Inspired By: Jessica Baker

Baker, Jessicasm“Every day I do at least one thing, many times it is several things, that renew my spirit and fill me up.”

2013 Conference speaker Jessica Baker leads development of The Respect Institute’s programming and trainings for youth influencers and fundraising initiatives. This is how she got there:

Q: How did your professional journey begin and what would you say was your defining professional moment?

A: My professional career began early and has been more varied than I could have ever imagined. It started at age 12 with a newspaper route and moved through a variety of retail jobs. It has since moved through an office in Silicon Valley, a construction business, a few schools, and a television station to name a few. I am now an entrepreneur and business owner. Quitting my last job and creating and sustaining a business was a defining professional moment and continues to be a source of joy, stress, freedom and fear. I have never been happier and more fulfilled and I can’t wait to create what’s next!

Q: What are the characteristics that you believe defines a great company?

A: I define a great company like I do a great person; flexible, compassionate, in service to the community and generous to name a few. I think we are great when we are fully expressed and good stewards of our resources…the planet’s and our own.

Q: What are your top three tips for a woman who is ready to make their next career move?

A: If you are looking to make a career move or start something new, my top three tips are to trust yourself, find a mentor, and lean on your trusted friends for advice and support.

Q: What is the top piece of professional advice that you’ve received from a mentor and why do you think that advice still applies to today’s business environment?

A: The best advice I ever received was from one of my first supervisors. He told me that when I looked back on my life and work, I would regret what I didn’t do more than I regretted what I did do, regardless of how it turned out. I have used that advice many times in my life. It has helped me take chances, follow my passions and learn from and let go of my mistakes. I think these things are as critical to me today as they were back then and the older I get, the more grateful I am that I took his advice and continue to apply it today.

Q: What is the one thing you make time for in your daily life that helps keeps you refreshed and positive?

A: I always put my self-care first. Every day I do at least one thing, many times it is several things, that renew my spirit and fill me up. I make sure to get enough sleep, I eat well, exercise, get massages, go to the chiropractor, take classes on things that interest and excite me, meditate, read, and connect with friends.