It’s my absolute honor to welcome Ashley Stahl to the show today! You might remember her from Chapter 18 of “The Audacity to Be Queen”, but if not, you should know that she’s an extraordinary human. From the Pentagon to your bookshelves, Ashley is a career coach with a heart. 

Today we’re discussing “You Turn”, her new book that’s designed to get you unstuck, help you discover your direction, and design your dream career. For the longest time, Ashley felt something was missing at her work and she just had to figure it out. She wrote this book for everyone who feels the same way and who needs clarity on their path.

The book is full of actionable steps and heartfelt advice, so it’s my sincerest recommendation that you go and get it immediately. For now, tune in to find out what it’s like to work at the Pentagon, how to set up your inner alarm bells, and how to deal with change. 

 

How Ashley Networked in Washington DC 

Ashley studied national security because she had family members who were impacted by 9/11. And wouldn’t you know it, she ended up working in counterterrorism at the Pentagon at the age of 23! How did she pull that off?!

As she was working as an admin assistant, Ashley kept dreaming about the Pentagon. Finally, she contacted her university and asked for a list of alumni who graduated and moved to DC. She thought, chances are, if you live there, you work in the government. 

She got 2.000 names of recent graduates and ended up calling all of them! It took her six months to work through the list, but she finally got the job, tripled her salary, and reached her dreams. 

In the process, however, she learned how to job hunt and she became really passionate about it. Ashley then decided to start her own business, first on the side, and then full time. She became a career coach, helping people find their dream jobs. 

Her new book “You Turn” is a culmination of that effort, mapping her journey in full. She also offers an 11-step roadmap to help people find their real passion. But, most of all, her goal is to bring clarity to your life and job search.

 

The First Step in Knowing That You Need to Make a You Turn

The first step is always to get really honest with yourself. How are you doing right now? Really, how are you really doing right now? Are you happy in all aspects of your life? Ask these questions and try journaling. 

The You Turn starts with getting radically honest with yourself about what’s not working for you. What you’re actually pushing down? 

Ashley recognizes that this process can be very intimidating. You can’t really have change without loss, and sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

The fact is, if you’re not living your truth, there’s probably something missing. Who you are always wins. If you’re following in others’ footsteps, sure, you can find success, but will that success bring happiness?

Ashley deeply believes that who you are always shines through and demands attention. She also notices that people don’t necessarily know what their best skills are. We often miss out on our real motivation, we don’t know what our core values are. Her book is designed to help you figure it all out, step by step.

 

Setting Up Boundaries at Work

As women, we often find it hard to say no. And many of us struggle with people-pleasing. That’s why I wanted Ashley to share some advice on showing up at work. 

She told me that the key to saying no is to offer something else in return. So, if you can’t do whatever your colleagues or boss is asking, you can always point them to useful resources. 

If you’re getting too much work, you can always ask your boss to help you prioritize. People appreciate being needed and they get invested in your success. A big part of that is also practicing authentic deference.

Whatever your position in a company, deference can go a long way. If you genuinely include people and want to hear their opinion, you will create an atmosphere of cooperation and quality teamwork. Face problems as a unit, not an individual.

 

The Best Hiring Practices and How to Avoid Pitfalls

When it comes to hiring, Ashley believes that the most important question is: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? As politically incorrect as that sounds, this question will help you weed out future entrepreneurs. 

The fact is, whoever you hire, you will end up training them and investing in them. You certainly don’t want to set up a job position in a way that it becomes a revolving door. So, before you hire someone, make sure your visions are aligned.

Ashley also advises that reliability is sometimes more important than performance. If someone is falling behind, ask them what’s going on. Chances are, if the person apologizes, learns from their mistake, and wants to do better, that’s someone you can work with. 

Another big point is checking how they are about feedback. If someone can accept feedback without getting bitter and defensive, that’s a golden hire. 

Ashley also wanted to underline one hiring principle. Here goes: Everybody is available for hire for the right opportunity, even if they’re not looking. And everybody would make themselves available for the right thing. 

That means that you can go on to LinkedIn and message people who you find interesting, even if they have a job. Even on the off chance that they’re not interested, they probably know someone who is!

 

Advice Going Into 2021

With so many changes in the world right now, people tend to rush to where there’s more demand. However, Ashley believes that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is blindly following demand without caring about who you are. To circle back, who you are always wins. You need to keep yourself intact while you’re pursuing opportunities. 

Her best advice for 2021 is to stay reflective. If something feels like it’s missing or not connecting, get honest with yourself. If you need to make that You Turn, get her book, and follow the 11 steps that will get you to clarity.

Don’t rearrange your life to follow a path that isn’t yours. Instead, take the space you need to rework your career to your liking. The world is changing and you should join the movement as your truest self.

Additional resources

Queen, queen, queen, you just have to get this book! Head over to Ashley’s website and get it NOW.

Of course, we’d love to hear your takeaways! Screenshot this episode and tag us on Instagram at @ginadevee and @ashleystahl. Let’s get talking, my dear Queen!

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