Gen Y's Leading Career Coach Ashley Stahl On Why 'People Already Know What They Want To Do' But Don't Do It


Ashley Stahl is a unique individual. And not only in the very significant, we all have something precious to contribute to this world, way. A few moments with Ashley, on her site, watching her Tedx talk, or on a call, and you get a sense of her tenacity, her vivacity, her strength. And it's contagious. It's that certain something that eventually surfaces in every success story, in every great memoir. The, "They told me no, so I did it anyway" quality that seems to almost certainly predict a game changer. And, lucky us, she's teaching us how to be and do the same.

Now, as a career coach to generation Y, Ashley helps her clients land more, bigger and better job offers (hello, recent grads!) by breaking down the system of steps she herself undertook to triple her salary and go from settling for an admin assistant job to landing a dream executive role at the Pentagon, all in 6 weeks. Hey, it works because it's true.

And the numbers don't lie. According to her site, at one point, 80% of Ashley's clients were getting job offers within 8 weeks of starting the process. Man, this kinda makes me want to jump back into the job hunt just to learn her magic and put it to good use.

Obviously, when I came across Ashley's site, I needed to know more. I wanted know who this electrifying wonder of a woman was, and how she got to where she is. So I asked, and here's what she told me.


You talk about your journey finding your purpose. What did you determine it was? How did you find the courage to pursue it full time?

My purpose is in serving people.

When I went into the government, I did not make the distinction between being interested in something versus passionate about it. This distinction was profoundly stark in grad school, though, as I noticed that so many students were filled with passion over the topic of national security, where as I was simply interested in it. While I knew I wanted to be of service in some way, I misunderstood that desire as being best suited for the government. It wasn't until I realized it was meant to be best expressed through one-on-one support and high-impact information. What better way to change a life than to change the course of someone's work in the world!? I learned through trial and error--through taking a job in counterterrorism--that I was meant to help people with their job hunts. I was such a great job hunter (after lots of trial and error) and it lit me up to help others with it.


In a life-changing six-week period of intense job hunting, you landed a coveted job for the Pentagon at age 23, and negotiated a 300% raise -- all without a career coach. So what were you teaching yourself throughout that process that yielded such success?

So much failure!

I fell on my face saying the wrong things to people, and I learned so much from that. I became a masterful networker, all by starting with being horrible at it. When I moved to DC, I had $3,000 in my bank account, so I knew I needed to get a job quick! I think the necessity of it, and the fear of having to return home jobless (and broke!) was a huge motivator.

In 6 weeks, I went to coffee with 200 people, went to tens of networking events, and landed three job offers. I share this because all of the trial and error taught me how to fully master the job hunt. I am so grateful for this time in my life.


You've said we're all "just a conversation away from clarity." Why do 20- and 30-something women become so unclear about what they want in their career?

Fear. Most people know what they want, but they are so scared of failing, so scared of being seen as ridiculous, that they file it away and block it off mentally. A great coach knows how to pull that hidden dream out of them, and help them clear the beliefs that kept them from honoring it. I truly believe that most people already know what they want to do--it's just fear that puts them into a state of talking themselves out of it!

What's the number one sign that someone is on the wrong career path?

That they're not growing and not enjoying.

Simple enough. Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life?

Spirituality has been the biggest influence in my life, and it leaked into many of my relationships with mentors. So many people create and honor a relationship with a higher power, whatever that is to them, and I think being aware of this divine support and intelligence that is always there to assist you is powerful.

Amen. And what's a fun fact about you?

I'm a cupcake addict. Put me in any city and I'll show you where you can find the best cupcake in town!

Trust me, I'll take you up on that at some point. Reveling in a relationship, single and loving it, or Tindering?

I am in love with my boyfriend of 5 years! We live together in Santa Monica and he is a walking light! No one brings me joy like he can.

Aww! Final question: What can you never leave home without?

Chapstick, my planner, and a KIND bar! I also always have an audio book on my iPhone ready to go for when I'm on airplanes!


A HUGE thanks to Ashley for answering my Q’s! For more from Ashley, sign up for her FREE kit on how to nail it at networking, and follow her on TwitterInstagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can also register for her FREE weekly webinar, happening every Thursday, by clicking here.