Dr. Ashley Dash inspires action through her lived experiences in person and online as Profitable Resume® Expert. She often shares her most significant life challenges, including how she went from being an unemployed college graduate to landing a $100k+ job in Human Resources with Mercedes-Benz. Or revealing how years later, she restarted her life after facing foreclosure and unemployment, shifting back to six figures with an international move to Japan.
With a doctorate in Strategic Leadership and a passion for helping corporate business professionals increase their confidence, create a six figure career brand, and get unstuck at work, she knows when you change your resume, you can change your life.
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Katherine Ann Byam 0:01
What I’ve noticed about race in the office and in the workplace, it really depends on culture. It depends on history. It depends on so many other dynamics. But I wanted to understand a bit about your experiences in Japan.
Ashley Dash 0:15
Just existing was already enough difference. I have locks in my hair. So my my hairstyles are very calm. I just calmed everything down because I felt like I just took out so much. I remember my general manager at the time, a wonderful woman from the Netherlands. I’m not sure if she sensed it or she just had a conversation. I’m not quite sure where it came from. But I remember she made a comment and she said, we hired you because you’re you. And we want you just to be yourself. I kind of relaxed a little bit. You know, I kind of felt like the shackles that I didn’t know were there kind of came off and I and I just became myself again. You know, I wore the polka dots and the colours and I’ll be the only person wearing yellow in a sea of navy blue.
Katherine Ann Byam 1:01
My name is Katherine Ann Byam and I’m your host. What’s your purpose? And how does it integrate with sustaining life itself? For some of us this question is a deep ache that we spend a lifetime trying to find perhaps shifting direction as we learn and grow from one path to another. For many of us our children give us a clear definition, providing for them becomes our reason for being. For others, Ii’s about enjoying the present moment ever so fleeting and ever so beautiful. For still others, it can be financial, status, contribution or impact. In this podcast, my guest and I will share with you tips, ideas and methods on how to build a career that integrates with who you are and the life you want to lead. We will explore the social foundation on which to build your transition and an ecological ceiling above which we need not climb, so that we live not just for ourselves, but for our collective ability to thrive. Welcome to The Purpose Driven career podcast: Do What Matters. Dr. Ashley Dash inspires action through her lived experiences in person and online, as a profitable resume expert. She often shares her most significant life challenges, including how she went from being an unemployed college graduate to landing 100k plus a year job in human resource with Mercedes Benz, or revealing how years later, she restarted her life after facing foreclosure and unemployment, shifting back to six figures with an international move to Japan. With a doctorate in strategic leadership and a passion for helping corporate business professionals increase their confidence, create a six figure career brand and get unstuck at work. She knows when you change your resume, you can change your life. Ashley, welcome to Do What Matters; The Career Pivot To Purpose Podcast.
Ashley Dash 2:51
Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here.
Katherine Ann Byam 2:54
Really wonderful to have you. You visited my courageous career club, maybe I think it was a year ago or so. And at that time, we discussed dealing with workplace hurt. And it’s one of the top interviews according to my members. So thank you, thank you for sharing that and for sharing your journey. And today I want to talk about DEI, but from a different perspective, from your perspective as a migrant to Japan and the journey this has been for you because what I’ve kind of noticed about race in the office and in the workplace, it really depends on culture, it depends on history, it depends on so many other sort of dynamics, that you experience it differently, you experience being an other differently depending on, on the circumstance. So I wanted to understand a bit about your experiences in Japan from a DEI perspective.
Ashley Dash 3:49
Oh my gosh, where do you want me to start? There have been so many experiences, opportunities, challenges, obviously growth. There’s just been, so I guess I will start with my background. In terms of where I’m from and kind of we’ll segue, we’ll start there. So I am African American. However, I was born in the United Kingdom In the UK, but I was raised American. And I travelled, mostly in the United States, a couple of international, international roles for business meetings, but not for working. And then getting the opportunity to move to Japan to interview and move and relocate here was obviously life changing. It was amazing. However, I wasn’t prepared for all of the, I’ll call it diversity opportunities, that I would face as a woman, as a US citizen, as you know, a black woman or African American woman. Just every almost everything you can think of I’ve kind of hit around the culture, spirituality, gender, like every single thing you can imagine, I kind of feel like I’ve experienced here in Japan, competition around privilege, because in the United States, I don’t necessarily feel privileged, sometimes, you know, being, you know, black being raised in the south, right, and being a black woman, but then moving to Japan and understanding the power of using a US passport, being a native English speaker, just things you just never, I think I took a lot of things for granted. And I just, I was just exposed to so many different levels and kinds and types of diversity that it was absolutely unreal, I realise in America, that we’re very free, or very just open culturally, which you don’t know because everyone is in your culture. And then you move to a different culture, which is diametrically opposite, very conservative, very reserved, very polite to the, to the extreme, in which you don’t actually know if you’re actually in agreement in a meeting. So lots of things came up with with moving to Japan, it’s been amazing. But I want to say one of the largest learning experiences to date in my entire life.
Katherine Ann Byam 6:18
Now I can imagine that and what things have you had to adjust? Like, What things have you felt like you, you could no longer do?
Ashley Dash 6:27
You know what, there was a lot of things. Initially, I felt that I could not do, I started dressing more conservatively, I started dressing in darker colours. So everyone here wears like grey, navy, blue, black, or it’s very, like monotone. So I kind of started dressing like in those colours, like a lot of things that make me me, right, American and happy, I’m a happy person, if you guys can’t tell, you know, pretty fun. I wear flowers and polka dots and things like that – I stopped because I felt like, just existing was already enough, you know, difference. I have locks in my hair. So my, my hairstyles are very calm, like I just calmed everything down, because I felt like I just took out so much. And I remember my general manager at the time, a wonderful woman from the Netherlands, if I’m not mistaken, I’m not sure if she sensed it, or she just had a conversation. I’m not quite sure where, where it came from. But I remember she made a comment and she said, we hired you, because you’re you. And we want you just to be yourself. And I remember after that comment, I kind of relaxed a little bit, you know, I kind of felt like the shackles that I didn’t know were there kind of came off and I and I just became myself again, you know, I wore the polka dots and the colours, and I’ll be the only person wearing yellow in a sea of navy blue. And sometimes it was isolating. And other times you’d have to learn how to balance so sometimes I would wear like the fun colours, and the other times I would wear like a work uniform. And and all of my Japanese colleagues noticed like, Oh, that’s nice, right. So it gave us a chance for commonality. So, so many things from clothing, my rate of speech has probably been the most significant challenge – it’s challenging to be honest. In the United States, I’ve always been a person that speaks very quickly, even for native English speakers. So then move into a foreign country where people are translating in, in your in their heads, understanding you very complex topics, you know, some of the work topics we were discussing were taxes and payroll in multiple countries and expatriate management, they weren’t easy topics, to say the least. So learning how to communicate effectively, for a global audience, to be honest, it’s something I still, I’m gonna say I struggle with, I have to focus, I have to think about it. After those meetings, I will be tired, don’t talk to me. Just let me decompress. So I think communication has been the most challenging, one of the most challenging things that I’ve had to personally work on at work.
Katherine Ann Byam 9:15
That’s really important, what you said there about, about communication. And I think that’s probably one of the biggest topics in the whole DEI space because it combines a couple of things, it combines being sort of empathic and sort of understanding what the other person’s going through, you know, even if, you know even if the context was reversed, right, and you’re in the US perhaps and you know, you have someone there from Russia or from from Poland or something like this, you know, you always have this this time gap perhaps where that person is, you know, processing or, or just the way you literally say something is interpreted completely different in that other language, you know, so, so there’s so much to language and then there’s the other side of it is the curiosity, right? So like, you have to have noticed that something is different in order to probe it and to ask questions about it. But if you don’t, if you’re not paying attention to the differences, and wondering why something is the way that it is, you don’t get to explore what it means. And then you don’t get to challenge your own sort of belief systems. Right? So it’s such a rich space for me like I’m, I love this kind of stories. And this is one of the reasons you know, I’m a, I’m going to start working on my next book, which is Designed by Diversity and Built by Inclusion, and I love you to be a part of that. But that’s another topic.
Ashley Dash 10:39
Right? So on that point, I just want to give an example. I didn’t realise Americans were so casual in our speech. So when we use a lot of lingo, a lot of phrases that mean other things, but when you you say it directly, or you try to translate it directly, it makes absolutely no sense. And one of those examples that I use is cool beans, right? I use the phrase cool beans. And all of my coworkers look at me, like, what are you talking? Like, thank God, right? That body language and facial expressions are universal. You all no matter what country you’re from, everyone knows, the the face of confusion or questions, right? And trying, and then I realised, so I would have to try to explain cool beans. But then how do you explain that? Right? What’s the reference point? How do you even begin those conversations? So then I realised that there was a lot of phrases and beliefs to your point that I just took for granted. Like I inherited, I didn’t actually have the tools to know how to how to explain cool beans, because then I used another word like, well, it means awesome, but awesome, isn’t typically, you know, a generally Global English term. So it actually forced me to be a better communicator, because I had to be very specific in terms of translation, like, is this the right term in the tone that I want to convey and express? Hence why, I was tired, a lot of times leaving, I was like, I’m not doing a lot of physically demanding work, but just trying to make sure everyone understands what I’m saying. And I’m clearly understanding what they’re saying, was really, I just, I don’t think it’s a conversation. No one prepared me for that conversation. To be honest, no one talks about Global English. When I talk about diversity, I’ve never heard, I’ve seen one LinkedIn post one time around native English speakers and other foreign languages. And that’s it. But Global English is its own topic. It deserves its own chapter in your book or another book. It’s very interesting. Just understanding that space.
Katherine Ann Byam 12:45
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we had a very, very recent, and, you know, potentially really good example, when, when the announcement came out last week about the Queen being ill, when they reported it, they said that she was resting comfortably. And my partner was like, he’s French, so he was like, well, she’s fine. Like, why is everyone getting, acting as if she’s already past, like, she’s fine. They said, she’s resting comfortably. And I had to point out to him that if she’s still at home, and the doctors are concerned, and they haven’t taken her to the hospital, she’s probably not fine. But but from the language from the language that we use in the UK is like, you’d never know that there’s a crisis happening because she’s resting comfortably. You know, and this kind of stuff is it happens all the time, right, that people get lost because they don’t understand nuances of the culture and how understated sometimes the UK can be. So that was that was also really interesting. So you’re right.
Ashley Dash 13:44
Yeah not just the UK. Not just the UK.
Katherine Ann Byam 13:50
So, I’m going to move to another topic of interest to me and then definitely to the people listening to us today, I’m keen for you to share your backstory and how you came to be an HR leader. And, and how you got from, from where you were in terms of, you know, your background, etc, to to this place. So if you can tell me a little bit about that.
Ashley Dash 14:15
Sure. I have, I like to say a horrible HR story. And I say that laughingly because I actually never wanted to be in human resources. I took the classes in college, and I just was not interested at all it sounded very boring. I was the case studies. I was just not interested. So I, actually my background is Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. So I was doing research and data analysis in my internships. My first job was sales, analysis and reporting. And then I went back to school for my Masters in Business Administration, I graduated and I started interviewing for other positions because obviously got this degree let’s put it to use and I applied for finance positions and a couple of other reporting positions, and I did not get those positions, and I also interviewed for a recruitment position, recruiter. And it was interesting because my boss would be in a different part of the country and I would have this remote team, I would sit in a different team, it was very it was everything about this role was very interesting. And I didn’t think I’d get, be, hired because I did not have a background in human resources I just didn’t. And what I’ve heard, or what I’ve learned over the years is very hard to break into HR. That’s been the very like, the reoccurring theme that I’ve heard. But I have no experience because the first HR job I applied for I actually got, and in that role, I was recruiting for both manufacturing positions and office positions, I fell in love with human resources. To be honest, I fell in love with the practical part of it. Because you don’t get to do that in school, the meeting people the understanding the having conversations with new candidates working with the hiring managers, going to career fairs for a time, I was a happy career fair lady, like who doesn’t want to fly around the country, and talk to new college graduates who are excited to work. So I kind of got bitten by the HR bug on accident. And I’ve been in HR ever since to be honest, in different roles. But that’s actually how I started.
Katherine Ann Byam 16:13
I want to ask something that’s potentially controversial. I have this thing in my head that a lot of us as black women, we work in spaces, or we talk to subjects relating to HR and DEI probably because we feel as out of all the categories we could find at work, we probably feel the most depressed by the coincidence of discrimination that happens both by race, the intersectionality, of race and of gender. And when I look at the people I follow on LinkedIn, for example, who are strong black women, they tend to be all advocates for DEI and not necessarily broader sustainability topics. And I wonder why, I wonder why this is, I wonder if it’s even a realistic thing that I’m saying? Or if it’s just my lens and my own eyes that are telling me that most of the outspoken black woman that I see, always talking about DEI and always in the HR space? What is your feeling about that? Is there any truth to that? Is Is there something that that might be drawing us toward the subject? What are your thoughts?
Ashley Dash 17:20
On that particular topic I actually have two comments, I think sometimes we are a product of who or what we’re interested in, right. So I think if you’re interested in the DEI subject, and you are a black woman, it would make sense that you follow black women interested in DEI conversations, I don’t think those are the only advocates, I don’t think those are the only people having those conversations. I think you’re just more sensitive to the topic. As I am. I’m, I’m connected to a lot of HR professionals and a lot of career people. So I get to see a lot more conversations around work heard and resumes and interviews. And it’s just not black women, but there is a significant pop, you know number, in that space, I think part of it is just population, like what your interest level is. Because it just, it’s just a, I think you’re a product of your environment. All of my positions, not all but most, most of my positions have been in the automotive space. So for most of my career, I’ve been surrounded by white men. And it took, I did have a couple of supervisors, it took a while to get a couple of supervisors that were non white, but I didn’t have any problems or issues. However, with that comment being said, I do remember, very early in my career, there was a communication challenge around specifically around myself as a black woman. And I don’t know if it was if it was a confidence thing, or I was coming across arrogant or something in the, in the tone, right? That just didn’t sit well. And it was noted in terms of conversation and brought to my attention. And I remember another human resources professional, she’s also a black woman, she was higher up than me, you know, she had been in the game for years. She said, it’s very interesting that every black woman performance evaluation has a particular note around tone. Sounds like ooh, that’s interesting, because in HR, you see, you see everything you hear everything. And at the time, I was too new, too green to really understand what that meant, or the implications of that. Now I know that’s a DEI topic like, oh, we communicate differently, we need to figure out what that is. Because obviously, there was a communicate, there was a DEI, I call it a DEI gap, right on both sides that black women didn’t know as a collective that was happening and management didn’t know that each black woman was receiving the same type of information. So obviously there was something happening in the organisation as a whole. Not saying that the organisation is horrible or racist, it’s just a fact of information. So I think there are hidden gems, you know, in every organisation, regardless of where you are that you just have to take note of or be privy to, and I don’t think if you’re in the majority, you really pay attention or notice those, those nuances. And I think if you are at the point of intersectionality, around DEI topics, you just happen to know that as a black woman, like, of course, I noticed because it happened to me. So I, because of my experience, right, I noticed those things. So I could be that, you know, advocate on LinkedIn talking about DEI topics, right. But if you talk to, you know, person, you know, LGBT plus community, same thing, Asian, like, you know, it just depends on that conversation.
Katherine Ann Byam 20:31
No, that’s that’s a fair point. That’s a really fair comment. I wanna know a little bit about the sort of challenges you faced, in growing your career, so what what has sort of been the most difficult part of becoming a senior professional in your space, and possibly what were the most successful and easy elements?
Ashley Dash 20:53
So I think one of the most significant challenges I faced that no one prepared me for was isolation. I often felt lonely, I was often the only in the room. And the only came up in a variety of ways, which is why I think diversity conversations are so important. So obviously, many times I was the only woman in the automotive space, I was only woman in the room, or I was the only black person or black woman in the room. I started my career right out of college. And I was giving reports to like the vice president of sales, so many times I was the youngest person in the room. So I didn’t quite understand everyone else’s, we didn’t have the same reference points, jokes, were going over my head because I was born in a different times, time era. So that was very challenging. And it took a while and I was, in my eyes. I was more educated than my experience. Most of my career wasn’t until I think, moving to Japan, where my years of experience and my education finally matched. For a very long time, I was more educated than my experience portrayed. So that left some confusing conversations for managers in terms of how to, where did I fit? And how to, how, how does, how do you have a career conversation with her? Obviously, she’s she’s brilliant, right. But she doesn’t have XYZ experience because she just hasn’t been on Earth, right, she hasn’t been working long enough to experience some of these things. So I think some of those challenges I experienced, and I experienced them by myself, because there was really no one else at my level, or in my role doing that I had like one or two peers in other industries. And we kind of would commiserate together, you know, as black women. But for the most part, I was actually surpassing, I can think of my peers, but people who are older than me, employees that I, that had been at the organisation longer than me, I was surpassing them. And it was very interesting how that was happening. I know now what was happening, but at the time, it was it felt very lonely, right. So that’s something that I don’t think, there’s no conversation around, which is why we kind of have those work hurt conversations, because who do you go to when you’re by yourself? Right? And if you do go to a mentor, they’re not going to get all the nuances, because they don’t look like you. They don’t talk like you, right? Like they’re gonna miss some cultural differences. Right. So that could be very isolating. And I’ll say the controversial topic that I often say, and I’ve expressed privately, and I just started kind of talking about it publicly, is in terms of how I navigated my career, is I decided that I was going to treat my career like a white man, right? Because what was happening was, I was at work. And on the weekends, everyone goes home, you know, has great plans. And on Mondays, everybody asked How was your weekend, and then you would hear these stories from I would hear these stories from our white colleagues. And they were totally different. It’s completely different than I was doing on the weekend. And I couldn’t figure out how were you able to do this? How are you able to afford to do some of the things you guys were doing on the weekends? And if we have time, we’ll come back story later. But I just realised that the most successful people at my organisation were all white men. So then I just started asking them questions about themselves. Like, how did you do this? How, why are you here? How long have you been working with like, I would just interview them write about themselves. At the time. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. But I wanted information because you guys are doing something that I’m not doing and I want to know the secret kind of keys right, with the ingredients. And then I started learning some of the things that for them was common knowledge that was not common knowledge for myself or my peers. So then I started crafting my charisma. Okay, I need to do that. I need to do that. I need to do that. And actually, Japan is actually the result of that conversation that started 2000 what 10 to 12 years ago, most of my white colleagues and directors and successful guys, all had international assignments, they all every, almost every single one of them had been overseas for a period of time then came back. So I remember writing that down, you know, on my mental calendar said, okay, bucket list item professionally I need to work overseas. That’s how, that’s how you become successful. So I had this list of things that I have kind of interviewed white men on. And I built my career around that, which is why it looks like I’m doing crazy things all the time, because I’m looking, I’m filling these experience gaps that I think are important from what I’ve learned from them.
Katherine Ann Byam 25:31
Now, that’s really powerful, and a very good technique. I mean, I was thinking about this very conversation, this topic, because I had a research piece to write this week, and one of the topics was around funding for women. And you know, how deplorable the funding situation is for women in general? And I was curious about, why is it that those 2% of women who get funded, why did they get funded? Right, and one of the things is linked to the, to that point that you just made? Like, what are the men doing? Okay, so, can we do some of what they’re doing, right? It’s, it’s, it’s one part of it, it’s probably not all of it, but it’s one of the things and, and there was some other follow up research on that, that I found super interesting, which was that the women who were funded, they tend to, they tended to be like, 70%, more successful than the average male being funded. Which is super fascinating. So, so perhaps the criteria and okay, I haven’t done the research, but perhaps the criteria for women is really tough. But once they’ve crossed it, they’re more likely to be successful. So there’s something in that, right. There’s, there’s something powerful in that that women can use, right, and I think it’s a really good way to approach it. It’s like, if you go and you dig, and you find the sort of, sort of key ingredients, there’s no, there’s no, there’s nothing stopping you from feeding that through into the way that you execute what you’re doing.
Ashley Dash 27:02
This is true, but I need to put on my HR hat right from years ago, in recruitment. And it’s very interesting in how gender plays a point inapplications, right, because let’s say on a on a job application, there are several requirements, right? If a man hits three or four, he’s going to apply for the role, right? Like he’s going to submit his application, and we’re gonna see it in the system. In my experience, I can’t speak for it today. But my experience in the past has been, if the woman doesn’t have seven out of seven, she will not apply. She could have five of seven, if she doesn’t have all the requirements, she will not apply for the role. So that’s actually how I got into the career space, because the question people kept asking me was, actually how are you getting these jobs? And I would respond, I’m applying, I would apply for roles. I had no HR experience, I still applied for the job. Right.
Katherine Ann Byam 27:55
That’s interesting, because I suspect that’s also happening with women in funding that they’re not applying.
Ashley Dash 27:59
Yeah I don’t think it’s every one now, let’s be clear, I know there’s lots of women who are applying, and they’re also they are getting rejected. But there has been significant studies in research that shows that, that men just they – they see themselves more highly than women see themselves, view themselves. So they just apply for positions at a different rate and experience than many women not at all, but many women.
Katherine Ann Byam 28:27
Yeah, no, it’s powerful stuff. And I think it’s it’s good that we’re having the conversation, and I hope that this is helping someone who’s listening out there. What in your experience are organisations beginning to get right on this whole diversity, equity and inclusion topic?
Ashley Dash 28:45
So I think we’re getting away from tokenism. Right? I think organisations are realising that that is not positive, that is not good for anyone. And I think the former I’ll say tokens, right? The people who have been in those roles are also kind of saying, hey, you’re setting me up for failure, hey, this isn’t working, and people are kind of seeing through. So I hate to use the word, this word because I feel like it’s overused right now, but I feel like some companies are trying to be more authentic, right? They’re trying to be like, okay, we obviously need metrics, right? We have to track it. But putting someone who’s not qualified in a role just because their colour of their skin or their gender or whatever their diverse characteristic is, is not working. Right. So, so how do we do this? So the conversations that I’m more excited about are more about inclusivity. Right? Because sometimes you see the word diversity, people’s eyes roll, right? Because people have defined, it over defined, it redefined it, right. And sometimes it loses its power. When you talk about inclusion, right? Inclusion is really more about removing barriers, right, not focusing on a particular metric. So I think when we talk about DEI get excited around okay, how to remove barriers for everyone, right? Because it’s easy for men, right to feel like they’re being isolated. And I feel like it’s very, it doesn’t make sense for people to ignore the fact that if someone’s in power and your removing their power, they wouldn’t feel frustrated or upset or angry. But that is a natural human emotion. Right? So I think we talk about inclusivity. It’s easier to have conversations and engage men in those conversations, because I’m not taking anything away from you, right? I’m not saying you can’t have this job because you’re not a woman, right. And men have experienced that, in this, in these DEI conversations we’re saying, hey, we’re just removing the barrier so that other people can apply too, and if you’re still the most qualified, right, great, right. So we’re doing those types of conversations. So inclusion, to me is very exciting.
Katherine Ann Byam 30:48
What are the sort of biggest things that you see, you see coming upstream that’s going to sort of help us all from your experiences, and from your research and and the data that you’ve been looking at?
Ashley Dash 30:59
To be honest, I feel like this younger generation, they’re blowing up systems, like they’re doing crazy things. And I love it. It’s been, it’s challenged me because I grew up in a certain way, right? So I grew up, you know, you can’t wear certain things. You can’t say certain things you can’t… right. But I was always like, on the edge. Like, I was always like this, this doesn’t make sense, but I need my job, right? So I’ve kind of conformed, but still on the cusp. And this new generation this younger generation in regards to age, they do not care. They’re saying I’m not coming to work. If you can’t work remotely, I quit. Right? They are quitting without two week notices. They are going on strike if like they’re just, they’re challenging everything. And I’m not saying that all of it is wonderful, but a lot of good things, a lot of your conversations are being forced on executives that they probably weren’t prepared for. And COVID absolutely did not help. Right. When most of the world discovered, oh, we can actually still function from a corporate environment, right, being in person is different, but from a corporate environment. Oh, we can still do all of this stuff from home. Why do I have to come back into the office? It’s been very, I’ve been kind of excited to be honest. I love the younger generation. I’m team them right now. Like they are driving the future around work.
Katherine Ann Byam 32:22
Yeah, no, that’s super great. And, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been soaking up Tik Tok recently, just as I was promoting my book, right? And I recorded a few videos on each chapter of the book so I can start doing the promotion. And then I started, you know, posting into Tik Tok, but also playing with Tik Tok myself. And I was like, Whoa, like, there’s so many kids who just on this platform, being content creators, not necessarily influencers, but genuinely good content creators. And I realised like, hang on this stuff is disrupting traditional learning and development first of all, because so many people just going to it and getting their knowledge from it. But it’s also like, it’s a cultural movement. It’s like a voice it’s like, this, this huge space where people are being able to really share what their values and views are, without any sort of editing at all. And, and it’s changing the game, right? It’s, it’s, it’s absolutely groundbreaking.
Ashley Dash 33:23
It’s scary. I mean, it’s scary for me, and I’m not even like, you know, in like, the older like being a boomer you know, generation, because it’s to me, sometimes I my eyes grow wide, I’m like they really said that publicly, because there are some things that I would say or think or have conversations with, that I would not put on Tik Tok, right, that I would not put on LinkedIn, I would not put on Facebook. So it’s been challenging me around, you know, my own authenticity and vulnerability, and what that looks like like some things I have to be honest. I was raised, you know, professional, professionally old school. So some things I’m just not going to do. Like, I just can’t do it. It’s just not for me. And that’s okay. But I think the point is, like you’re saying it’s culturally groundbreaking. It’s forcing conversations that are long overdue.
Katherine Ann Byam 34:12
Yeah. It’s really, really something that I too embrace. It’s, it’s good. It’s good for us. So I want to move now to something very important, which is the profitable resume. So you created this, this great business, the profitable resume. And, you know, we were talking just before we got on air, about this journey to putting your resume out there and actually getting a call back, and I was sharing with you that I actually am on, I’m on a journey right now. So I’m a career coach, too. And I’m actually on a journey to return to the world of of traditional work, as I call it in quotations. And I was surprised that I actually was getting callbacks like I out of all the resumes that I’ve sent, which is about 10 I’ve heard had five calls. And that was a that was mind blowing for me because the last five years ago or before, it was not the case like I was not getting that sort of feedback. And one of the things is because I’ve built a profitable resume. So I’d like you to talk a little bit about that.
Ashley Dash 35:17
Yes. So okay, I’ve been, I’ll say, like, I started as a resume writer in college. So even before I started my career, I’ve been in their resume business, so to speak. And over the years, you just see, to be honest, I’ve seen 1000s of resumes at this point. I’m not at the millions, but definitely the 1000s. And you just start noticing things. And then you having conversations with the people who have the paper in front of you, you start realising things don’t match, like what you said in the interview was amazing. But that’s not on this piece of paper, right? So I realised that there was a process to having a profitable resume. And one of the first things I learned was that your resume is a reflection of you when you’re not in the room. But most people aren’t confident in themselves, like they don’t have the right mindset. And that’s reflected in the resume. And that’s one of the first things that I learned. So when I talk about profitable resume, that is just the one piece where we start because when I’m pretty sure when you were when you were looking for your job, let’s say, after you graduated, right, you don’t have a lot of experience, right, you don’t really have the same level of confidence that you have now, right? With all the years of experience, there’s a certain level of I’ll say, tracking and metrics and understanding that you have, that you just didn’t have years ago, because you didn’t have the experience. And once I realised that many people didn’t view themselves that way, a light bulb clicked in my brain, like, oh, this is why you’re not getting the job, because you don’t actually feel confident in this experience. And so once I improve a person’s confidence, the resume is a byproduct of that, right? Like the process for resume writing is actually pretty simple. It’s the process of getting someone to believe in themselves, that’s difficult to know that they’re amazing to know that they have transferable skills that apply to multiple roles, to know that, you know, this experience can be tracked, and there’s metrics attached to it to understand this information is important. I’m not gonna keep going, cause I get excited. But no, this is my space, right? So I just, I just know how life changing resumes can be and have been for me, I’ve changed my life. This is my second dream job. This is my third. I’ll call it crazy location. And it was all based on a resume. Right? The resume was the first step. One of my jobs, I don’t think I applied. Two of my job, several jobs. I don’t think I applied for the job. I think I had a phone conversation with one of them. And I think they found me, my resume online for another position. But I just know that it’s so important. It’s so powerful. And people just, in my opinion, they don’t know how life changing it can be.
Katherine Ann Byam 38:01
Yeah, no, that’s that’s absolutely bang on. I had the same experience. I had someone reach out to me and say, Look, you know, I’m recruiting for this role. It’s closed now. But I’d love you to apply. Because clearly, they weren’t finding the people that they wanted. And they found my resume, they found my CV on LinkedIn, basically. And just decided to reach out right. And and I’m still in that process now. So that that does count for something. And I guess this speaks to the point about building your personal brand.
Ashley Dash 38:30
Yes. So branding is it’s it’s a buzzword, it’s been a buzzword for years, career brand, I have been doing this, I don’t know, five years now six years, I’m not sure. But before I started doing it, career branding wasn’t a term yet, right? It was all about like personal branding, or professional branding, career branding, the way I define it is a combination of both. It’s your personal and your professional brand together equals your career brand, right? So personal is who you are. So how you show up in the world, if you’re a happy person, if you’re a morning person, and you’re you know all those things that your personality, right, that typically does not change. And then professionally, that’s what you do at work, right? So that’s kind of like how you show up those items together, equal your career brand, right? And my job for every single person that I interact with is to help them create a six figure career brand, right? Help you see how your natural talents and abilities like who you are, as a person can help you get your dream job and make six figures and what you’ve done professionally, right? How to leverage that experience into different roles and opportunities. So that it makes sense. So again, that you can make six figures because there’s intangibles around, about people, right? And there’s things that of course, technical skills. And once you learn that, once you identify that, it’s amazing.
Katherine Ann Byam 39:48
What advice would you give to my listeners who are thinking about making a transition right now is this the right time to make a transition? Would you say that the job market is in a good place? And what what should they be looking for?
Ashley Dash 39:59
I give the word Advice. And people ask me these questions because I teach from a completely different perspective, I don’t really care about the job market, right, because I’m not competing against job market, I am the best person for the role. I don’t care about a candidate pool. Like all the things that you’re supposed to care about, that’s not what I teach. From. Now, my my clients know, we have those discussions, those are after effects, right? You are the best person for the job, which means in any market, right, you will be the best person from the job, there are always people hiring. When I started looking for jobs, I looked for jobs during the great recession. So if you’ve ever heard me speak before, I always say I’m a recession baby. Right? So I’ve gotten promotions, in the Great Recession, 2010, I bought a house when they said you weren’t gonna be able to buy houses. So I don’t really think about things like that, to be perfectly honest, I teach my clients to apply from position of power. And my preference would actually be they not apply they attract. But that’s a whole separate conversation. Because most job posts, most jobs aren’t actually posted to be frank, right. So that’s a totally different tangent, that we don’t have time to go down. It’s just what I tell people to do is understand what you want to do and be specific. Now, that’s what I do get really clear on what you want to do. Get clear on where you want to work, and get clear on how much money you want to make. I actually advise my clients to write their own job description, like on a piece of paper, write down a job description of what you want, right? Where would you work? How many times did you go into the office? What kind of company would it be? Would it be a boutique or large company? Like go through the paces? How much money would you make? What type of hiring manager would you work for? What would your job responsibility be job responsibilities be? How, what percentage, you know? Or do you be doing those things like write your own job description, and then see if that exists in the marketplace? Right? Then see what kind of opportunities and conversations come? Because most of the times, I decide what I want to do, and then I go find it, I don’t just apply just to apply
Katherine Ann Byam 42:12
As we start looking at what’s what’s changing in the wider world. And the whole sustainability conversation and this this, this podcast, as well as my other podcast, I always try to integrate the sustainability transition into everything. Do you feel as if a candidate today needs to be well versed in sort of the big picture of what’s happening on our planet? What are your thoughts on that?
Ashley Dash 42:38
I would say definitely, they would definitely need to be connected. But it depends on the values of the person, the hiring manager in the company, I have to be honest, I don’t have that much experience, let’s say in green environment, like energy, like I just I know it exists. I know it’s important, right to save the planet. But I personally don’t have, let’s say, an attachment to it. So when I’m in the automotive space, obviously we talk about, you know, zero waste, you know, we talk about fuel efficiency and hydrogen, you know, batteries, and you know, all types of things, right. So I understand it, but I don’t have a connection to it. But I’m also in the HR space, right? So my sustainability is more connected to people, right? So for me, sustainability looks completely different. It’s more like, compassion, like compassion to human resources, right? How do you let someone go and support them in the process? Right, because that can be someone’s life change, life changing for someone, right? So I think, defining what sustainability means in terms of the industry, and then of course, the function you’re in really makes the biggest difference because, you know, if I talked to one of my friends, she’s gonna talk about fast fashion, right? And she, you know, she hates, you know, all of these, you know, one and done, you know, these outlets, right, and these stores that are making millions of dollars, but are destroying the planet. So it just depends on what’s, what sustainability means and what it looks like to the person.
Katherine Ann Byam 44:11
Great advice .How can my listeners connect and find you?
Ashley Dash 44:15
They can find me on Facebook. You can find me on LinkedIn, on Instagram. I’m Dr. Ashley Dash, obviously, this Dr. Ashley, as h le y, Dash actually the word not the hyphen, I get that a lot. So D A S H, but there are lots of people that have questions around the recession. And just because, you know, I maybe I found it super easy, you know, several years ago doesn’t mean everyone is in that space. So I am putting together a how to resume excuse me, How to Recession Proof Your Resume. I think there’s a conversation that is happening right now. People kind of want some information and support. So I walk them through what I did, right? Like this is how you survive a recession. This is how you get promoted during the recession. And people can access that at profitableresume.com/guide, right, it’s a free resource, you know, you put your name and your email address in there, and then you’ll get the guide. I’m actually releasing it this week, this weekend. So it will be really exciting to really to be honest to help people. I feel like jobs and careers are the biggest part of people’s lives. And I’m so excited when I see someone living their best life because they changed their job or they got more money or, you know, they’re doing what they love.
Katherine Ann Byam 45:29
Absolutely. Thank you so much for joining us today and for sharing all these brilliant nuggets of wisdom. Looking forward to engaging again with you in the future.
Ashley Dash 45:38
Always a pleasure. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
Katherine Ann Byam 45:42
This episode was brought to you today by the Courageous Career Club. Have you picked up your own copy of Do What Matters: The Purpose Driven Career Transition Guidebook? To find out how you can get your copy, as well as resources that go alongside it, visit my website, www Katherine Ann byam.com or engage with me on the socials. I’m looking forward to hearing from you