressant. To help with a couple of things. I wanted to start therapy. But for some of these, it just didn't get to that piece. But it all worked out. Fine. Took care of all my regular dental, you know, other health care stuff, dentist, eye doctor, like all the things. And like you said, just nested rested. I didn't really think a whole lot about my business. Honestly, during that time. I really wanted to enjoy the holidays, I decorated the crap out of my house like it retrieves all back here and all over like everything you can imagine. And then in January, I was like, Okay, I finished physical therapy by then. I was sleeping a little bit better by then. But I just felt like I had the mental clarity to do something different. And what I've learned since then, since I've really started working, you know, on my business full time is I bring that same energy and work ethic to my own business for myself. You know, I still get up, workout, get dressed, eat breakfast, try to be at my desk by nine o'clock. But you know what, sometimes I'm at my desk by 1030. Sometimes I might gods have breakfast with my husband. If my daughter is out of school, sometimes I might take her somewhere, you know, just that flexibility has been sleep immensely helpful. And I think this is what employees today are pushing back on with these employers in terms of going back into the office. We've all experienced now this flexibility, this joy of oh, let me get up and have a leisurely breakfast, and I can still be at work at nine o'clock. You know, it's such a powerful means to our mental health to our physical health, that, that I still think there's a lot of people who haven't embraced it because I don't think they believe this truck.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, what do you think the real precipices other than I mean, for me, I'm sitting here watching and I have been out of the corporate world now since 2009. Like, although I'm touching it, I'm touching it. And it can be super fulfilling. There's a part of me that does miss the camaraderie and the power of a collective infrastructure. Yeah, like, I'm working with a really big pharmaceutical company right now. And I did a workshop for them. And they all get it. Kind of like, yeah, okay, how can you get it and still create that flexibility and flow, even with the same type of intense obligations? But do you think the reason that? I mean, what do you think the reason is that companies want people to come back into the office,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I think it's a couple of things that come to mind, first and foremost, real estate.

Nicoa Coach:

That's the first thing. They gotta justify it,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

they gotta justify these massive multi year leases that they signed, for these massive buildings for these massive spaces with all this furniture for all this infrastructure. And they've put that responsibility on the backs of workers, they've put on the backs of workers downtown viability, downtown, economic success, the restaurants, the dry cleaners, the food trucks, like without those workers there, that infrastructure suffers. And so that's the first thing. The second thing I think, is we are all workers, and the leaders and the powers that be, they want us back, because to them, pre COVID was successful. Pre COVID was the norm, it worked, revenues up stocks up. And in order for that to happen in my mind as the senior leader or whoever, you need to be in office, you need to be here for that to happen again. But what's crazy is somebody during the pandemic,

Nicoa Coach:

I think it must be some sort of need to feel in control. Exactly. I get that I get it, I get

AYANNA E JACKSON:

it, you got to change our employees like adults, like exactly when when I was working during the pandemic, my two team members, they were think millennials, so they were younger than me, but they were fully trustworthy. And the reason they were trustworthy is because I trusted in them, hey, if you need to take off, just let me know. If you have a doctor's appointment, you're not gonna be in in the morning, just let me know, like taking off, it is not our department wasn't going to fall apart, because you're taking off. It's you know, and, and I just wish that so many of these leaders and managers that err on the side of oh, if I can't see you, it's not getting done. So there's that aspect. But there's also the aspect that you do have people that are taking advantage of the system. There are people who are slacking off at home. So let's address those people. And let's not bandaid, the whole situation with everybody come back to work. Because these two people are messing it up for a few.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, let's talk about that for a second. Because there's two things I'm here at first is, you know, I remember Fred Jackson was my first boss at GE. And he told me one day he said, listen, we're gonna pay and I don't know how much I was making back then. It was a lot to me. It was it's a lot today for a lot of people probably 40 grand a year, I think I was getting 40 grand. And I remember him telling me Listen, I'm gonna pay you this amount of money. And if it takes you 40 hours to get it done every week, great. If it takes you 10 Great. If it takes you at two. It's like you're an exempt employee. This is what it was what it is. So I need people to remember that you're being paid to get a job done. Yep. And the other piece I want people to think about is maybe we it's not the slack employee. It's the leader that doesn't know how to hold back the slack employee accountable. There. They're too afraid. Yeah. Well, you know, I don't know. And, and then it's also helping these leaders observe their biases. You know, I had someone telling me the other day, well, I don't know about this employee. I mean, every every other call we're on, I see your kid in the background. And I'm like,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Oh, my God. Kid is not in the background. It's like really,

Nicoa Coach:

really, my kids on the text, she's texting me. But let's, let's really pause and go to the root cause, which is your point too, and oh, frustrating. But you know, we could talk forever. Oh, my gosh, we want to talk to now I want you to transition to less using that same piece of of that topic that concern right now. What advice are you giving would you give to the employee in order for them to live their life by design successfully in a dynamic where they're getting pulled and pushed to, you know, come into the office not going to the office? Yeah.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I think I was say I just continued to do good work, and continue to be a problem solver and someone who's solutions oriented. And that's how super like corporate jargony, right? But at the end will

Nicoa Coach:

give me an example. Give me a real example like, so I'm the employee and and I get my work done. But I'm really pissed off that you need me to come in three days a week, because I got a kid. And I don't like coming in anyway. And it's my car sucks. And it's a long drive. But I really want to work here.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

No, and that's the scenario, right? So I would ask you, I would ask you to ask yourself, what aspects of your row bring you joy? So let's, let's step back, let's let's get away from the three days a week. Yes, we're all mad. We're all pissed off about that. We all hate the commute, I get that. What aspect of your job brings you joy? What do you like to do?

Nicoa Coach:

Well, I do many of the people.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Yeah. Why do you stay at this particular organization? So if the answer is, I love this, this and this, go to more of that. And if you want to get into another role, because my motto with my business is helping you get to a career you love. And so if you want to get to that space, you got to go hunt down and do more of what you love. And if you're like, oh, Aiyana too busy, I have 1000 things on my plate. And this isn't it, you got to reassess, you got to reprioritize you have to take the bull by the horns and sit down with your manager and say, hey, you know what? I have this laundry list of things. What can come off? How can we offload some of this? How can I reprioritize, right, because you might not have an answer, you might not know how, maybe you go to your mentor, maybe you go to you know, a trusted friend, in that same line of work, maybe you go to somebody else in another company who does assignment, you have to bring in people who can give you a different perspective. Because the perspective that we have in here, we're gonna run with that bad boy, we're gonna keep that bad perspective going, and it's going to be right, and we're going to adhere to it. And we're never going to do anything different. So if you want to get to that space that you love, if you want your job to be better, go after the pieces that make it better. Go find the thing that brings you joy, because guess what, for the most part, we all got to work. So what aspect of that work? Can you go and create and do more of. And the other thing I would say is you have to be consistent, consistent consistency is your key to success. You can't come in one day, I'm gonna take the world by storm, and then the next day you're quietly quitting, you have to be consistent in your routine, you have to be consistent in how you want to be successful, you have to be consistent in reaching that goal. And that's what I've learned over the last few years is that that consistency is key. So it's not all roses, I get that I'm not saying it's easy. But you've you have to get out there and make it happen for yourself. Because your boss has not given it to you. These companies are not going to tell you politics, politicians day back in Z. But isn't there? It's out there. You just gotta go after it. You really do.

Nicoa Coach:

I agree with you, you know where the mind goes, energy flows? Yes. So the more you're focused on what's not going well, the more you gotta manifest more of that. Yeah, exactly. So you're right, look for what is going well be embody that embody embody the journey of, you know, this is why I chose this job. This is why I love getting that money. This is what the purpose of my company is, and how I contribute to that. Yep. And yeah, and you either you're in, or you're out.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

And, and even if you have to be out, that's the other big thing is, we can't be so afraid of change. And what we're really trying to hold on to is the comfort, the comfort of the job, the comfort of the people, the comfort of knowing the processes, and the systems and all of that, where if you really want to grow, you're gonna cut that branch off and grow somewhere else. And I'm not saying that quitting is always the answer. But we know when we need to, well, we know we need to make that change. But we get comfortable and we don't.

Nicoa Coach:

So let's talk about what you're currently bringing to the table for your clients. I mean, I highly recommend you, whenever I got floored, I repost. I'm like, here's your girl. Because everybody that's listening, you know, she didn't even mention, maybe you need a coach. Because you know, that other perspective, you already know, like, you just you already know, inside of you. And yeah, and you know, I Anna and I can help pull that out of you and help you as I like to say help you help yourself. Yep. Make that hold yourself accountable to that next step to that one thing. And I'm really excited that you mentioned too that you did this in parallel. You'd already started your business. So don't forget you don't have to do it like I did it which I say all the time I quit on a Monday afternoon with zero plan. I don't recommend the academy. I do not recommend it. I don't even recommend it. For me in retrospect, I am a crazy woman. So we all are right. It's me, so. So tell us what you're working on. How can people get to participate with you?

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Yeah, absolutely. So I am just about every social media platform as Aiyana career coach. So super easy to find me in that respect. I'm on Facebook, Instagram. What's the new one? Threads?

Nicoa Coach:

Threads? I'm doing that I'm try. Yeah.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I'm also which I didn't think I would be but everyone can be saved me on Tik Tok. So now we're on Tik Tok. So that's how you how you find me. And then what I would say, I offer you know, like I said, my vision is to help you get to a career you love. My mission is to help make teams, individuals, managers better one day at a time, right? Because nobody has the magic switch to make you better tomorrow, right. And one of the two of the premier things that I really offer that I love to do is one disc assessments. I live and breathe by disc assessments because I just think I implemented a whole program at NPR, I just think they're so powerful, because it really creates self awareness first, and how you are in the forest styles. But it gives you so much insight and examples to the other styles. So now you know how to talk, collaborate, what is fearful to you? What is fearful to others? How do you talk to others? What drives others? What causes stress and others? How do people behave when they're stressed. And so I'm a huge, huge advocate of desk and love to do that for managers and teens. Because it is truly the game changer, I believe in making your team function better.

Nicoa Coach:

And you can go right now to your website, I clicked on your website the other day, and you can take the assessment, like 99 bucks or so easy peasy. It's nothing. And I really thought that was a cool way to get somebody quickly engaged. They have their self awareness of their own personal style. And then you mainly do individual coaching. Do you also do group adore? Team? Yeah,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I do. I did team building activity centered around desk which, like I said, it's always really fun, the individual coaching that I do, I have a process called authentic vocation. And that really kind of looks at honestly your life, from soup to nuts for your career. Everything from life purpose, to skills, motivations, values, how to find that job, right. And so that is something I love to do. with individual clients, I've done authentic vocation in group settings as well. And it's just such a powerful way to really help people get to a career they love, especially if you're like, you know what, in a year or so I want to make a change, you've got plenty of time to figure that out with the authentic vocation program. And so there's that. And then I also just got my first government contract. i Oh, wow, that's big. Yeah, so I'm working with us Botanic Garden, which is underneath the Architect of the Capitol, here in Washington, DC and doing some internal career development with that team there. So that's been really fun to get back out to do in person training. I've been doing a lot of training online, which is fine, but you know, in person is so much more fun. So happy to work with, you know, corporate clients, government clients, media clients, because I fully understand me, and those lovely journalists. So yeah, you know, I'm happy at any time to, you know, come in do like the managers, new manager simulations are still really useful. And those disc assessments as well. So internal career development, is where I try to really, you know, pinpoint where I can add value to organizations.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, you are at the top of my list for referrals. I appreciate that one, I'm gonna ask you a question that I asked to every one of my clients at the end of every session of ADD. What's the one thing that you want to celebrate the most about yourself, before we hang up,

AYANNA E JACKSON:

I want to celebrate the most that I really stepped out and embrace being an entrepreneur. Because all of six, seven years ago, I never thought I would be. And I have found that working for myself, is so joyful and meaningful. And to see myself in a space that I never envisioned, and to be succeeding in that space. It is just amazing. And so you know, to be to call myself an entrepreneur is just really, it's really wild. I still don't know if I always still believe it, but here I am. So yeah.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, that's fantastic. Well, I celebrate that with you. And I want to thank you for spending your time with us today. And hey, everybody listening if you guys need help, I Jana, and I will be your biggest cheerleaders. So make sure y'all link in with us and hey, I'll talk to you again soon.

AYANNA E JACKSON:

Sounds good. Thank you. Love you. I love you too.

Unknown:

Thanks. for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicoa. For more stories from people living a life by design, you can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N IC O A. We look forward to talking with you soon and enjoy your coffee between now and then.