Highest Self Podcast 351: Navigating Career Redirection with Ashley Stahl


We’ve been diving deep into discovering our dharmas on the podcast and for some of you, that translates into finding a job that serves your unique gifts. In this episode, I brought on my friend career coach Ashley Stahl to talk all about aligning with your ideal career, job hunting, interviews and so much more.

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Episode 351: Navigating Career Redirection with Ashley Stahl
By Sahara Rose

Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast, a place where we discuss what makes you, Your Soul’s Highest Evolvement.

If it’s your first time listening – Welcome! And if you’re here all the time – How are you? How is 2021 feeling on you?
I know I feel the shift; we’ve got a new President and I feel like so many of us have just deeply anchored into navigating the chaos. It doesn’t feel as turbulent anymore, I think we’re so much more used to being in the unknown – which is huge, it’s such a spiritual growth journey to not know what your summer plans are, what’s going to happen even next week and to be okay with that. And the more deeply we’re able to find comfort in the unknown, the more magical this experience becomes. So, I just want to applaud you and celebrate you for being here, for being now.

And I know so many of us are experiencing career redirection with the lockdowns happening, so many people have lost their jobs, so many industries are still shut down, including my husband’s industry, of the music industry, the restaurant industry, travel, so many different places and my heart really goes out to anyone that is struggling right now. And I really know how painful it can be of not knowing where you’re supposed to be heading and what your purpose is. And one of the huge topics we speak about on this Podcast, which my new book “Discover Your Dharma” is all about, is finding your soul’s purpose, realigning with it, in fact it’s remembering it because the truth is, you already know.

So, in “Discover Your Dharma” I share with you how your purpose is already encoded inside of you; your Dharma is your big ‘why’, it is why you are here and every single person born on this planet has one. And if you can trust some people have one, well, wouldn’t you be the most magical and special unique person in the world if you were the only person that does not have a purpose.
So, we’re all here, we were all dropped off at the party, but sometimes that question of asking ourselves ‘Why, why am I here’ it feels so colossal that the moment we ask, we get so overwhelmed that we decide to distract ourselves with what’s going to happen next instead of really sitting with that void of not knowing.
So, the more we can anchor into this unknown, the more we can explore ourselves – who are we, why am I here, how am I meant to serve – the deeper we can get to the truth of who it is that we are. And the beauty is, there are so many tools and practices to can help you. So, if you are totally new to understanding your purpose, “Discover Your Dharma” is really going to help you understand the deeper truth of why you are here, your Dharma Archetypes – which are the Nine Dharma Archetypes. I’ve created the Teacher, the Visionary, the Researcher, the Warrior, Entertainer, Entrepreneur, etc. We’ve also got the Dharma Blueprint Process which is a Five Step Process to actually help you find what to take action on related to your Dharma. It’s a step-by-step process in the book that guarantees everyone will know what to take action next when they do this process; the Four Pathways to get to your Dharma; the Three Types of Dharma and so much more.

So, I have many Podcasts – the last conversation that was on this, last week, was an interview with me on “Discover Your Dharma” and I have so many other excerpts from the book if you want to dive further into it, but really, nothing is going to replace just the experience of doing the book because it is a workbook as well. There are many, many journal prompts, practices, etc. for you to do as you’re on this journey of discovering. I don’t know what your Dharma is, only you know. However, I can ask some really good questions because I’ve been on this journey myself and have gone through the process of feeling confused and overwhelmed and feeling like I’m not smart enough, talented enough, old enough, young enough, whatever it is, we’re all feeling that. And I have been able to overcome it and create the reality that I’m in right now. So, it has plenty of tools, practices, journal prompts for you to move through; different quizzes along the way.
So, you can find that book wherever books are sold, over on my website iamsahararose.com/dharma, you’ll actually find all the links there, it’s also available on audible, so if you’re a Podcast listener, I actually read the book to you so you can listen to it on audible or on your Kindle as well.
And, when you submit your receipt on my website, you’ll actually get three free bonuses. So, these are my Discover Your Dharma Meditation, my Tapping Practice and Embodiment Practice. So, these are practices to take you deeper into your Dharma discovery journey.

So, I’m super excited to share this with you and I have been interviewing so many incredible people and one question I always get is – “Now that I have found my Dharma, have found my purpose and I know I’m here to help people connect to their bodies or bring beauty to this world or connect ancient and modern health systems” or whatever it looks like for you and you’ve gone through this process of understanding your Dharma – well, not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and not everyone wants to maybe create something new. For a lot of people the next step for their Dharma is a career, it is applying for a job that is in alignment with them. And I genuinely believe that not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. Some people really do want to have a job, they want to have that sense of being part of a team, the security, the comradery etc. So, I think it’s important to talk about careers right now and applying for jobs and standing out and finding the right job for you because it is something that so many of us are experiencing. And in “Discovering Your Dharma”, in the Three Pathways to Your Dharma, one of them that I write about is the transition.
So, the transition is for anyone that maybe wants to have a stable job while they’re exploring themselves. Maybe you’re on Stage Three or Stage Four of the Dharma embodiment journey and you are still figuring out what it is you want to do but you want to have a job that feels in alignment with you. Maybe it’s not your full-fledged Dharma, but it feels good, it’s energizing for you, you’re using your gifts. So, this is really the time to find that because no one should be in a job that’s so depleting of their energy that they have no energy to focus on their Dharma.

So, I wanted to bring on my friend Ashley Stahl who is a Career Coach and super, super practical. She really just breaks down, with very specific career tips, from applying for a job, company culture, all sorts of things. So it’s going to be really useful for you if you are someone who is looking to apply for a job, switch careers, navigate the career ladder, all of these different things out there in this very 3D world that are also very important for us to master. And if your Dharma is guiding you to be a part of a company, well, you want that company to serve you and also be in alignment with your own values.

So, I brought on Ashley to talk more about Career Redirection and help us to really find a job that can serve our Dharma.

So, without further ado, let’s welcome Ashley Stahl to The Highest Self Podcast.

[07:20] Advertisement
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[08:57] End of Advertisement

[08:58] Interview

[08:58] Sahara
Welcome Ashley to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you here.

[09:02] Ashley
Thanks so much for having me, I’m excited, I’ve been counting down.

[09:05] Sahara
Yes! And the first question I’d love to ask you is what makes you your highest self?

[09:10] Ashley
I feel like my career has been such a vehicle for my own self-expression, so whenever I’m feeling like I’m expressing however I’m feeling, I am my highest self, for sure.

[09:24] Sahara
I love that! And I so resonate with the things that you do, the things that you create, being in that expression of living that, that is why we’re here.
And I think that so many of us have had experiences of doing jobs that we don’t love to do or studying something we don’t want to study and we’re like “Agh, I hate doing!”, “I hate working!” all of that, and it’s really to come into balance of having that thing that feels like it’s natural to you, it feels like it’s an expression of you and letting that be the vehicle to your fullest expression.

[09:56] Ashley
Yeah, it’s almost like there’s some sort of fine line because I think we’ve been taught the idea to do the work you love and love your work, but sometimes we forget that the word ‘work’ is still there; and sometimes you don’t love working; sometimes you don’t want to work. It is work to do what you love, it is work to express yourself, it’s vulnerable, it makes you feel exposed and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So, I really just approached my career, my life as an opportunity to just empty myself out with whatever is inside of me. And when I’m not doing that life feels really heavy, it’s like you’re holding a ton of thoughts about what I want to do and who I am, and I’m not hearing those out and that’s why I think for me as an author, that’s been my highest mission. But for so many people it can look different and I think it starts with people just kind of getting clear on who are they, what do they value in the world and how do they want to feel.

[10:46] Sahara
Love that so much! And so many people are really asking themselves this question right now – “How do I find a career that’s in alignment with my truth, with my Dharma, with my expression?” So many listeners of this Podcast are spiritual beings and they want a career that lets them express themselves, their empath-selves, their intuitive selves. And I know a lot of people also don’t resonate with being an entrepreneur, they don’t want all of the weight to be on their shoulders, they want to be a part of a team, of a mission, but also let it be conscious. So, what advice do you have for people who are spiritual, looking for a job right now?

[11:24] Ashley
I would say, there’s two dynamics you have to kind of carry when you’re looking at your career. The first thing is the ‘what’ – that’s the skillful means, that’s the tactics, that’s your core skillset, what your responsibilities look like throughout the day. The second dynamic is for conscious people that matters more than ever is the ‘how’. And the ‘how’ comes back to your core values; the ‘how’ comes back to the corporate culture; what you value is non-negotiable principles by which you live your life and how you’re going to harness in full that into your career. So, the way that you kind of unlock, whether the career or job, is going to match with how you want to operate in your career, comes back to first knowing what your values are and I’m sure you’ve taught your listeners so much about core values, we could talk about that forever, but then also really understanding the mistakes that people make when they come up with their core values. One of the biggest mistakes I see is that people pick words that are aspirational. So, instead of picking a word that is what they truly are, they pick a word or five words. I try to do five core values per person, I think that is manageable. Once you get into ten, you’re like “How do I fold all these into my career?” But I think when you really take a look at those non-negotiable principles and you ask yourself “What word is so deeply rooted inside of me that if I remove that word, I’m not here anymore? I’m not me anymore.” That’s when you know you’ve hit a core value. And from there you’re able, once you identify that, to ask people questions at other companies and network that just have conversations that radiate what you value. You can kind of take your position and say “This is what I really care about. Tell me about your corporate culture, tell me why you work here, tell me what you don’t like” and you kind of get a sense of whether that workspace or that culture or those people would be violating for any of your core values. I think that’s the fastest path for people feeling unhappy in their career, it’s either the ‘what’ is out of line, meaning they’re working outside of their desired core skillset and they may not even realize that, or they’re infringing on a core value. If you value integrity and you’re selling something that you don’t believe in, that’s going to be visceral for you in your job. So I think the ‘how’ and the core value’s piece is really huge for anybody looking to stay conscious in their career.

[13:37] Sahara
I love that! So, how much should it be that your core values are aligning with what your personal role is versus that company’s vision? So, for example, let’s say you really care about healing humanity and you find a job at this incredible job at this non-profit organization that’s doing amazing things on this planet but your job is the tech back-end person, so you don’t really feel like you’re directly doing the healing but this company is doing it. Should you just get this job and kind of work your way up and enter into this area or should you maybe find a job that you’re a camp counselor, doing something that feels more personally healing but it doesn’t have as much of that greater mission?

[14:21] Ashley
I love this question and I can tell you’ve written an entire book on Purpose because this is a nuanced question that most people haven’t gotten to that place of being able to ask this nuanced. So, here’s what I’m hearing you say – “Is a mission or a cause enough, mentally, for somebody to be in a job that, as a concept, is making an impact, but in their day-to-day tactical way of being, how they’re spending their day, there doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of purpose?” And my answer is, it’s really on a case-by-case basis. I actually am more surprised than not when I’m with someone where the concept alone of a company making a huge impact, having a huge mission is enough to get them up in the morning and enjoy whatever skill they’re using in the company or in the organization. I would say that’s probably something that more often actually gets people tripped up, it’s rare for somebody to say “Oh yeah, the mission is enough alone even if I’m filing a filing cabinet all day and not enjoying it”. So, I would say the mission matters but how you spend your day matters too. And that’s why the premise of my book “U-Turn” is all about doing not just what you love but doing what you are. So there’s what you are, your skills and then what we talked about, there’s ‘how you be’, which is your core values. So, I would say know what your core values are but also know how deep they go. People in romantic relationships, it’s so funny, they’ll say “Ah, we both value spirituality”, we were taught to find people that value what we value and be on the same page on the big things in life, when we pick a romantic partner for example. And yet we don’t go deeper and say “Okay, this person values religion or spirituality” but how does that look in your life, how are you carrying out that core value? Because I had a client once, she was a lawyer and she said to me she values adventure and I asked her “What does that mean for you” and she said “Adventure for me is trying new restaurants in New York”; and then I had another client the same day, this guy and he said core value is adventure, and for him that meant sky-diving and doing adrenaline-seeking things. They would not be a match, my restaurant loving adventurous client would never want to be around someone who wants to carry them around on these adventure-seeking things, for what they call adventure. So, it’s important to not just know what you value but know how it looks for you and what it means for you. And I think the best way to do that is to take a look at your life and ask yourself “How have I been showing up in this value? How have I been honoring it?” And if it’s hard for you to find some examples it’s probably not a core value, and I say, on top of that, there is research that supports the idea that when you’re good at something, you’re having a better time. And it makes sense, it’s common sense but it’s actually not. We don’t always think because we’re good at something, we’re going to like our life better. And granted, there are some people where they’re great at something but maybe it’s not their zone of genius and magic and they get stuck in that zone of goodness where they’re good at something, feels like something is missing, but they’re doing great. But I know, for everyone, we’re all snowflakes, there is a zone of genius in our skillset that everyone has. And I think it’s important that if you do value mission, on the house side of things, your core values are telling you that mission and impact matter, then you at the very least, the chair that you’re sitting in, in an office, in the workspace, has also got to be honoring your core skillset. I think if you’re honing and sharpening a skillset that you have and you have that mission, that’s a sweet spot, but the mission alone, I would say is probably not enough for most people who do value impact.

[17:55] Sahara
I love that so much. And I really resonate being both someone who is an employee and now an employer, I see both sides of it. When I was the employee I had this job at a non-profit organization for refugee and immigrant rights, and I loved the cause and the mission and was so behind it and I hated my time there. I was just on the spreadsheets, crunching numbers for the next fundraiser and I “This is what I studied International Development for, to raise money for the next fundraiser?” And I ended up quitting that and it not serving me because I love to, like yourself, write, be creative, be the person who is more creating the experience vs. doing that. But now I also see that employer’s perspective of “Well, you need to serve your time”, this concept of you can’t be in charge of the entire human rights campaign, you are a 20 year-old or whatever. So, what is your take on this concept of doing your time or putting in your time and learning the ropes of something and is it an illusion, is it ‘just go for it right now’ or is there some validity to – now that I hire people, most of them, they start with customer service or being a virtual assistant because that’s actually what I need most right now and I get people who applied to my jobs and want to do what I’m doing and that’s not what I’m needing someone for. So, what is your take on this, seeing both perspectives?

[19:22] Ashley
Yeah, I know what you’re saying. I think for entrepreneurs or for everyone. There’s a lot of value having experience, having your feet wet, understanding the environment from which you’re working. I think one of the most rookie mistakes that I see, especially in the young hires workforce, is that they want to contribute before they’ve collected information and observed the environment and understood that the dynamics that are invisible, how people relate to each other or how people think, that takes time to understand. That being said, I think hiring is a transaction. If you’re an entrepreneur and you have a need, there’s a price point by which you’re willing to pay in the market for that need and there’s somebody that’s willing to operate at that price point with those responsibilities, that’s just a clean neutral transaction. That being said, and I do think a lot of people kind of go into denial about that, on the job-seeking side, where there’s a lot of lies we’ve been told like “Try to get your foot in the door” and that, I find it actually a way to kind of set yourself up to be kind of victimized in your career because what happens is, you end up putting your foot in the door and pigeon-holing yourself in some job you don’t want and then they are hiring for the job you actually want, and why would they move you and start over when they invested resources? We know, according to the data that training, retention, replacing employees is one of the most expensive things a business has to face. So, there’s no incentive for a business to say “Oh my gosh, John Doe here is crushing it at being our admin assistant, let’s move him to the marketing manager role”, that’s not what’s going to happen very often. So, I would say really being clear if you’re taking a job that you want, right now. That being said, I do think it’s an illusion that we need to have experience. Is it the majority of people that in their job search, if they don’t do anything extraordinary or out of the beaten path, that they’re going to have to kind of follow the ranking order? Yes. But there’s always exceptions to rules and I decided early into my career that I was going to be the exception to the rules. So, I grew up learning foreign languages and I was always interested in cultures and when I decided to work in counter terrorism in my early twenties, I remember thinking to myself; or I wanted to be a journalist in the news or a politician; I just knew I wanted to do something high impact, that was protecting people, making people’s lives better and I didn’t understand how that would look yet. And I remember thinking “Wow, if I want to work at CNN International, at the news desk, I’m going to be making 24K and that’s not enough to support myself, as somebody who has college loans and all these other things. So, there was very much of a reality for me of “I’m not willing to climb the ladder. I’m not willing”, it’s like the person who wants to lose the 5lbs but they don’t want to go to the gym and do what it takes to lose the 5lbs. The sooner you can say to yourself “That’s not the 5lbs I’m willing to lose” and you can accept that, then it’s like now you get to look for something else. So for me, I kind of ruled out things that would require me to work in the bottom of a ladder that I wasn’t willing to do. And the more that I worked and set myself up for success, I did the internships, I got the degrees, I learned the languages, I realized that if I learn how to talk to people, there will be someone that’s willing to take a bet on me because of my personality. Because, let’s face it, who you are is so much more significant, if you’re a risk-taker, if you put yourself out there, and employers are going to benefit from that if you can show that embodiment in conversations with people; if people can buy into you and feel you, you will skip levels on the stairwell. So for me, I just decided going into counter terrorism, I was like “I’m not going to start at the bottom, it’s too much” and I knew that that would mean I would have to learn, I would have to be on a growing edge. And I networked, I moved to DC, I went to college career fairs that I wasn’t even a student at that college, I would get kicked out, I was so motivated to get a job. And I think you have this in you too Sahara, you’ve got a fight in you that even though you’re so grounded in your spirituality, you’ve totally got hustle in you too. And I think that’s so important for the people that you’re talking to, as your listeners, because spirituality can feel like we’re so in the sky, but the more you can keep your head in the sky and your feet on the ground and really honor that, there is a time, there is a season to put your feet to the ground and really hustle – and that was my time in my early twenties. So, I moved to DC with no job, I had 3 weeks’ worth of money in my bank account, I lived in a row house on Constitution Avenue with no money and bed bugs and I went to career fairs everyday all day. I didn’t even have to pay for food because I went to so many networking events that I sustained myself for free on cheese cubes and free wine and weird sandwiches for an entire month. And I ended up getting a few job offers and leveraging them. And before I moved to DC I was an Admin Assistant in LA, in the middle of the recession, and when I got there I was so scared of failing which – I mean, there’s better motivators, I would’ve loved to just be inspired but sometimes fear of failure is what moves you and that’s what was moving me at the time, it’s a powerful force. And I ended up failing on my face, succeeding in certain conversations and I told myself “The only thing worse than failing in front of people, being embarrassed, getting the wrong job, was staying stuck where I was”. And when I just got really clear on that, I was willing to do so much for my future self. And I look back now and I learned how to be bold because of that time in my life and I keep that boldness with me now. And so, I ended up tripling my salary and accepting a management position at the Department of Defense at 23, 24 years old. And so I skipped probably about 10 years of time in the workforce in one job hunt. And I do believe that this is available for anyone. And as you know, when you follow what feels right, when you follow your intuition, there’s so much purpose that will unfold in front of you or on the sidelines, so even though in front of me was a career in counter terrorism and I really pursued that in my degree and in the time that I was spending in my education, on the sidelines I learned how to job hunt and that would turn into the U-Turn Podcast, the “U-Turn” book, my career coaching practice, my courses, everything I have now was in the pursuit. And there was some part of me that knew along the way that this might not be it for me but there was also something inside of me that knew I had to do it anyway. And so, there’s an intelligence to realizing, just because you don’t see something as your forever plan, doesn’t mean it’s not the right plan for you today and right now.
So, there’s so much I could say, I know your Dharma Archetypes also teach people kind of to look at their career through more of a grand lens, more of a mission-driven lens. And I was in the mission of impacting people, I was in the mission of not climbing the ladder and really getting ahead and I think I was able to create that because of that.

[26:11] Sahara
I love that so much! And I think it is really important for people to have that desire and that’s even what employers are looking for too, the person who goes the extra mile, the person who isn’t willing to just take it at face value. We’re never going to get far in our lives if – sometimes I think of when you’re waiting in a long line, you just find your way through it and that’s the difference between just the mindset. The average person is just going to be “Okay, wait in the back of the line and wait till I’m chosen and do the bare minimum” and I see it now, when I have these job applications. I would say majority of people don’t even read the description, I’m like “Wait, why are you even applying to this thing when your heart is just not there” and the people that I always end up hiring are the ones who showed that extra passion, that extra mile, that extra desire.
I think where people get stuck is that same fear of “What if it’s not for me” or “What if I don’t think that this is where I’m meant to go”. At that time you felt like counter terrorism is, at least, the next iteration of your Dharma, what about people who are like “I’m still not really sure, so these jobs feel temporarily for me” – How can we create that same passion there?

[27:27] Ashley
Yeah, I’ve been reflecting on this so I’m excited you asked it because I’ve been thinking about – one thing I give key notes sometimes is around generational differences so Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z. And recently I was talking about Gen X – and how, if you think about our parents’ generation or even the Baby Boomer generation, change was not normal during that time. What was normal was getting one job, working there for 30 years and you marry one person, and there’s a lot of unhappy marriages so you kind of just choke through, and there was a cooking kind of life that really happened especially in the 50s, 60s, 70s and now when you read books like “Sapiens” for example, which was such a massive best-seller, the number one argument that he said is that the number one skill that you’re going to need to survive in the future is Reinvention – the ability to reinvent yourself. And so, even when I talk to different futurists in the workforce, every 5 years one core skillset that you have, that you’re using in your career today is going to become obsolete. We are in a quickening; we are in a time of massive change and so I think the sooner that you can accept that things are going to move; the sooner (if you’re an entrepreneur) that you can think to yourself “Gone are the days of me saying this is the solution and this is the business model I’m going to build, that doesn’t work anymore, what’s going to work this year and my work for the next few years is going to taper”. And there’s really 3 different energies that you can be in your career and I got this from Emily Fletcher over at Ziva Meditation, she talks about creation, at any given time we’re creating, we have an idea we’re carrying out and then there’s maintenance, your ideal work, maybe you got a new job, you’re maintaining it, you’re showing up for it, you’re learning who you need to be for it. And then when you’re in maintenance (kind of the bad and also the good news) is you’re around the corner from destruction, because whatever you’re maintaining, the waves of change are going to come in today’s world.
So, I would say, instead of saying “What am I passionate about”, saying “What’s my skillset; What’s my Dharma; What’s my skillset?” And I know you have your Nine Dharma Archetypes; I have my Ten Core Skillsets in the “U-Turn” book, and when you can kind of take a look at, for example, your skillset, my skillset is definitely words – and it’s funny because when you were talking about your non-profit job, you were working in the numbers core skillset which are not for you. And I was working in the Pentagon, I was in the analysis core skillset which is also not mine. And it’s very nuanced because if you’re a psychologist, you could be both words and analysis, you might one or the other. Some psychologists are going to make a huge impact because the way that they use words is going to be so healing for people; the way that they put their sentences together and explain something. Other psychologists are going to be analysis core skillset people and it’s the way that they analyze, the way that they put things together, the way that they see patterns, that’s what’s going to transform people.
So, we all can carry out our careers under different skillsets and it just matters to know which one you truly are so that when we are in a time of change what we can say is “This is my core skillset and I can use it in a hundred different ways, so let me just find the best way to use it now and next”.

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[33:26] Sahara
So, I love these. Can we go through them, each briefly?

[33:30] Ashley
Yeah and I feel like it’s so fun because I can see some of your Dharma Archetypes in them too, so it’s so beautiful to see your body of work kind of meeting mine. And it was so funny because when I wrote these Sahara, I was like “Damn, these are so different, I’ve never read anybody writing these boxes this way” for the people in the workforce, entrepreneurs, and it was no surprise to me when I interviewed you on the U-Turn Podcast, that you were talking about the Nine Dharma Archetypes, I thought “Of course, great minds! Sahara has also found these different categories!”
So, I would encourage anybody who’s got a pen out and they are writing these down, to see them as energy fields; to see each one not just as a tactical, but energetic. So, there’s no particular order but the first one, we could say, is Innovation. This is for the intrapreneur; the entrepreneur. So it’s the creative self-starter, somebpdy who manages their own book of business or manages a book of business under the portfolio of a company. These are the creative problem-solvers that are the visionary for our time. If you’re in the workforce and you’re innovation, usually you’re going to rise in the ranks quickly and be working closely with the start-up team, or the founder, co-founder, stuff like that.
Number 2 is Building. So, this one can be quite tactical – it could be the mechanic, the construction worker, it can also be more of a metaphor like the web developer who’s building a website.
Number 3 is the Rs, which is Words. So, one question that I love to ask people especially when I think about words, but really all of these skillsets, is – are you an introvert or are you an extrovert? Because if you’re an introvert you’re going to internally express your skillset, and that’s really important. So for me, I’m actually, even though socially I’m very extroverted and you’ve seen that on me with our friends, professionally I’m very introverted.

[35:18] Sahara
How can you tell the difference between what you are professionally versus socially?

[35:22] Ashley
I think it’s more about just knowing where you get your energy in your life. So first look at your career – do you get energized by having conversational collaboration with people; brainstorming sessions; or do you get energy by yourself, behind your laptop or walking around, thinking – it’s more about the matter of looking at both. In my personal life I’m so energized by being around people, but I would say only 51% of the time, the other half of the time I like to be alone. So, there’s a lot of research on ambiverts, but I do think that everybody leads with one in how they get their energy.

[35:53] Sahara
Because I get so confused, I feel like I’m an ambivert because it just so depends. What would you say I am?

[35:59] Ashley
I think you’re extrovert because when you’re on stage you come alive, and that’s like I cannot see an introvert coming alive on a stage. And here’s the thing, I do really well on stage, I get paid to do it, I have a good time but I am laying in bed for days after, I’m exhausted, I don’t schedule anything because I’m an introvert and I’m overriding my introversion to show up in that level of my mission. Whereas, for you, you’re buzzing after Sahara, I’ve seen you.

[36:25] Sahara
I want to keep going, yeah. Also, it’s a good distinguisher of professional because I see some people, they work next to someone else, they want to meet up with them or even be on Zoom, and they’re working. I would never want to do that, I would never want to the pressure of “Oh, now, I can’t stop because this person is on Zoom with me”, whereas some people, even though they’re a freelancer, they need to feel that other people are around them.

[36:51] Ashley
Yeah, definitely. I think that there’s a difference between being around people and just feeling – You know, for me, with fitness I’ve been struggling with Covid because I like to work out where I have people that I can watch. That’s a creativity thing for me, I’m a people-watcher. I love going to the airport and quietly watching people. Being around people and getting energy just from being in a group setting is still something an introvert can do. You can be like me, a total loner in a coffee shop, just enjoying the energy of people around you but not having to contribute or be a part of it necessarily.

[37:22] Sahara
Your human design too. What’s your human design, do you know?

[37:24] Ashley
I am a manifesting generator but mostly a manifestor.

[37:28] Sahara
Okay, cool!

[37:31] Ashley
Yeah, it’s been interesting to discover that. And so, being the words core skillset, you’re more of the speaker. If somebody’s in the workforce and not an entrepreneur, that could look like a talent agent, business development, sales, partnerships person. For me as an introvert, it looks like a writer and content creator. I am happiest when I’m just sitting by myself all day, unobstructed.
Number 4 is Motion. This is actually an interesting one, people would think that the ability to be on your feet all day is a skill, but it is. So, the masseuses, the hairdressers, the physical fitness trainers, the tour guides, these are all motion-based career paths. And obviously, the internal, external really counts with this too. If you’re in motion, on your feet, with people all day, it’s very different if you’re out doing something by yourself all day.
And you can even argue that a masseuse is an introvert because even though they’re with people all day, there’s dead silence with them, maybe they communicate but not usually.

[38:25] Sahara
My friend, who is a masseuse, she says she gets her best ideas when she’s massaging people.

[38:30] Ashley
Exactly. And that’s a part of her core skillset. She’s the motion skillset, she is probably introverted somewhat.
And then number 5 is Service, and this one brings up a lot of questions. So, these are the humanitarians, the nurses, the supporters, and this just brings up the question of trauma vs. intention. Are you a service person because you learned, as a coping mechanism in your life to be a people-pleaser or is this just naturally who you are, you’ve always been a nurturer? It could be both, you could’ve had some trauma in your life that taught you to be a people-pleaser but you also really love doing that too and your healing is just to figure out how to harness that career and not over-give. So, there’s many different dimensions to this.
And then number 6 is Coordination. So, this is the event coordinators, the operations people, the project managers. Thank God for this people!

[39:22] Sahara
I am so not this one!

[39:26] Ashley
Exactly! Whenever I watch the coordinators, I’m magnetized by them because they can do everything I can’t.
And then number 7, as I mentioned, me at the Pentagon, is Analysis. So, the researcher, the academic, the economist.
And then number 8 is Numbers. So, the number-crunchers, the accountants, the investment bankers.
And number 9 is Technology. So, the IT whizzes, the artificial intelligence creators.
And then the final one, number 10, I love this one, is Beauty. So, this is interior designers, the people who make art the world around them, the make-up artists. You can usually know one when you see one.

[40:04] Sahara
I love these! Some of them I’m like okay, for example, Beauty is definitely the Artist Archetype; Analysis and Numbers are kind of the Researcher; but they’re also different. Coordination is Entrepreneur, but that’s not really coordination, so it’s also, yeah, it’s skillsets, it’s very different than soul types. But we also see how they can mesh together. So, I love these and it’s just another layer for people to get to know themselves better and see how they can really be of service (as I’m reading the Service one). And I think that it’s a really good point to bring up where it’s coming from too and also, sometimes, our traumas were there for a reason to put us there on that path. So for me, feeling unsafe in the world is what led me into activism. So there was trauma there but it also led me to my Dharma, so, it is this beautiful nature vs. nurture when it comes to our skillsets of being born with a propensity towards it and situational happenings guiding you further into it.

[41:06] Ashley
Exactly! And I do trust life in that way. I think grace is what fills in the gaps. We can do anything we want but there is an element of grace. And anybody who is listening right now, think about the most important person in your life, did you meet them because you planned it or was it an act of grace? And how have they influenced your life? Even opportunities, some of the biggest opportunities were truly an act of grace. So, I think it’s really just powerful to know what is your core skillset. And you were mentioning, you see yourself in many of them or at least in a couple of them, and I think that’s very common, people are like “I resonate with three or four of these”, and my response is, that’s great but know your number one, know the one that you lead with. And one really good question I always recommend people ask the people around them is – when have you seen me at my best? Because if you can ask a couple of colleagues that, if you can ask a couple of friends, maybe your parents, people that you think kind of have a good sense of you, you’re being yourself around them, you get so much information in learning where other people have seen value from you and from there you can kind of get the core skillsets and ask yourself “Which core skillset am I using when people are experiencing me at my best? Do I enjoy being in that skillset? Do I feel like I get a sense of expansion out of it?” And, you know, remembering that there’s like 500 job titles for a skillset, that’s the big thing. And you kind of touched on that earlier, you were talking about your job at the non-profit and every industry or career is like a huge pie (and I talk about this in the book) where it has many different slices. And I think a mistake a lot of job seekers and people who are even entrepreneurs will make is say – Okay, something’s not tasting right about this slice of pie. I’m in the government industry and there’s this job that I’m doing and something’s not feeling right, so government must not be it for me. If you’re a Coach and you don’t like your business anymore, maybe there’s that slice of the pie that you’re eating in the coaching space isn’t a fit for you anymore, maybe instead of throwing away coaching as a whole, you can say to yourself “Am I just a couple millimeters off? Is there another way I can be using my skillset? Is there another client I could be serving that harnesses a different place that I can come from with my skillset?” And I think these questions are much more effective and I think sometimes it’s just a little misinformed which I totally understand, nobody’s teaching us about careers when we’re growing up. So it makes sense when we kind of look at something and say “This isn’t working and it needs to go” versus “This isn’t working but I’m going to inch off from it working”.

[43:38] Sahara
I love that! And it’s that nuance of “Should I stay in this company and shift maybe into the creative space or whatever”. I actually worked at an AD agency, very briefly, just for one summer, that you mention in the book, and I remember I thought working at an AD agency would be, we would be sitting around the table, strategizing ideas and it’s this super creative space, and I got there and I was in charge of this literal stop sign presentation that was 100+ pages long, gathering pictures of all these different stop signs in all these different countries, I still don’t even know why. I was an intern, just like a random thing I had to do for a client and I was that person and I hated it.
So, what would you say to someone who, maybe they would love to potentially work at a different part of their business but the people at the place, for example at the AD agency were like “You’re an intern, you’re not going to be working on our creative, that’s what happens 10 years from now”. Would you recommend for them to kind of, maybe do the work to shift within that company or just start new somewhere else?

[44:42] Ashley
Yeah, I gave a key not at the MGM in Vegas right before Covid and I remember there were so many people standing up to ask questions at the end and one woman asked a question and everybody sat down, which to me said that everybody had the same question pretty much, and she asked “I don’t feel like I’m being paid enough ever and I always feel stuck and how do I get paid more?” And I think the average person would think, and it makes sense that we would think this way, it’s just I’ve been at this for a decade, talking to so many job seekers, they would think “Oh my God, I have a conversation with my hiring manager and rework my salary or ask what I need to do to get a raise”. When really, if you’re stuck, it’s not a matter of being stuck, it’s a matter of you haven’t created options for yourself. So if you’re stuck as an intern and they’re not receptive to seeing you as otherwise, seeing you as somewhere that you think you belong, your job, it’s not your father’s stuck, but it is your responsibility to start creating options for yourself.
So, I would say, be where you are and create opportunities on the sideline; come up with a list of companies you would love to be at; figure out who’s in charge of hiring on the team you want to be on; get on LinkedIn, use the advanced search to come up with this list. This is something that I have a lot in and everything I have created, whether it’s a course or my podcast, I’m so committed to helping people understand that if you like one company, it’s a flow chart for you because there’s other companies that – it’s like Amazon, if you like this book, you like that book. You can look at people’s LinkedIn profiles and say “Wow, I know I want to work at Disney and now I need to get curious where they’ve been before Disney and where they left Disney for, what did they go after.” Create an international company list, get advanced search, figure out who’s in charge of hiring for the role, not just in HR, but your potential boss, somebody that is on the team you would be on and really go that extra mile to reach out to that person and let them know that you’re totally fascinated by the work they are doing, attach a resume and just start creating opportunities for yourself. It’s not about what you’ve been doing, it’s about how you talk about what you’ve been doing. One thing I say in my book is the best opportunities don’t go to the best candidate, they go to the best job seeker which is really the best communicator. So if you can learn how to talk about yourself, if you can learn to create opportunities for yourself, just keep sending emails, keep doing it, you are going to open doors and be in a process of always opening doors in your life. And I think that’s what life is about, is creating opportunities. Whenever I feel kind of stale in my business or in my career, I just realize that conversations are the key to moving my life forward. I’ll just ask myself “Who do I need to have a conversation with today to move some energy around in my life?”

[47:25] Sahara
And I think that was really, you read my mind, it was guiding me to that next question of – What would you do, if for example, the dream job was not the dream salary? Would you take that job or would you go for the job that paid you the salary that you wanted to then maybe have extra time or resources to figure out what it is that you want to do?

[47:49] Ashley
The concept of dream job I feel like it’s almost died in 2020. I feel like we grew up, as millennials, in that era as we were watching How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days and she was an editor at this amazing magazine, there were all these dreamy movie shows that we watch or even watching The Hills, Lauren Conrad getting an internship at Vogue, we grew up watching people with this concept of job. So, I would say, it’s kind of like with dating, I’ve heard women in my coaching practice be like “He’s my dram guy, I just wish he didn’t have an anger problem”, I’m like “His anger problem is in the stands of his DNA”, so that’s like, who was it that said “If only the queen had balls, she would be the king”, I think that’s Gina Devi that said that. It is what it is, so something is not your dream job if it’s not going to work for you in actuality. There is something to be said about expectations managing and being there to work and having a vision. So, if you get something that is so ideal for you, it’s using your core skillset, it’s pretty aligned with your core values and you would feel like maybe 80% of the time you’re sharpening your skills, you’re going in a direction you want to go, I would ask yourself “Is the money there at some point” if you value money. Some people don’t value money as much as others, maybe they just value security, in which case it’s about how much money do you need to live and feel comfortable, for other people, they really do value what money can give them, whether it’s vacations or different types of investments and freedom, so you need to know that for yourself. Everybody likes money but not everyone values it to the point where it would drive their decisions. And actually, I do think that some people value money to the point where they don’t need to have any Dharma, which I think is kind of counter-intuitive, some people think it’s not about the money and we hear that in personal development; there’s more than wanting money, what else is there? I do think, after coaching people the past 10 years, some people are genuinely willing to do any work if it provides the vision they have for financial security because it is a career path when you’re managing wealth, when you’re creating wealth, when you have a certain amount of money that affords your life.
So, I could talk forever about this but I would say that it depends on how you hold money and if there’s room on top, and I do think that there’s always room on top. I’ve had so many people that come to non-profits and say “It’s called a non-profit, what other subconscious indicator do you need that you’re working at a place that’s non-profit. I’ve had clients who worked in non-profits as the vice president of development and fundraising and their paychecks are about $250,000 a year. So, it’s just a reminder that there is room on top everywhere and people just need to really remember that, and it’s important to remember that, that there’s money to be made everywhere. And so, I would say don’t be short-sighted if it’s an awesome job opportunity you’re excited about and you can see the way there, the way to where you want to be, but if you can’t really see the way there and it’s just a dream job for right now, and you can’t really make sense of it, I say yeah, the money does matter.

[50:50] Sahara
I love that so much! And that guides me to my last question. How can people stand out right now in their job applications given that everything is online, they can’t have these face-to-face meetings and interactions and employers are getting so many written applications and not meeting people, for example on Zoom, first thing. What can people do to really stand out in this job market?

[51:16] Ashley
I would say just being prepared. Practice breeds confidence, preparation breeds confidence. I think about who I was in graduate school, I would study so hard that the day of the test was nothing. Do you know what I mean? I already did all of the work. So, I would say, job interviews aren’t just about your answers, they’re about the energy the answers are riding on. So, if you’re nervous, if you have a gap on your resume, there’s something weird about your application that you know the recruiter is thinking about, it’s all a matter of energy, how are you going to relate to that gap. Are you going to say something confidently, that you’re really proud of, that makes sense for where you are. Like maybe saying you took the year off to travel the world and you’re so grateful you got all this clarity for your next move and that’s why you’re so excited to be here in this interview. Really practicing your answers.
A couple questions that recruiters ask that people never seem to prepare effectively for is “Tell me about yourself”, your elevator pitch, and that’s something I think I give the whole formula for my book. But then another question is the simple one of “Walk me through your resume”, and people haven’t actually taken the time to look at each job on the resume and ask themselves “How does this job lend itself to where I’m headed?” So just basic practice, whether you’re on Zoom or in person is going to matter.
I think, secondly, is there’s some tactical things you can do since we are on Zoom:
1. Understand how the culture works of the company you’re interviewing for. How do they dress? What is the corporate gear so that you kind of not overdress or underdress – dress as if you’re going there.
2. Know that there’s more than 20 devices in an average household connected to Wi-Fi. Make sure your Wi-Fi is fast and that you’re not hampering your Wi-Fi because there’s nothing kills a connection like a spotty computer – it’s the worst, we’ve all had it happen. I’m sure with your podcast and mine too, it’s like something changes the vibe. So, do that.
And then, I would also say, if you can, and this is really if you can, because you don’t want it to distract you, look into the camera with your eyes. Eye contact does actually relay more connection and make you more verbal and it does something in the science of the brain of the person who is listening to you.
But I think the most important thing is having an elevator pitch, whether you’re in person or not, and I actually think there’s less hampering people with the virtual world than we think there is, people always say “No, it’s virtual, now how do we connect?” But you still can connect, we’re still people, we’re still bored at our desk, in our house all day, we’re still wanting to feel something from a conversation. So how do you get into your body so that you’re not in anxiety, how do you prepare, how can you tell a beautiful story about yourself so that you can move someone because on the other end of the computer screen, there’s someone asking themselves the question, a very human question of “Is this somebody I can connect with in my day-to-day life and workplace? Is this somebody I want to see in my inbox? So you’ve got to connect with them also on that very human level.

[54:00] Sahara
I so agree, I think we forget that the human aspect of that human person behind the screen is also just, you know, trying to do their job to the best capabilities. And I think now, having that employer experience too is, it’s like you’re kind of taking a risk. Some people can interview really well and then you hire them and they are totally ghost and then other people, somehow you guys just started working together and you’re so grateful and surprised by how well it’s working.
So, I feel like just having more of that communication of what working with you will be like, what they can expect and be as excited at the job as you are in the interview. I think so many of us, it’s like that chase of we want the guidance we get and whatever, but I think we’re always hiring. Every friendship, every relationship, everything, we’re always like “Is this the best choice for now?” And I think it’s that, maybe it’s this millennial that just – now that I’m on TikTok, I see all these things of “Here’s this thing to make your mouse move every couple minutes so it looks like you’re logging in hours for your job even though you’re not” and I’m just like “What is the point of this?” What is the point of spending your day just to look like you’re working and you’re really not.
So, yeah, just really choosing something that you feel like you can give your all to and maybe this isn’t your end goal but giving your all to it so that person can maybe write you a raving referral for whatever comes next.

[55:27] Ashley
Yeah, you never really know what’s coming next, but one thing is for sure – if you are harnessing and sharpening your core skillset, you can keep standing upon that foundation in your career and building from it; and if you know how to talk about how you’ve used your core skillset in a way that’s relevant for where you’re continuing to go, people are going to register that.
I’ve had clients from all walks of life and the most interesting ones are usually from the government who are pivoting into technology or something that’s completely unrelated from what they’re doing on the surface. But ultimately, when you look at what they’re doing it’s like “What are the top three skills you were using? Which one is super important for the next place?” and being able to talk about that and share stories and evidence in a very captivating way of how you’ve really made an impact with that skill that that new company really needs.
So, I think life is really just a numbers game, putting yourself out there, knocking on enough doors, you’re eventually going to get that yes, and life is about how you talk about yourself.

[56:25] Sahara
I love that so much! And there’s so many great resources in this book and so many great stories that we didn’t even get a chance to get into but just so many beautiful experiences and vulnerabilities that you share, and your own healing process as well and how healing is so interconnected to having that career you desire is a result of how healed you are as an individual. So, you go into all of that in this book, I so love it, it’s such a great book for anyone who’s on this path of discovering their Dharma and know that it is meant to be utilized in this beautiful career in a way that you can really serve a mission that’s larger than yourself. And maybe you’re feeling stuck or maybe you’re feeling like it’s too late or you’re crumbling and transitioning from one career to the next, which I know so many people are right now.
So, get this book alongside “Discover Your Dharma”, it’s going to help you in such a tactical way and I just love your storytelling and I know this book is going to help so many people’s lives.

[57:21] Ashley
Thank you so much for having me and for everyone listening. I can’t wait to hear, in my DMs, how this helped people and just appreciate you and what you do.

[57:30] Sahara
Yay! Thank you so much!

[57:33] End of Interview

[57:33] Sahara
How great was that conversation! I love how practical Ashley is and it’s so helpful right now when we are maybe applying for different jobs, we’re trying to understand what kind of companies we should be applying for, to help us have more clarity so we can find a job that is in alignment with our Dharma.
So, I highly recommend checking out her book “U-Turn”, it’s such a great book to get alongside “Discover Your Dharma”, especially if you’re navigating a new career path right now.

If you loved this Episode, I would love to send you a free gift which is the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind-Body Type“. This is a different book than “Eat Feel Fresh“. My first book ever which is not released anywhere, and I am gifting it exclusively to those who leave a review of my Podcast in the iTunes store. So all you’ve got to do is head over to iTunes where you’re maybe listening to this podcast and leave a review, take a screenshot that you’ve left it and email it over to me at [email protected]com and I will send you back the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind-Body Type“, which goes all into Ayurveda, Doshas, Plant-Based Nutrition, Body Types – all of the things in a really fun and engaging way. So this is my gift to you for free for supporting the Podcast. Every single review I personally read. It really helps the Podcast be listened to by more people so we can raise the vibration of the planet together, and I am soul grateful to have you on this journey.

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you on the next Episode. Namaste.

Episode 351: Navigating Career Redirection with Ashley Stahl
By Sahara Rose

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