Career Relaunch®
Career Relaunch®
Oct 28, 2021
Taking Care of Yourself with Erika Russi- CR77
Play • 46 min

As if making a good impression at work and figuring out where you want your career to head wasn’t wasn’t hard enough, managing a medical condition on top of all is even more challenging. In this episode of the Career Relaunch™ podcast, Erika Russi, a former tax consultant turned data scientist shares her story of interrupting her own career to address her medical condition. We discuss how your health can affect your career choices. During the Mental Fuel® segment, I also describe my own tendencies to overwork and why hustling all the time isn’t necessarily the healthiest habit in the long run.

If you’re someone who’s been working nonstop lately or if you’ve had to deal with emotional or physical challenges yourself, Erika’s story is a good reminder to us all about ensuring we’re always mindful of our health and wellbeing no matter how busy work gets. or if you’ve had to interrupt your career to take care of a health concerns

I first heard about Erika’s career change story in this Muse article, where she discussed how she managed to make this big career change from accountancy to data science through a combination of upskilling, coaching, networking, and finding her inner confidence to overcome imposter syndrome. So we’ll also discuss why having a nontraditional background can be an asset rather than liability, even when entering a field where most people have more linear careers.

Key Career Insights

  1. If you’re someone going into a new role from a nontraditional background, your best strategy for demonstrating your value may be to lean in rather than explain away your past experiences. Attempting to compete with traditional candidates on more traditional metrics will just be an uphill battle.
  2. Your health should always come before your work. You only have one body and one life on this earth, and if you don’t take care of yourself, your body may force you to do so when you least expect it.
  3. Believing in yourself is half the battle when trying to execute a major career transition. Comparing yourself to others is certainly natural, but not necessarily great for your own psychology.

Tweetables to Share


Erika’s message to you

Given the nature of what we discussed about how much your health can affect your work and life, Erika wants to encourage people to get vaccinated against Covid-19. As she mentioned during the interview, the long term effects of having Covid (“long Covid”) are very similar to her auto-immune disease, fibromyalgia. Even if you survive Covid, there are long lasting effects after having a strong virus like Covid-19. She also wants to highlight that immunocompromised individuals rely on others being vaccinated. So she hopes her story brings greater awareness about the 7% of the population with an autoimmune disease that may be quietly struggling.

Although I’m aware we have listeners everywhere, you can refer to your local health authorities’ websites to find out how you can get your vaccine if you haven’t done so already. It’s something we all must do in order to protect ourselves and others. Here are a few helpful sites for our top five countries by listenership:


Listener Challenge

My challenge to you this week is simple, but not easy. I know this because I struggle with it myself. In spite of how busy you are or how busy you think you are, to try and find a way to just go to bed a little bit earlier tonight. Then, stick with that schedule this week. See how you feel. See what impact it has on your work. At the very least, do this to ensure toxins aren’t building up in your brain!


About Erika Russi

Erika Russi is currently a Data Scientist at IBM after completing a 4-month data science bootcamp at the Flatiron School. Previously, she worked as a tax associate for PriceWaterhouseCoopers with responsibilities that included mergers and acquisitions transaction cost analysis, and as a fund accountant for Credit Suisse where amongst other things she developed accounting enhancements for IT teams. Her family’s originally from Colombia, and these days, in her spare time, she loves going on walks with her recently adopted senior dog, Marmee. You can follow Erika on Twitter.

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Interview Segment Music Credits

Music provided by Epidemic Sound

Thanks to Audible for Supporting the Career Relaunch® podcast

Thanks to Audible for supporting this episode of Career Relaunch. Audible is the premier provider of digital audiobooks, offering over 180,000 audiobook titles for listening anytime and anywhere on your favorite device. Career Relaunch listeners can download a free audiobook download and get 30-day trial at audibletrial.com/careerrelaunch.

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