Webinar | New Year, New Job – Making the Most of 2021

February 15, 2021
min read

Jitjatjo teamed up with a panel of experts in the recent webinar, New Year, New Job – Making the Most of 2021, to bring you inspiration, advice and the tools you need to help make the most of your career this year. If you missed it, here’s a recap. 

In the webinar, New Year, New Job – Making the Most of 2021, Jitjatjo is joined by a panel of industry experts who provide inspiration, advice and guidance on how to set yourself up for success in your job search. If you were unable to attend the event, we invite you to watch the recording and find a recap below.

 Tim Chatfield, CEO and Co-Founder of Jitjatjo, moderated the event that featured Joe Heck, Sr. Director of People and Support at Hersha Hospitality Management, Nancy Medoff, Founder, Author, Keynote, and Coach at AthenaWise, and Nate Klemp, PH.D., Founding Partner at Mindful and Coauthor of The 80/80 Marriage

Tim began by sharing why this event was so important to Jitjatjo. “Our mission is human betterment so we care deeply about the continued creation of opportunity for the world's next generation workforce. We built our platform to transform the way people work in the hospitality industry however like many of you we needed to open our minds to new possibilities when the pandemic hit.” 

The webinar covered three core principles: the current state of staffing, how to reimagine your career and how to build habits of resilience to be your best self.  Featured experts shared insights in these areas and provided listeners with tools to help navigate through this challenging time. 

Part 1: The State of Staffing – Where do we go from here? 

Featuring Joe Heck, Sr. Director of People and Support at Hersha Hospitality Management

To kick things off Joe shared details on the current state of hospitality staffing and what’s in store for the future.  

As we all know, there has been a huge disruption in the hospitality industry since March as a result of the pandemic. Some industries saw what’s sometimes referred to as a “V-shape” recovery where they saw two months of severe drop followed by two months of severe pickup and they end up right back where they started. Unfortunately for hotels, hospitality, tourism and travel Joe says it looks like it will be a more gradual recovery. “To give you a sense of the magnitude, the pandemic dip is 9 times greater than that of the impact of 9/11”. Joe is however optimistic that there is light at the end of the tunnel and believes we’ll see things gradually improve. 

Joe shared with listeners his belief that travel and hospitality will come back in three phases. The first phase being the leisure traveler, the second phase including medium to small group travelers (think weddings and smaller events) and the final phase, also the largest group, being corporate conventions and large conferences. The third phase will likely take the longest to recover as this group saw an 85% decline over the last year. Joe said it could take until 2022 or maybe even 2023 until this group really starts to come back.

With the hope that travel will gradually start to improve, what does that mean for jobs? Although there is a shortage of hospitality jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, the industry will add 200,000 jobs this year. Joe believes there will be a shift for hospitality workers to take on more generalist roles wearing multiple hats. There will also be a need for more jobs to be focused on cleanliness and safety as this has become a top priority for travelers.

With the hospitality market taking a hit, many industry workers have used transferable skills to shift into healthcare roles. Joe highlighted why these industries are uniquely well suited for each other citing comparable operating hours (both open 24/7), similar high standards for cleanliness, an emphasis on customer service and the need for food and beverage workers across industries.

When asked what can help a candidate get noticed on LinkedIn, Joe’s advice was to remember you yourself are a brand and you have to make yourself marketable before you engage with a company. Once in the interview phase he emphasized the importance of not just talking about past experience but what you’re going to do in the future and how you will bring value to an organization. 

Part 2: Reimagining Your Career

Featuring Nancy Medoff, Founder, Author, Keynote, and Coach at AthenaWise

With many workers unemployed and hopeful for a recovery, what’s next for talent? Nancy shared some tips on how to reimagine your career and how to prepare for your next role. 

Nancy began her segment by sharing a staggering stat from the Global Business Travel Association that a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels is not expected until 2025. With that being said, she posed the following questions:

“Did I really love what I was doing? Was it my passion? How can I thrive?”

Nancy’s advice is to consider taking that leap and think about how and where you will thrive at work. 

Nancy’s advice on what NOT to do? What she refers to as the spaghetti approach. Applying to every job out there and sending your resume anywhere to see what sticks doesn’t work. Instead she says you should, “network like a ninja.” Think about who you know who knows someone at the company you’re targeting. Send an email to the hiring manager of a company you’re interested in (even if there is currently no job available) so you can get on their radar for future opportunities.

When asked about transitioning out of hospitality Nancy feels if an individual has the transferrable skills for a new opportunity, it’s doable. One piece of advice she has for anyone looking to make the transition is that you cannot assume a hiring manager can recognize your transferable skills from a resume. It is up to you to make the connection and lay out your skill set and how it will translate to the new opportunity.

Nancy’s advice on how to get noticed on LinkedIn:

  1. Make sure you have keywords in the About Me section – this is actively searched by bots and hiring managers and will help your profile get noticed. 
  2. Make sure to include a 2-line headline under your name. Make it something different but not silly. Highlight a strength that you will bring to the organization. What makes you, you!
  3. Strategic brag – share a story of what you did and how it would benefit the new organization. 

The key takeaway from Nancy is that it’s possible to be in a job where you love to do what you do every day. To help you figure out where you thrive at work and how to communicate your value to a potential employer, Nancy developed a Power Positioning Template that she uses with her clients. You can download the template here or text UNMUTE to 22828 for a copy.

Part 3: How to Build Habits of Resilience on your Journey

Featuring Nate Klemp, PH.D., Founding Partner at Mindful and Coauthor of The 80/80 Marriage

Finding a new job is a stressful task so going through the process while also living through a global pandemic certainly doesn’t help. For the last segment of the event, Nate provided helpful techniques to help break through the noise of daily distractions and cultivate resilience to be your best self. 

Nate began with the topic of distraction and how it can lead to stress, scattered feelings and the feeling of never being fully on or off.  “There are habits in your life already that may be in your own way”. He touched on the two forms of distraction:

  1. External forms of distraction – These are things that are around us all day long and ultimately make us less productive. Things like cell phone notifications, emails, multiple websites open, etc.  Some studies have shown that not only does tending to multiple streams of information make us less productive, it can also cause our effective IQ to drop somewhere around 10 points (equivalent to skipping an entire night of sleep)! 
  1. Subtle forms of distraction – This is the ordinary human state of your mind wandering and getting lost in your thoughts. 47% of the day we’re in a state of mind wandering. The more we engage in mind wandering the more we feel stress. 

So how can we break through, build resilience, feel less stressed and ultimately feel happier? Nate shared two techniques that can help train our brains to become more resilient.

  1. Formal practice – This practice entails carving out time each day where you may use a mindfulness app and you dedicate that time to training a skill like focusing attention on something like the sensations of your breath. 
  1. Integrated practice – This practice takes advantage of those throw away moments in everyday life (for example, dragging out the trash, washing the dishes, driving) and using these moments to shift your attention to what’s happening in the present moment. 

Nate suggests starting small, maybe try 5 minutes a day and build from there. He also suggests habit stacking which is the practice of taking a habit you already have in your life like brushing your teeth or eating lunch and stacking a new habit on top so you don’t forget and it becomes integrated into your ongoing routine.

“It may sound crazy to focus on your breath or sounds but there’s a huge body of research that says when we do this we’re giving our mind a break from distraction and cultivating the ability to keep our attention on the task at hand which is essential for surviving in the modern workplace.”

With regard to entering the world of meditation and mindfulness, getting started can be daunting. Nate invites listeners to visit his website which has excellent resources including a beginners guide to meditation and guided audio practices. 


Whether you’re an experienced hospitality worker or new to the industry Flex by Jitjatjo was designed to help talent find flexible work. You can download the app here and book your first gig.

In addition to supporting the food and beverage industry, Jitjatjo now provides opportunities in the education, facilities management and healthcare sectors for talent looking to broaden their skills. Furthermore, the company continues to expand to new markets recently opening in Connecticut with plans to launch in Pennsylvania soon. 

Other resources to consider in your search include HCareers, Indeed and LinkedIn

Additionally, Joe mentioned during his segment that HHM is hiring for various positions.

Top get a copy of Nancy’s Power Positioning Template—click here to download or text UNMUTE to 22828 for a copy.

Finally, to get a beginners guide to meditation and guided audio practices, please visit Nate’s site at Mindful.org.

Key Takeaways 

Although it won’t happen in a flash, there is hope that the hospitality industry will continue to improve and with that will come more opportunities. Think about where you thrive and what value you can bring to an organization. Take the leap to do what you love. Work on building your resilience to stay focused and stay the course to make the most of your career in 2021. 


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