What’s Your Soul Salary? Finding Your Joy with Jessica Kaskov

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Episode Description

For 15 years Jessica Kaskov worked as an engineer in a manufacturing company. When the company announced layoffs, Jessica did some deep soul searching. She realized that, while she was good at engineering, her real passion came from working with people.

Even though Jessica ultimately survived that round of layoffs, she began searching for work that would do more than just pay the bills. It would provide her with joy.

Jessica’s quest ultimately led her to discover the idea of a “Soul Salary.” Your soul salary is the value your soul receives when your time and energy are in alignment with what feels joyous to you.

After discovering this concept, Jessica “turned the dimmer switch” off her engineering career as she turned it on to a new career as a life coach. Today, Jessica helps her clients do the same by aiding them in overcoming the obstacles and limiting beliefs that are holding them back so that they can create the career and life they truly want.

If you’re at a crossroads in your life, whether that be in your career, marriage, relationships or any other part of your life, Jessica’s system for finding your “Soul Salary” will help you get clear on your direction and create a life that feeds your soul.

Show Notes

About Jessica

Jess Kaskov is a #1 Bestselling author, speaker, life coach, and thought leader who inspires the world to profound joy and fulfillment. She left her successful, fifteen-year engineering career at a Fortune 500 company to start her own business (Joyfulness with Jess), trading her hard hats for headbands. Today, she does what she feels called to do—motivating and supporting others. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her encouraging husband, two active sons, and two lazy cats.

Connect with Jessica

You can connect with Jessica on Facebook at Jessica Kaskov, on LinkedIn at Jessica Kaskov and follow her on Instagram at Jkaskov.  You can learn more about Jessica and how to work with her on her website Soul Salary and buy her book by the same name on Amazon.  Jessica’s book identifies 4 profoundly impactful steps to aligning your time and energy with what feels joyous and fulfilling.  It is available in paperback or as an eBook.  You can also take Jessica’s free quiz to find out what your Soul Salary is.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Jessica

  • Jessica was an engineer for 15 years but went through a career transition to become an author, speaker, and life coach focused on spreading joy and fulfillment. It took her about a year to fully make the transition. 
  • She introduces her concept of "soul salary" - the "sense of value/reward your soul gets when your time and energy are spent on things that bring you joy and align with your purpose. It's about prioritizing fulfillment.
  • She outlines a method for increasing your "soul salary":
    • Assess your current "soul salary"
    • Meet your basic needs first before seeking fulfillment
    • Identify your "paychecks" (what brings you joy) and "bills" (what drains you)
    • Give yourself "raises" and "promotions" with more joy activities
    • "Budget" and cut back draining activities
  • The goal is to align time and energy with joy and purpose. This can apply to jobs, relationships, and life in general.
  • She discusses applying the concept to relationships, decision paralysis, overwhelm, and more. The key is checking in with yourself about what feels authentic vs societal expectations.
  • Jessica advocates self-reflection over forcing change, and finding small ways to add joy to current activities.
  • Making no change is still a choice with consequences.
  • Overall the focus is on discovering paths to meaning, purpose and fulfillment.

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What's Your Soul Salary? Finding Your Joy with Jessica Kaskov

Jessica Kaskov


finding joy, fulfilling, alignment, soul salary


Karen Covy, Jessica Kaskov

Karen Covy Host00:10

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so we can discover what keeps us stuck and, more importantly, how we can get unstuck and start making even tough decisions with confidence. I'm your host, Karen Covey, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, turned coach, author and entrepreneur. And now, without further ado, let's get on with the show.

With me today is Jessica Kaskov, and Jessica is a number one bestselling author, a speaker, a life coach and a thought leader who inspires the world to profound joy and fulfillment. She left her successful 15 year engineering career at a Fortune 500 company to start her own business Joyfulness with Jess trading her heart hats for headbands. Today, she does what she feels called to do motivating and supporting others. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her encouraging husband, two active sons and two lazy cats. Jessica, welcome to the show.

Jessica Kaskov Guest01:16

Thank you for having me, Karen, very excited.

Karen Covy Host01:19

I'm excited to have you here and I want to start by asking you a little bit about your story. How did you go from engineer and corporate to you know, having your own business and spreading joy through the world?

Jessica Kaskov Guest01:35

Oh, it's such a good question. I know there's a stereotype with engineers that we can't talk to people and don't have those people skills. I've always been kind of the anomaly I can do both, but it actually was quite a journey. There was one of those pivotal moments for me where my company actually announced layoffs and they said in a few months we'll let you know if you have a job or not. And so I felt like I don't know if I will or not. So I'm going to do some self-discovery.


So I really looked back at my 15 year career and I said where was my most impact? What was my biggest impact? And I know that the two plants that I had worked at, the manufacturing plants that I had worked at, were now closed. So it was not that process improvement I put into place, it was not that equipment improvement that I made. My true impact and lasting impact was how I treated my employees and anyone I had interactions with. That's the only thing that lasted from those years, and so that was a really eye-opening reflection that I did on this self-discovery journey.


And then, second, I said what was my favorite role? And it was not the department leadership or the leadership team positions. It was actually a human resource cross functional where I was in charge of climate and culture for our plant that was closing. So I was supporting everyone in the in between of the plant running to the plant closure and I thought that was so funny that I picked a human resources role as my favorite. It just was very eye-opening in the self-discovery process and that made me realize how much supporting and motivating others is really a part of my true soul, and so once you see something, you can't unsee it right.


I did make it through that layoff round but I said I need to start taking steps towards this passion I have. And that's when I pitched part time to my employer, which is not popular for a 24 seven manufacturing supply chain person. But I did get it. And then I later went to do a sabbatical where I began writing my book and then eventually quit my job. So it was kind of a dimmer switch, karen. I didn't go on off in my decision. I slowly came to that change.

Karen Covy Host03:43

You know I'm curious because a lot of people when they're trying to make that kind of change, that career shift, they get stuck and it takes a very long time. So I'm curious, how long did it take you from the time that you first heard that there may be layoffs and realized your job might be on the line till the time where you shut the door and said, nope, I'm going all in on my own thing.

Jessica Kaskov Guest04:10

One year.

Karen Covy Host04:12

That's not bad.

Jessica Kaskov Guest04:15

And I would say I was heavily motivated to. It's not that much. I was not leaving a bad job. I was heavily motivated by what I felt was my purpose and I said that. You know, you said it in my bio my lofty goal is to make profound impact on the world. I want to spread love and joy, and so I realized if I want to be in alignment with that and make a broad, profound impact, then I need to make a broad, profound impact, Right.


And it's not just the part time here and there, it's really diving in and doing it.

Karen Covy Host04:47

So you take me a little farther down the journey. So you sort of turned down the dimmer switch and then till you got to the point where you said, okay, I'm all in. And then what happened? Somewhere along that process you were also writing a book. How did the book and the job change? Sort of go together or weave together or did they Absolutely.

Jessica Kaskov Guest05:11

So the dimmer switch was going off, the other one was going on. So I started when I went part-time. I did night school to get my life coaching certification and that's I had a coaching engagement and that really helped me come up with this idea of soul salary. And then that's, my book is soul salary and I realized as I started to write it that they say you write the book you need, and I certainly did so. As I started to write it and do the exercises that I was doing in real time, so a lot of the examples are in real time. As I was doing this literal life change, it helped me actually realize that it was time to quit my job. As I did the exercises I was at a point where I was like I know this is the step, but what's stopping me and how do I get over that to do it? So it was interesting how they did intersect, because writing the book actually helped me increase my own soul salary.

Karen Covy Host06:08

That's interesting. That's like the whole concept of soul salary. I know that's the title of your book, but it's more than just the book title, it's a concept. Can you tell the listeners what do you mean by soul salary? What is that? How does it work? What's the idea?

Jessica Kaskov Guest06:25

Absolutely so. Soul salary is not the financial salary you earn from your job. It is the salary you pay yourself and your soul. So, believe it or not, you are the CEO of your life and your life is your primary job, right? So what you pay your soul is completely up to you. And what I define soul salary, as is the value your soul receives when your time and energy are in alignment with what feels joyous and fulfilling. So the more your time and energy and alignment with joy and fulfillment, the higher your soul salary is. And the engineer in me kind of made it a method where there's the self-help side, which is my people side, and there's also the method side. So I continue with this analogy of salary and it starts.


The book starts with where are you right now? What's your baseline? So what is your soul? So what are you paying yourself today? Are you making minimum wage? Are you not even making minimum wage? Are you middle class? Are you a high earner in soul salary? And then we go to the next chapter and I say you cannot leave this chapter until you have completed it. And that is lovingly called demand minimum wage. It's the law, right? So you need to be giving yourself your basic needs before you can really dive into the joint fulfillment side. So, starting there at a minimum, just your minimum basic needs, and then you can go on to the next chapter, which help you identify your paychecks, which is what fills you up, and then I talk about how to give yourself raises and promotions with those paychecks and then the bills you identify, which is what drains you, and then we talk about how to budget and do budgeting cuts with those bills until you become a high earner. That's the concept.

Karen Covy Host07:59

So, is this concept? Is it energy management? Is it fulfillment? Is it joy? Is it all of the above? Like? What is this? What is it that people are trying to work with here?

Jessica Kaskov Guest08:18

Yeah, so I think your assets are really your time and energy, right? So that's, that's what you have, your time and energy and then making sure those, what you have with those time and energy, with that time and energy, is what feels joyous and fulfilling. So it's all four concepts, but it's time and energy is  your resources is maybe a better way to put it and how do you use those resources to come out with joy and fulfillment? I think our purpose in life is truly to have the most joyous life you can.

Karen Covy Host08:47

Okay, can I play devil's advocate with you for here? Okay, so what do you say to the person who's like, okay, Jess, great concept, but I got to pay the real bills, right? I mean, I am the primary breadwinner, or I'm you know, I contribute to the income of the family. I don't like my job, I don't definitely don't love my job, but it pays the bills and I can't get to that place of joy if my kids are hungry or we can't pay the rent. What do you say to someone like that?

Jessica Kaskov Guest09:21

That's a wonderful point, and what I say in my book right away is my path is not what this book is about. It's not for everyone to change their job and switch jobs. That is certainly not where I'm going here. But I will say to that one how can you find joy in what you're doing now? So your job, that you have what feels joyous to you? So for me it was that motivating, supporting others.


Before I left my job, I started coaching my peers. I asked could I do this coaching program for my peers around the process in my job? So it wasn't, you know, personal life coaching, but it was being able to coach through the job, responsibilities and doing like shadowing, and so I got to add that to my job and that really made it more fulfilling. I also added being a mentor, so that like just really gave back to myself while I was giving back to the mentee. Right, and I'm not saying you need to take on all this extra work, but as you can gear your job towards what feels joyous, you could say, hey, this, you know, once you're finishing out your old projects, hey, this new project coming up, I do feel like I'm qualified for and it feels very, very energizing for me. You pitch it right. I pitched part time, but you could pitch I would like to be on this other project as well.


Or I'd like to start moving my career path towards human resources. You know, in my case, my own personal human resources, right, you know, moving towards this path how can I make that happen? And working towards a career trajectory within your company, with your manager, you know, does not need to be a completely leave my job. And then, secondly, you know every in your financial salary you have budget items that you can't get rid of. Right, you need to pay rent or your house payment, right, that's a budget item you can't get rid of. And I'm not saying that you can't do anything about your job. But maybe the first step is not about your job, maybe that is just a budget item that you know you have and you know that drains you. But we're going to increase our paychecks to as high as we can go, our personal paychecks right, to as high as we can go, so that we feel more joy and fulfillment, whether it's outside of work or within and outside of work. Do you get what I'm saying there?

Karen Covy Host11:31

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So is the idea, though, that the expenses, the bills, those are the things that drain you, okay?

Jessica Kaskov Guest11:43

And the job drains you. It is a bill, and the question is how can we reduce that bill? So, like I said, adding more joy into your work could reduce that bill. And then there's also other creative solutions. I had a client who negotiated one month off without a salary decrease. So one month, a year off without a salary decrease, and you never know what a company's going to say yes to, right, you're already at a no. If you don't ask, maybe they say no. That was the worst case. But they said yes and now she has a month off every year.

Karen Covy Host12:14

I think that that's a really important point for people to hear, because so often we say no to the questions that we want to ask in our head before they ever come out of our mouth, and so we don't. And I love your point that if you don't ask, the answers already know. And I think so many people stop themselves because they're afraid that the answer is going to be no, that they never bother to ask because they don't see and find out whether the answer was yes or no, because it could be either one.

Jessica Kaskov Guest12:47

I was so nervous to ask for part time. I like practice with my mentors. I was so nervous, my stomach was at knots. I'm sure that I talked a million miles a minute when I pitched it because I was not sure that I was going to get it, but they said yes. And they're not always going to say yes. They're not always going to say yes, but it's still worth the ask. And I would say, what's interesting too, that I'm finding as people go through soul salary is often times they're so stuck in the overwhelm, the overworking, the grind, the hustle, burnout, et cetera, that they don't even know what they want. Well, they had to pause and said what do I want? So I could even ask for it.

Karen Covy Host13:31

That brings me to the next question, because so many of us I mean look, our lives are busy and I don't know about you, but it feels like everything. Maybe it's just because I'm getting older, but everything keeps speeding up, Like life goes by quicker and quicker and quicker. So it's easy, and we all have responsibilities, and it's easy to get overwhelmed by those responsibilities. So what do you say to the person who says I don't even know what joy is. I don't know what gives me joy. You're telling me to do that. I have no clue. What do you say to that person? What brought you joy as a child.

Jessica Kaskov Guest14:06

what's one of your most joyous memories, beyond births and weddings? What was one of your most joyous memories, whether it's when you were five years old or last year, when you had the best grilled cheese in the world and it was perfectly melty and perfectly browned, you know like it could be anything, there's definitely. If you have no moments of joy in your life, then you're not looking, because you do right, okay.

Karen Covy Host14:29

You do. And so what if somebody says it was that grilled cheese sandwich? It was perfectly melty and perfectly browned. Okay, now what?

Jessica Kaskov Guest14:39

Well then, you know that food's really important to you and it brings you joy. So how can you learn to make that excellent grilled cheese at home? How can you learn to cook your favorite meals? How can you find the best restaurants in your area to go to? How can you increase food experiences in your life?

Karen Covy Host14:57

Interesting and so keeping up with that idea of soul salary like, and the idea of a paycheck, is that just something that makes you feel good?

Jessica Kaskov Guest15:11

Fills you up. Fills you up so it makes you feel good, also feels aligned with your purpose and your authentic self. So the paychecks are twofold. One in my book you make a joy list. So I ask you through the workbook, I ask you through the workbook many questions that help you determine what your joy list is. And that's the top things that bring you joy and that's something you can always look back at. When it's feeling like an unjoyous time, you can look there and bring those in. So that's a whole list of paychecks.


The other one is fulfillment, and so I have you work through a bunch of questions in workbook to come up with a legacy statement, because if you're in alignment with the legacy you want to leave, you feel fulfilled. So that's also a paycheck and those together are all of your paychecks. But the point is you use those two tools to determine whether you say yes or no to things. Is this in alignment with who I want to be and what legacy I want to leave? Lead and leave yes. And then also what brings me joy. If this is not a heck, yes, it's a heck, no, right, I mean there's that saying right. I think there's a lot more bad words than I made.

Karen Covy Host16:24

Make it a little clean it up, make it a little PC here.

Jessica Kaskov Guest16:28

Yes, so it's their guides. The paychecks are guides to help you determine and make decisions. I know you're always talking about off the fence, right. A way to get off the fence is understand what brings you joy and what feels fulfilling, because that will help you say yes or no to big decisions.

Karen Covy Host16:46

And so what if you, if somebody is stuck, they're going through a genuinely bad time in life. It could be, you know, maybe they lost their job. It could be maybe they're going through a divorce. It could be maybe their spouse died, it could be like any one of a myriad of things, but it's a genuinely tough time and they just they look at their joy list and they're like, you know, I'm just not feeling it.

Jessica Kaskov Guest17:17

It's like Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Do you know? I'm talking about that period. Yeah, honestly, you go back to the demand minimum wage chapter. It's not about the paychecks and bills. At that point, to be honest, I mean, it's start at the bottom of the pyramid, which is your basic needs. So, going back to that chapter and saying how can I give myself basic needs?


And one of the exercises I do, which is what I started with, is a morning check-in what is? How does my body feel? How is my mental health right now? How is my emotional health? So, for example, emotionally, I might feel like I really need to cry. And then you know, like you said these grieving moments, right, I really need to cry. It's maybe my emotional check-in of myself. And then my next question is always okay, if you're emotional check-in, said you need to cry, how could you support yourself today? You know what? Tonight I'm gonna watch one of my favorite sad movies and I'm gonna ball my eyes out right. Or I'm gonna look at that photo album of my loved one and I'm gonna cry. I'm gonna do that because my body needs that today.


Or, mentally, you might say I need silence, like I need. I just need to not be using my mind at one point. So maybe you do a meditation, maybe you literally just sit in silence for a minute. Maybe your body's saying I am tired, so you commit to, at lunch, going in your car and taking a nap, right? Maybe it's just a 15-minute cat nap, it's. The point is pick one thing. You don't need to pick one thing for each part. You know each part right. You don't need to do a mental and emotional and physical, but pick one thing. One percent is better than zero percent, right?

Karen Covy Host18:52

Yeah, something is better than nothing. But what would you say to people? It sounds like what you're saying is that the path to joy isn't like a linear progression up that you could. It's like one step forward, two steps back, five steps forward, one step back. You know, it's kind of an up and down more than a straight line, or am I misunderstanding?

Jessica Kaskov Guest19:18

Oh, absolutely, absolutely. I mean, the only constant is change, right? So I actually, in my last chapter, suggest doing at least an annual review. So you say, okay, I feel like I'm a high earner now. Well, in a year I have the entire workbook in the back of the book again, so you can do an entire assessment again and say, okay, now I'm lacking in fulfillment items. So I can go back to that chapter and revisit it, because, just like you get an annual review at your job, do an, because that's also your job.

Karen Covy Host19:53

Interesting. And what happens? Like I'm going with the salary wage earner, whatever analogy here. Sometimes bills come up that are gigantic, the roof leaks, or you get in a car accident, your car is totaled and you're fighting with the insurance company to get paid, or you, you know, something big happens, unexpected. That really throws you for a loop. How would you tell people to deal with that in terms of their sole salary, because their world has just got turned upside down ?

Jessica Kaskov Guest20:30

One thing I would say is to determine if you can delegate anything, determine if you can add fun to it. Hey, after I get this call, I get a donut.

Karen Covy Host20:45

Right, you know, there's food is big for you. I know that is weird.

Jessica Kaskov Guest20:50

I must be hungry, I don't know. So you know you can add fun to it. You can, you know, try to eliminate tasks that don't have to be done. But also, I would ask yourself a question of how could I make this easy? Right, how can I make this the easiest? And maybe it's. I know I'm sharper in the morning, so I'm going to deal with this in the morning. Or I know that I need to do really hard work today, so I'll do that in the morning and I'll deal with this call in the afternoon, because it doesn't take as much brainpower to negotiate with the insurance company or whatever. Your rhythm is Right, it's, it's. How do I make this easier on myself?

Karen Covy Host21:24

I love that question. I absolutely love it because I think and I think it's a question that we don't ask ourselves enough. Right, I was just thinking of something the other day where I took a step back and said what if this was easy? What would that look like? What can I do to just go with the flow and make it easier, rather than being locked in the struggle? Because I don't know about you, but I know in the work that I do, but I find that, in a weird way, it's kind of easy to get addicted to the struggle.

Jessica Kaskov Guest22:00

Yes, it's. It's like when everyone talks about oh, I had to work this weekend, I worked tonight. It's almost like a badge of honor, right, I'm sure you've heard that and it becomes a badge of honor, and is it you? Know, unless your work is your life's work, you know, and it's your passion, Awesome. But if it's not, it's not a badge of honor. It's. It's actually a badge of honor that society gives. It's not a badge of honor that you personally give yourself.

Karen Covy Host22:28

That's an interesting distinction because I know well, like having been a lawyer working in the active practice of law for so long, I mean that's part of being a lawyer is working long hours and working hard. And you know when I worked for the firm, you want to have that face time in there. You know you've got to be there at eight o'clock at night and you know at 7am on a Saturday and you're trying to be seen and you're working really hard and you've got a lot to do. It's not like you're making work, it's you genuinely got a lot to do. So how do, how can people distinguish between what they're doing because society values it and what they're doing because they really value it?

Jessica Kaskov Guest23:20

Oh, I love this question. You led right into one of my concepts in my book. In bills I lovingly have joy killers and soul suckers. And joy killers are other people's expectations of you and your own out of touch expectations of yourself, and so that's a really interesting thing to find right. And what I say as a quick rule of thumb is if you're saying I should or I have to, if you can replace it with I want to, I desire to, then it's authentic to you. If you can't, it's not.

Karen Covy Host23:53

Interesting. So, for example, if you're saying I should work this weekend because I've got a project due and you know it need the work needs to get done, versus I want to work this weekend because I've got a project due and it'll take stress off me, yeah, I guess another example Okay, if you want so, I should go to my aunt's Thanksgiving.

Jessica Kaskov Guest24:26

Do I want to no? Do I desire to no? This is just an example, aunties.

Jessica Kaskov Guest24:35

Maybe there's, maybe there's two Thanksgiving parties you're supposed to go to and I can't do both. I don't want to do both. I'm not that I can't, I guess it's. I don't want to write. So you say that. Another example is maybe it's I don't want, or I should be a part of the PTA because my, I have three kids in elementary school. Well, maybe it's not a complete no, maybe it's a. I desire to be a part of the Halloween event because I love Halloween, but I don't want to be a part of every. You know the. I'm only the president of the PTA, like that's. That's not something I desire. Right, it could be. It could also be segments, like to your point about the weekend work I want to work enough so I don't feel stressed on Monday.

Karen Covy Host25:15


Jessica Kaskov Guest25:16

You can. It's not black and white right.

Karen Covy Host25:18

It also seems like it's a, it's a mix to. It can be it's not an either, or it can be a both and, and it's about if I'm getting the concept right. It's about being able to carve out enough joy in whatever it is that you're doing so that you're not miserable.

Jessica Kaskov Guest25:44

Yeah, another. I've heard another coach say if you can, a way that you know that you are like a, centered and aligned and not going to get into burnout, is if you can recover from the week within the week. Does that make sense? So if you end up working the weekend, maybe during the week you take a longer lunch every day because you need to refill yourself. Whatever it is, the key to avoiding burnout is to recover from the week within the week.

Karen Covy Host26:17

What if you're the person who you've? Just there's a project. We'll call it a project because those tend to be a longer life cycle. So this project is something that's really, really important to you, but it's going to take a month, two months, three months, whatever to actually complete and you're just grinding it's like pedal to the metal day after day after day, but you've got that end goal in mind. Is that a soul sucker? Is that something that robs you of joy? Or, ultimately, when you get the project done and you feel proud and it's an accomplishment, or an achievement that's important to you, which is it?

Jessica Kaskov Guest26:58

I think it's completely up to the person. If it is joyous work, you said it's their project. So if it's their personal project that they're excited about and doing for a reason that's authentic to them, that's probably full of joy. It's not a soul sucker. Let's say, though, it's a work project and you're working 12 hours a day in weekends, and that's a soul sucker. There's some things to be looked at there, because, let's say, your salary. You can also say I do not work this much. That is an option to at least negotiate or talk through, and I love this saying that says if you don't make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness. So if you're just go, go going and not taking a moment to pause and see what you need and give it to yourself, eventually you will be forced.

Karen Covy Host27:48

Yeah, let's take this on a different tangent now. I know that the book was written in the context of career and job change, but can you apply the same concepts to a relationship so you have the relationships that are draining or soul sucking, and what do you do when you're, for example? I mean, one of the questions that I deal with people all the time is do I stay married or do I leave?

Karen Covy Host28:23

So the question is does the soul salary concept apply in the context of marriage and relationships, of course, so I do want to take a step back and say this is not about job change.

Jessica Kaskov Guest28:34

We've talked a lot about that because that was part of my journey, but that is not what this book is about. It's about the relationship between the two. I've talked a lot about that because that was part of my journey, but that is not what this book is about. It is truly about change in yourself, with what you need to change.


Personally, I do not know the answer for you. I simply guide you to find the answers for you. So the book is a book and workbook in one. I support you through finding the answers, which are only inside you, because then you'd be trying to adhere to my expectations and that's the whole point, not to. You need to be adhering to yours, relationships.


This book, so my clients, for example, some of the options and some of the things that have been come up with through the workbook. One of the questions I ask is what is the most significant thing you could do for your soul? And that's one of the questions that just is open-ended and really radical ideas come out of a really big transformation, and there have been some that say and my relationship go to couple counseling. There's been some that I want to move in with this person. I want to move across country. I want to completely change my career. There's been very big ones that come from that and that's almost like your soul whispering through the journal exercise what it truly wants in a way that's shocking almost to most people, right.

Karen Covy Host29:49

Yeah, so if I understand you, like that, you've got in the book questions, but the questions aren't something that you just ask yourself verbally or whatever, that the whole. The point of the of the question is to journal and write the answer.

Jessica Kaskov Guest30:04

It's a workbook, yep, it's to write the answer, because a lot of the answers are then used to make like a final joy list, to make a final legacy statement in the paycheck section and in the bill section. It's to make that list of what your joy killers and soul suckers are.

Karen Covy Host30:19

Interesting. So what do you do if the person who's you're working with somebody and they're like I got writer's block. I can't you know. I'm asking myself the questions and nothing's coming.

Jessica Kaskov Guest30:35

What can they do? I mean, I think the first thing is to go back to what I said earlier Check in with your body, check in with your mind, check in with your emotions, because you're blocking it. You're blocking it. So start, go back to what you personally need today and do a few of those things and then come back to it, because there's, maybe there's a fear of you know, like I said earlier, once you see it, you can't unsee it, and so a lot of people stop at the bill section. It's very fun to do the paychecks and give yourself raises and promotions. It's hard to address your bills. I mean, for example, my budgeting piece was actually going to therapy. I needed to work through some limiting beliefs and fears. That was my budgeting, you know, and so that's a scary thing, because your budgeting could be really scary. Things Like in budget cuts. It could literally be to your line of work. I need to get a divorce. That could be your budget cut, yeah.

Karen Covy Host31:29

And that is scary. And I find that a lot of people do stop themselves because, on some level, either they don't want to know the answer or they're not ready to know the answer, and that's okay. I mean, I don't hear you saying that you have to force yourself or that you should force yourself to do anything this, that or the other thing at all.

Jessica Kaskov Guest31:56

Yeah, I did a dimmer switch for mine. You could do a dimmer switch.


Maybe it's starting with couple counseling, or maybe it's not even couple counseling first. Maybe it's let's make a list of what we need from each other in a conversation. If that doesn't work, you want a couple counseling if that doesn't work, you know, maybe it's. Maybe the first step is we go on vacation together, away from the kids, to try to reconnect, and there's tons of options besides just jumping to divorce. I know we're using this example because that's a big chunk of your line of work. So you know there's definitely dimmer switches and also that dimmer could start to turn off and then turn bright again. Right, I mean there's. Everything can pivot, you know absolutely.

Karen Covy Host32:33

Yeah, I think the first thing is being willing to look, being willing to ask the questions and it sounds like your book is full of really good questions for people to ask themselves, to see where they're at and to improve their life. I mean, who doesn't want more joy in their life?

Jessica Kaskov Guest32:55

Right, Right, Right and you know what. Going back to the question you had about deciding and being off the fence trying to get off the fence is you really doing? Nothing Is a decision as well that is profound.

Karen Covy Host33:12

I mean, that is such an important point, and I think people tend to discount that or not even look at it at all Because we're so used to our status quo, the way things are, that it feels like a decision means to change, but we never look at the opposite, the reverse side of that, which is not to make a decision, is also a decision. Not to change is also a decision. And often it's too easy for us to overlook the consequences of that decision, like what's it going to cost you to stay stuck? What's it going to cost you if you're in that corporate job for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years and you never get a chance to do the thing you want to do? Or if you're stuck in the marriage for another decade, two decades, three decades, whatever it is, and you're not happy, you're not fulfilled, you're both making each other miserable, but you're too afraid to make a change. Everything has a cost.

Jessica Kaskov Guest34:21

Absolutely, absolutely. And so again, I never force anybody to make a change or say that you absolutely have to. The question is to go inside and see where you are in life right now. Are you feeling joys, are you feeling fulfilled? And as the saying goes, if you want to drastically change your life, you have to drastically change your life. So if you want that change, you have to make change.

Karen Covy Host34:44

Yeah, yeah, very, very good point, Jessica. This has been a wonderful discussion. I am, like fascinated. I love the concept of soul salary. Can you tell people who are listening or watching this where they can find you and where they can find your book?

Jessica Kaskov Guest34:59

Absolutely. Thanks for asking. So soul salary is on Amazon. It's available on paperback and ebook. I do suggest you get the paperback so you can write the workbook there, but I know there are avid ebook readers and so I did include an ebook version for you. Also, you can look up the quiz what is your soul salary and find the link to the book at www.soulsalarycom. And, of course, I'm on all the social medias Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn as Jessica Scov.

Karen Covy Host35:32

That's wonderful. Before I wrap this up, though, now you're talking about a quiz. Now you've got my interest piqued. What is this quiz?

Jessica Kaskov Guest35:41

It's what is your soul salary. So you say what is my baseline on my soul salary. So that's the first chapter in the book, but it's also. If you're not ready for the book yet and wanna just see what your soul salary is right now, go to that www.soulsalary.com and you can just take a quiz for you.

Karen Covy Host35:57

And that's brilliant. So people could kind of take an assessment of where are you at now, when am I at now in terms of my joy, my fulfillment, and then go from there and then get the book.

Jessica Kaskov Guest36:09

And it has subcategories, so it has basic needs, joy and fulfillments. After you take the quiz, you get an overall score and then it shows you those three, so you know which area to focus on first.

Karen Covy Host36:19

Jessica, that's brilliant. Thank you so much for being here, for sharing about your the soul salary concept. I think it's a great idea. And, just for anyone listening or watching, we will link to all of the places in the show notes. So if you wanna find Jessica, you wanna find her book on Amazon or what have you, it'll all be linked. Jessica, thank you so much for being here and for those of you who are out there listening or watching, if you enjoy what you hear, if you enjoy what you see, please do me a big favor and like this video, like this episode, give it a thumbs up, subscribe and share. The more people who know about this podcast, the more people who will have the opportunity to have the same joy that you're having in listening to the episode. So thank you all very much and I look forward to seeing you all again in the next episode.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


career transitions, life after divorce, off the fence podcast

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