Earn Job Hunting

HerMoney Podcast Episode 276: Feeling Stuck? How To Figure Out What You Want To Do 

Kathryn Tuggle  |  July 28, 2021

How to get unstuck and design your dream career.

 

As we were prepping for this week’s show, I couldn’t help thinking of the age-old advice that we always seem to give recent graduates… something along the lines of:  “Do what you love,” “Pursue your passion,” or “If you like your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.” You’ve probably gotten advice like that before — or dispensed it yourself. Because in theory, those are beautiful, worthy and encouraging sentiments.

But what if you’re just not sure what your passions are? Or what if you think you know your passion, but after a few years find out, well, you kind of hate it?  Or what if you love so very many things, you can’t pick just one?  Or what if you start out liking a job in your 20s and 30s, but then in your 40s, you realize it’s not right for you and your lifestyle, or it’s not a fit for the city where you most want to live? 

The point is, we know of absolutely no one whose careers were a straight-arrow trajectory… Who go from point A to point B to point C just absolutely LOVING every single job they have.  Sometimes, our jobs suck. Sometimes, we feel stuck. 

And you know what? That’s okay. We shouldn’t feel forced into needing to LOVE every minute of our careers in order to feel like we made the “right” decisions, or took the “best” job offer. The truth is, we can always pivot. We can always reinvent. We can always find what’s been missing in our careers and in our lives. It is never too late. 

And no one knows that better than this week’s guest, Ashley Stahl, author of the bestselling book, You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career. Ashley is a former counter-terrorism professional who now boasts career clients in 78 countries, and hosts the popular “You Turn” podcast. 

Listen in as Ashley tells Jean how people can find what’s missing in their careers, and why so many of us live on “autopilot” in jobs that we just don’t like. She also breaks down some of the myths that tend to keep employees stuck, and prevent us from becoming the successful job seekers we should be. 

Ashley breaks down some of the most important takeaways from her book, including: How to discover your core skill set, how to clarify your core interests, how to understand your “Inner Money Blueprint, and how to become your own coach. “The best career is not one where you only do what you love, but one where you honor who you are,” Ashley says. 

And if we want to truly love what we do, it all starts with knowing who we are, and what our strengths are.  “I think what stops people from knowing their core skill set is we just don’t really know ourselves very well,” she says. “It’s hard to read the label when you’re stuck inside the jar. So, I would say one block from knowing your skill set is just not knowing your skill set. I recommend that anybody listening just ask people in your lives, your colleagues, friends, parents, ‘Where have you seen me at my best? Where have you seen me at my best in my career?’”

Of course in addition to our passions we also discuss our money. When we talk about constructing a wish list for our future jobs, where does the urge to make money fall in that hierarchy? Where should people put “I want to make a decent living” in their description of what they are looking for? Ashley and Jean break it down. 

In Mailbag, we take a look at the ins and outs of bank account beneficiaries, and whether the people who inherit those funds will need to pay taxes upon receipt. We also discuss the end of federal loan forbearance for student loans, and what a solid game plan looks like, depending on your income. And in Thrive, a look at some of the items on your credit report that may make lenders think twice about approving your application. 

You can read more about Ashley here!

This podcast is proudly supported by Fidelity Investments. Life is full of big moments—both the planned and the unexpected. Fidelity can help you navigate both with confidence. Learn more at Fidelity.com/HerMoney. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC Member NYSE, SIPC.

Editor’s note: We maintain a strict editorial policy and a judgment-free zone for our community, and we also strive to remain transparent in everything we do. Posts may contain references and links to products from our partners. Learn more about how we make money.

Transcript

Ashley Stahl: (00:01)
I think what stops people from knowing their core skillset is according to research, we just don’t really know ourselves very well. Like it’s hard to read the label when you’re stuck inside the jar. So I would say one block from knowing your skillset is just not knowing yourself. So I would recommend anybody listening, ask people in their life, their colleagues, their friends, their parents, where have you seen me at my best? Or where have you seen me at my best in my career?

Jean Chatzky: (00:30)
HerMoney is supported by Fidelity Investments. Whether you’re saving for something in the near future or way down the road, Fidelity has tips and tools to help you meet your savings goals. Visit Fidelity.com/HerMoney to learn more. Hey everybody, I’m Jean Chatzky. Thank you so much for joining me today on HerMoney. You know that our fabulous careers are one of the topics that we return to time and again, on this show, we just love talking about how to earn more money, how to network effectively, what it takes to find a job that can help our careers skyrocket. And these can be tough topics to distill because there are so very many paths we can take to get where we want and what we want out of our working lives this week in preparation for this show, I was thinking about that age old advice that we always seem to give recent grads something along the lines of “do what you love,” “pursue your passion,” or “if you like your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

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Ashley Stahl: (00:01)
I think what stops people from knowing their core skillset is according to research, we just don’t really know ourselves very well. Like it’s hard to read the label when you’re stuck inside the jar. So I would say one block from knowing your skillset is just not knowing yourself. So I would recommend anybody listening, ask people in their life, their colleagues, their friends, their parents, where have you seen me at my best? Or where have you seen me at my best in my career?

Jean Chatzky: (00:30)
HerMoney is supported by Fidelity Investments. Whether you’re saving for something in the near future or way down the road, Fidelity has tips and tools to help you meet your savings goals. Visit Fidelity.com/HerMoney to learn more. Hey everybody, I’m Jean Chatzky. Thank you so much for joining me today on HerMoney. You know that our fabulous careers are one of the topics that we return to time and again, on this show, we just love talking about how to earn more money, how to network effectively, what it takes to find a job that can help our careers skyrocket. And these can be tough topics to distill because there are so very many paths we can take to get where we want and what we want out of our working lives this week in preparation for this show, I was thinking about that age old advice that we always seem to give recent grads something along the lines of “do what you love,” “pursue your passion,” or “if you like your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Jean Chatzky: (01:36)
By the way, I do not believe in the ladder, but you have probably gotten advice like that before, or maybe dispensed it yourself. Because in theory, these are beautiful words. They are encouraging sentiments. But what if you’re just not sure what your passions are or what have you think you might know your passion, but after a few years out, you find you, well kind of hate it. Or what if you love many, many things and you can’t pick just one or what? If you start out liking a job in your twenties or your thirties, but then in your forties, you realize it’s not right for you and it’s not right for your lifestyle, or it’s not fit for the city where you want to live. The point is, I know of precisely no one whose careers were a straight arrow trajectory who went from point A to point B to point C loving every step along the way.

Jean Chatzky: (02:29)
Sometimes our jobs just suck and sometimes we feel stuck and sometimes we’d rather wake up and go literally anywhere other than to work. And you know what that is. Okay. We should not feel forced into needing to love every minute of our careers in order to feel like we made the right decisions or took the best job offer. The truth is we can always pivot. We can always reinvent. We can always find what’s been missing in our careers and in our, it is never too late. And no one knows that better than our guests today. Ashley Stahl, author of the best selling book, “You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career.” Ashley is a former counter terrorism professional, who now boasts career clients in 78 countries and hosts the popular You Turn podcast. Ashley, welcome.

Ashley Stahl: (03:29)
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited. Oh,

Jean Chatzky: (03:31)
Well, we’re excited to have you and I am excited to hear how you made the turn from counter terrorism to career counselor. But first, tell me about the book I heard you say when you wrote it, that you help people figure out what’s missing in their careers. Can you explain that

Ashley Stahl: (03:49)
You kind of hit the nail on the head, just opening this up, talking about this advice of following your passion. And for me, when I was in college, I remember trying to figure out what to major in and going to the career services office and walking in, looking at the advisor saying, I don’t know what to major in. And I was kind of operating under the belief that my major really mattered, which in retrospect, the data indicates that only 27% of people are using their major in their job. And that tends to be pre-med or pre-law related or engineering related profession. So most of us don’t really need it, but she looked at me and she said, follow your passion, do what you love. And all of these three worded directives. And I remember feeling more lost than when I walked in. And I remember thinking I’m really passionate about cupcakes, but I’m going to be a horrible baker.

Ashley Stahl: (04:40)
And I’m really passionate about massages and fashion, but I would be a horrible misuse or designer. And it wasn’t until later that I would really realize that there’s a big difference between being a great producer of something, doing it in your career and producing it versus being a great consumer of something. I consume politics, I consume cupcakes, but it doesn’t mean much about my skillset and where I’m really meant to be contributing my energy throughout the day. And so, as far as my own journey into national security, I remember just majoring in political science because I was interested in it and French, because I was good at languages. And I just told myself, I’m going to just code onto a plan for the sake of having one, because it was terrifying to be aimless. When I went my senior year of college, people saying, what are you going to do with your life? And I just wanted something to say, I think just like everyone, the desire to survive in those conversations and be someone is so deep inside of us that a lot of the times we’re willing to trade our fulfillment and the truth of who we are, what we want with a path that really isn’t meant for us. So that was what got me into counter-terrorism was my choice to study it and pursue graduate degree in it and go there.

Jean Chatzky: (05:58)
I mean, to me and I am, I think as our listeners know a very big consumer of spy novels, it sounds fascinating. Did you like it?

Ashley Stahl: (06:07)
Yeah, that’s the thing is I find that when people find out I worked at the Pentagon, their imagination is always much more exciting than the actual practice of the job that I had, but what was really exciting about my work was the journey there. And, and that’s a message I hope to impart to anyone is that when you follow what feels good, it might not be here forever. The purpose that you’re really meant for, or the path that you’re really meant for us either right in front of you or it’s on the periphery of that, it’s really just about tuning into your body. I mean, our bodies are so intelligent with research saying our gut is our second brain having 200 million neurons, which is a cat or dog’s brain size. There’s an intelligence to when our stomach sinks, when we have butterflies and I was pulled towards national security.

Ashley Stahl: (06:54)
So I remember graduating during the recession, having my graduate degree, speaking foreign languages, and I couldn’t get a job to save my life during the recession. So I was sleeping on my parents’ couch in 2008, 2009. And eventually I just bought into the myth that I think a lot of people buy into that something is better than nothing. And I should just take what I could get. And I remember going to an ad agency being an admin assistant, making minimum wage, and there was nothing wrong with a job. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for. But I was so desperate in that day to day that I ended up emailing my university and saying, do you have a list of alumni who have moved to Washington DC and ended up getting a list of 2000 names and wow. And I worked my way through it because the only thing scarier to me than calling all of those people was being in the same job six months later,

Jean Chatzky: (07:45)
I think that is such a good lesson. There is so much savviness in what you did as probably a 22 year old. You had a job, you were making money, you knew it wasn’t satisfying and you thought, okay, what do I have to do to get out of this? And then you actually did it. I love it. What

Ashley Stahl: (08:06)
You’re saying, because you’re really on the edge of one of the best questions I’ve gotten. And it’s from this woman, Mary Morrissey, she says, think of your goal. So my goal was I wanted a new job that I was excited about. And she said, right at the top of a paper, what can I do from where I am now with what I have now to get closer to, and you put in your goal. And the thing about this is that we sometimes sabotage our creativity by judging it. And the idea with this is right at the top of the page and just write every idea that comes to mind. It can feel silly. It can feel ridiculous. It can feel out of place, but you don’t want to block your creativity, just start writing. So for me, I was like, who has a list of people in Washington, DC?

Ashley Stahl: (08:48)
And I fell on my face probably for the first 50 phone calls. And you can imagine what people who work in national security nature of their job lends itself to even more privacy than your average working professional. So they really didn’t feel receptive to my cold call, but I just worked my way through every morning, every lunch break I sent follow-up emails. And eventually out of those 2000 people, I got 100 contacts that actually wanted to help me three job offers. And I made my way to DC, quit my job and tripled my salary and accepted a management role in national security. And what I learned about that was that number one, you’re always a decision away from a completely different life. Far too often, we hold ourselves hostage in lives that we really aren’t meant for because we’re so scared of change. And so the usual human experience is that there’s fear of change and there’s misery in your current state.

Ashley Stahl: (09:44)
And far too often, people are so afraid of change that it’s not until they are so miserable where they are, that they are going to give themselves that permission slip to go into the unknown. And my wish for anybody listening is when you’re feeling lukewarm, start to ask questions, because a lot of the times when you’re lukewarm in your career, it’s like a too thick and it only gets worse. And then you become reactive. And that’s one of the most damaging things you could do in your career is be reactive and just grab onto something for the sake of it. So on my way into national security, in the trust of that plan on the periphery, I learned how to get job offers. I had so many friends asking me how I got so many job offers what I needed to do, what I could do to help them.

Ashley Stahl: (10:29)
They started meeting me at Starbucks. I got kicked out of Starbucks because way too many people showed up and people would say to me all the time, you should be a career coach. And I remember thinking like, what even is that? And so fast forward 10 years now, I have my podcast, my book with an 11 step roadmap to help people self discover and create a career that truly fits them and online courses and so much more. And I’m just so proud of the fact that I found the right path for me by pursuing something that felt right at the time. But wasn’t my forever. And I want to give people permission to just follow what feels right and not put that pressure on themselves to have to know all of the answers. Yeah.

Jean Chatzky: (11:11)
And our listeners know my story. At least some of them do, but I did something similar. I deviated fairly early on when I was unable to get a job in business journalism. I was told I didn’t have the chops. I was told to go get an MBA and I didn’t want to do that. And so I looked for a job on wall street where I could use my writing skills to help some research analysts and learned what I needed to learn, to transition back to business journalism.

Ashley Stahl: (11:41)
Exactly. And that’s the thing that you’re kind of touching on that I wish for everyone is that you were investing in your future self in some way, when you realize that the thing you were doing, wasn’t working. Even for me, when I was an assistant at the ad agency, I took Arabic classes at UCLA at night. And it’s like anybody right now who is not happy or not clear on what they’re supposed to be doing next, at least follow something that you’re feeling pulled towards. Because a lot of the times people will say, I need clarity and the truth of the matter. And this is really the argument of my book. You Turn, which is Y, O, U Turn versus a U-turn in traffic going back the opposite direction. Really I’m about making a YOU-turn coming home to yourself. Your true self is clarity comes from engagement.

Ashley Stahl: (12:23)
It doesn’t come from thought. You can’t really just think your way there. It’s like Albert Einstein says, in order to go somewhere new, you need to do something new. And so a lot of people, they aren’t clear because they’re super disconnected from themselves. We’ve been domesticated and indoctrinated from a very young age and told about, I mean, in my case, a very limited career paths I was told about being a veterinarian, a lawyer, a doctor, or a firefighter or an astronaut. We weren’t really told about the vast palette of careers that truly exist. And we are living in a time right now where every five years, one of our core skillsets becomes obsolete because times are moving so quickly, especially in the wake of the pandemic. So anyone who’s listening who feels super disconnected right now, I would just recommend they write down a list of people, places, things that make them feel themselves.

Ashley Stahl: (13:17)
Like for me, the ocean, when I go to the beach, I feel so good. I have a lot of girlfriends. I love, there’s a couple girls in particular where, when I see those women, I just feel so alive. I feel so myself, there’s little nudges. I’ve had, I want to take a dance class or I love hip hop music. When I do those things that make me feel me suddenly it becomes more visceral to notice when you’re not being you. And you can start to set up some boundaries or you can start to tune into where you’re polled. And so I think the first order of business is to just start getting connected to yourself. Again, even if from nine to five, you’re not loving what you’re up to.

Jean Chatzky: (13:55)
That’s what you’re talking about. When you say the best career is not one where you only do what you love, but where you honor who you are, you’re tapping into that, who you are.

Ashley Stahl: (14:05)
Yes. And there’s a couple of dynamics in a good career that really are at the forefront of my book, which really has an 11 step roadmap. But two of the steps are very key. I mean, all of them are, I guess I’m biased, but there’s two dynamics in anybody’s career. And if anyone listening, walks away with anything, I would hope that they can consider these two after this episode,

Jean Chatzky: (14:24)
Before, or you jump into the, to Ashley. Cause I actually have four of your 11 that I would love to dive into. And I’m interested if they sync up with the two that you will feel are most important. But before we do that, let’s remind everyone that HerMoney is proudly sponsored by Fidelity Investments, wherever you are on your financial journey, it’s important to have a plan for your savings. And that’s where fidelity comes in. They’ll work with you to help you create a and investment strategy and help you fine tune it whenever your life or your career, by the way changes. Plus they have tips and online tools like their planning and guidance center that can help you meet your short and longterm goals. Visit fidelity.com/HerMoney to learn more. We are back with Ashley Stahl author of the book. You turn, that’s why, oh, you turn get unstuck, discover your direction, design your dream career. So the four steps that I was thinking about, start with how to discover your core skill set, how to clarify your core interests, how to understand your money blueprint and how to become your own coach. Do they include the two that you were thinking about?

Ashley Stahl: (15:38)
They can? Yeah, definitely core skill set is number one. So that was the first piece that I was going to cover. But I love all of these topics that you’ve pulled out and they’re all so useful. I mean, I’m biased to say so, but I really think they’re powerful. And so I’m excited that you highlighted those

Jean Chatzky: (15:53)
Let’s go through them, but we’re going to make it five because I want to know what the other one is that you were, that you were going to bring us, let’s start with the core skillset. What is it? And how do you figure out what yours is?

Ashley Stahl: (16:04)
Yeah. Well, this plays into those two dynamics, which is the, what of your career and the how of your career, the what of your career comes back down to your core skillset that has to do with what are you doing throughout the day? And this is where there’s a lot of disconnect because people who follow their passion, they might not realize you’re passionate about sports or fashion, but that says nothing about what skills you’ll be using throughout the day, fashion sports. Those are all backdrops and those all matter, but the skills you’re using dictate how you’re going to be carrying out your responsibilities, how you’re going to be using your mind, your heart and your body throughout the day from nine to five or nine to nine or whatever hours you’ve got going on. So I came up with 10 core skillsets that I believe exist in the workforce.

Ashley Stahl: (16:48)
And obviously I can’t obscure the vastness of human beings into 10 skills, but I can say that largely most people fit into one of these. And it’s important to know which one you lead with. So I can go through those if that’s helpful. I think one is words. This is my core skillset. And one question to ask yourself throughout any of the core skillsets you look at is, are you an introvert or are you an extrovert? Because somebody who has a word’s core skillset, if you’re an introvert, you’re going to be probably behind your laptop writing all day or something of that nature. Versus if you’re an extrovert, you’re probably a speaker on a stage or a business development professional, or a talent agent that is using words to turn opportunities into money. That is where your gift is. Another core skillset is service. Those, these are the helpers, the humanitarians, the nurturers, and the thing about these people.

Ashley Stahl: (17:40)
And another key question that they make me think about a lot for any skillset. Is, are you coming from a wound or are you coming from inspiration? And what I mean by that is there’s a lot of service professionals that are people pleasers, who learned to be people pleasers as kids. That’s not actually their number one core skill set. It’s something that they had to learn to survive in their family units. So it’s really important to ask yourself, is this skillset actually me? Or is this somebody I was told I needed to be another core skill set? The third one I can cover is coordination. Coordination is for the, I mean, God bless the coordinators. You know, I met one of them on your team. She was amazing people who can cross the T’s dot, the I’s run operations, do project management. God bless these souls who keep our businesses and our lives going and they’re highly detail oriented.

Ashley Stahl: (18:32)
So the list goes on, but these are a few of the 10 that are really key. And I think what stops people from knowing their core skillset is according to research, we just don’t really know ourselves very well. Like it’s hard to read the label when you’re stuck inside the jar. So I would say one block from knowing your skillset is just not knowing yourself. So I would recommend anybody listening, ask people in their life, their colleagues, their friends, their parents, where have you seen me at my best? Or where have you seen me at my best in my career?

Jean Chatzky: (19:04)
Basically, you’re asking somebody, who’s looking from the outside to tell you what you’re good at, because you may not know yourself

Ashley Stahl: (19:10)
Exactly. Or a lot of the times, what you’re good at is very obvious for you. You don’t realize it’s a skillset. For example, my first job was at a preschool helping in the cafeteria when I was 16 over the summer. And I would always find typos in the flyers at the preschool. And I’d always go to the front desk and say, Hey, there’s a typo in this flyer. And they would always say to me, wow, you’ve got an ego lie. And so even though I was helping the chef in the kitchen, my words, core skillset bled through. And if you ask anybody at that preschool, when I was 16, where have you seen her at her best? They probably would have said like, man, when she grabs a piece of paper and edits it, like we really look so much more professional because of her. So that skillset shows up at a young age and people tend to be able to notice it better than you do.

Jean Chatzky: (19:56)
It just reminds me of a story. But she went on one of those college spring break trips that was up ended by a major, major storm. And she was the one that took 26 passports and rerouted everybody to get them home. Right. So, so she’s that coordinator. Yeah.

Ashley Stahl: (20:17)
Beautiful. I love what you’re sharing there. It’s so true when you see how quickly you notice that. And so anybody listening, obviously it helps if you grab the book or it just listen to some of my work or check it out, you’ll see those 10, but you’re covering so many great topics with me. So I’m glad that we could at least just get people aware of, of the, what of their career

Jean Chatzky: (20:36)
Has core skillset differ from the core interests and do the core interests even matter, or do you just use your skills to find like how does play in your

Ashley Stahl: (20:48)
Core skill set is what you carry with you and harness throughout the course of your career. So let’s say you’re a coordinator and you’re a project manager. It shows up because these core skillsets sets are just umbrellas for many different types of titles or directions that you can go. So let’s say that you’re a project manager. You can be an excellent project manager at a tech company in the same week. You can be an amazing project manager at a fashion company. So you can see that your interest there isn’t as relevant as the skill you’re using your body, your heart and your mind as we talked about. And yet your interest is a very relevant backdrop. It’s just not a primary factor to consider. And anyone who is wanting to grow their career just needs to stay to themselves. Especially if they’re trying to decide if they should stay or go in their job.

Ashley Stahl: (21:30)
Am I harnessing my core skillset? Am I growing my core skillset? And then the second piece of the puzzle was probably not about your core interests. I think your interests matter and they’re relevant as a backdrop, but again, I love traveling, but I’m not meant to be a chef in a five-star hotel. I would not want to be there. I would probably be a better communications professional there. So it’s important to consider your interests, see that as a direction you could go, but consider your skills so much more. And I would say even more than considering your interests, we talked about the, what of your career skill set. You want to consider your values because given that 50% of people leave their job because they don’t like their boss. What we know to be true is that how you work matters just as much as what you’re doing, meaning how your job looks, what your hours are, what your team is like.

Ashley Stahl: (22:25)
These pieces all matter, just as much for people as what their skills are when it comes to their fulfillment. And so knowing what you value, knowing what principles are non-negotiable for you and your life are very, very key. And they serve as a filter for you so that once you know your skillset and you look at job opportunities, or even if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re creating business services based on that skillset, you want to ask yourself, what are my values and how can I look at these opportunities or these choices I’m making and use my values as a filter for my yeses or my nose. Like you could have the perfect job, but the corporate culture is compromising a core value. Like maybe you’re a words person and you find the perfect sales job and it’s going to pay you well. And it’s great, but you have to sell something you don’t believe in. And integrity is a core value for you. Those are the things to consider as well.

Jean Chatzky: (23:14)
Since you mentioned the money, let’s talk about the inner money blueprint. What is it? All

Ashley Stahl: (23:20)
Of us come into the world with a thermostat that is set by our parents. And that thermostat looks like what we’re comfortable with, what we believe is possible. And a lot of that comes from witnessing their experiences or hearing their conversations about money. And at a young age, we usually form beliefs about what’s possible. For example, I had an amazing business coach 10 years ago, and I remember her little kid walked in during one of our sessions. Cause I flew to her home in Connecticut and she looked at her little boy and she said, sorry, Oliver. You know, we’re in the middle of a business coaching session, I’ll see you at dinner. And he looked at me and with all the confidence in the world, he said, one day, I’m going to have so many clients just like my mommy. And I remember thinking to myself, this woman has a high thermostat. She’s shown him that money clients, that it can be easy. It can be abundant. Other people are taught that it’s going to be hard. We hear the expression money doesn’t grow on trees, which I used to as a little kid say, yeah, it does it’s paper and paper.

Ashley Stahl: (24:25)
So we all have these different beliefs. In my case, I had a dad who worked really, really hard. He was an entrepreneur. He dropped out of college, started a financial firm. And he ended up having to make the really hard decision to close his business. And it caused him so much stress and so much panic and so much anxiety. When I was a little kid that I remember having a belief, that money was going to kill me, that I needed to have it, but the pursuit of it would kill me because I watched my dad was so much stress, so much panic. And I remember thinking, if you don’t have money, you don’t have fun. And if you need to go get money, you might die. It’s going to kill you. So there’s so many different beliefs. We have stuck in this, what I like to call blueprint inside of us.

Ashley Stahl: (25:06)
And so it’s really important to ask yourself what was my first memory of money? What was the conversation like in my house about money and what did I believe about money because of that conversation? How is that showing up now in my life? And if you want to know what your money mindset is, just look at your outer results. Are you happy with them? Are you happy with your money situation? And if you’re not, usually there’s something mentally going on and you can write down on the top of a piece of paper you can write. I’m not where I want to be with money because, and look at what you write down. That’s the belief that you tend to have. Usually it’s not about that thing that you need to wait for, or you need to go get, you’re just not where you want to be because your beliefs aren’t in a place that want to create what you want. And from there you can ask yourself, well, what do I need to believe about the world or about money or about myself to create that result. And just at least give yourself the opportunity to write those down. And there’s so much depth here, but this is just a starter that I think is so important for people to cover.

Jean Chatzky: (26:11)
It’s huge. It’s huge. We go through a very similar exercise in my book, women with money to figure out your money story. And if you don’t understand it and you haven’t looked at it and you have a spouse or a partner and you haven’t looked at theirs, there’s a really good chance that it’s getting in your way, a hundred

Ashley Stahl: (26:30)
Percent opposites attract, right? So there’s usually a saver and a spender in a relationship. And the deeper work is not in the tit for tat with each other, but in the work of saying, here’s how I grew up with money. And did I actually choose these, do these work for me because a lot of the times we’re on autopilot and that’s really the crux of my book’s concept of making a U-turn. It’s like, you’re not really living your life. If you’re following your parents or in reaction to your parents, do you see people go the opposite direction, where they rebel? You know, if their parents were super savers, they’re super spenders. So in the end, our parents still have some sense of control over our decision-making until we decide to put ourselves in the driver’s seat and decide what we want to think.

Jean Chatzky: (27:13)
I am sure there’s a bunch of my listeners right now who are thinking well, yeah, I would fly across the country to spend some time talking to Ashley, but one of your steps is becoming your own coach. And I’d love to talk about it in line for anyone who’s thinking, well, I’m ready. I’m ready to shake up my career right now. Is this a good time to do it? We keep seeing these jobs numbers that indicate wages are going up. Employers are having a tough time hiring. And I get that. We’ve been trying to hire at HerMoney. If anybody wants to come work with us, send us a note. Cause we are actively looking. What would you say in light of this environment?

Ashley Stahl: (27:59)
First of all, we have just shown that there is a record amount of people quitting their jobs in the past two decades right now. And it’s been called by a professor of the great resignation and it’s going to continue. But what’s interesting about that is we’re also seeing an increase in the amount of people who are jobless. And so what that tells me as a career expert is please my friends, if you don’t like what you’re doing at the very least have something new or make sure that your side hustle is really sustaining you before you leave, companies are hiring like crazy. They’re looking for talent. And yet the joblessness numbers are still very, very high. It’s not just about joblessness. It’s about people who still are jobless. So it’s not about people on unemployment. It’s about people who quit their job six months ago and still haven’t found that next step for them.

Ashley Stahl: (28:49)
So just wanting to impart that awareness for people. And there was a quote that I heard the other day. It was talking about how it takes some decades for weeks to happen and in some weeks, decades happen and very much so I think COVID was a time where decades of progress happened and catalyzed in just weeks and months. And we are in a time right now that a medium Anthony Williams, he calls it the quickening. And I love that term because I think we are in a quickening. Everything is moving very quick. Everything’s very automated. Robots are displacing workers at record numbers. So I would say, make sure you have a job. If you want to leave your job and also consider starting a personal brand, it’s still not too late to get on Tik TOK. It’s still not too late to get on Instagram. Yes, the algorithms are always changing, but at end, even if you don’t know what kind of business you want to start or how you want to use the personal brand for your career, it’s important to say to yourself, what do I want to talk about?

Ashley Stahl: (29:46)
And how can I make myself a voice on that thing? And maybe one day you want to start a business off of it. And you’re not clear on what that is now, but the internet is getting crowded and having a personal brand, having a voice, it shows up in your leverage for salary negotiation. It gives you leverage to DM recruiters on Twitter, on Instagram, the power of the DM and the personal outreach that that creates for you with networking. Can’t be underestimated. There are so many platforms that you can create opportunities for yourself. And if they see that you’ve created a brand and they check you out, you are really showing up in more than 90% of recruiters Google you before they hire you. And for them to find that I think is really a way to set yourself apart.

Jean Chatzky: (30:26)
Ashley’s Stahl the book is “You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career.” Thank you so much.

Ashley Stahl: (30:33)
Yeah. Thank you for having me. I’m honored.

Jean Chatzky: (30:36)
Oh my pleasure. I hope you’ll come back again soon and we’ll be right back with Kathryn and your Mailbag. We’re back with HerMoney’s Kathryn Tuggle. Hey Kathryn.

Kathryn Tuggle: (30:52)
Hey Jean. How are you doing today?

Jean Chatzky: (30:58)
I’m Okay. I’m good. I’m good. I’m mulling all of that advice from Ashley in my head. And uh, I just think it’s wonderful. And it reminds me a lot of, I think if there’s a thread that we can pull from our recent podcasts it’s skills, skills, skills, we heard it as well on our podcast with the CEO of CareerBuilder. But your skills are transferable. You can take your skills and you can use them in so many different mediums. And it’s a matter of knowing what they are. And I love that she gave us so many tactical tools for getting a grip on that skill set. Absolutely.

Kathryn Tuggle: (31:37)
Yeah. I think also it’s so encouraging to see that employers are hiring based on skillset now that they want the right knowledge for the job rather than the right pedigree for the job.

Jean Chatzky: (31:51)
Yeah. And I dropped a little nugget that we are hiring for HerMoney. If you have social media chops, if you have digital skills, if you are good with active campaign, if you’re good with WordPress, what other programs do we need, Kathryn?

Kathryn Tuggle: (32:06)
I need just digital skills. You know, helping us make HerMoney.com look great. And I’m also always hiring for writers, freelance writers. So mailbag@hermoney.com is the best way to reach us for all of that.

Jean Chatzky: (32:22)
Yeah. Thank you. And especially, I mean, we’ve had pretty good luck. We brought on a team member lately who was so excited when she saw the listing for HerMoney because she’d been listening to the podcast and it made me think, oh duh, we should say something on the podcast that we’re actively looking. Absolutely.

Kathryn Tuggle: (32:39)
Yeah. And we have such a good team. You are just the best boss. You are! When I first started with you, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept thinking to myself, there’s no way that she is this nice. And she has this wonderful. I’m about to see like the dark side. I’m about to see the crazy any day now. And it just never came. And you’re just, you are as wonderful as everyone thinks you are.

Jean Chatzky: (33:02)
Well, that is really nice. I have my moments as my former assistants will all attest. Let’s answer some questions before I embarrass myself.

Kathryn Tuggle: (33:14)
Our first question comes to us from Patricia. She writes, “Hi Jean. Can you tell me when listing at bank account beneficiary, when they get to take over the account, do they need to pay taxes upon receipt? Is it considered a gift or an inheritance? My bank’s in Massachusetts tell me to hire a lawyer, but I think they should know the answer for their customers. Thank you.”

Jean Chatzky: (33:35)
Hi Patricia. It’s a good question. And I wouldn’t blame your bank in Massachusetts too much because it is a little bit complicated. Although I am surprised that they don’t know the answer. Generally, they won’t have to pay taxes upon receipt. And that is because there is a very, very high ceiling on inheritance taxes, at least right now, the way that this works at something called a P.O.D. Account, it’s a Payable On Death account. That’s what a beneficiary receives and the account owner. As soon as they present the bank with proof that the account holder is deceased, they become the new owner. Essentially you would have to pay inheritance taxes if you live in a state that has state inheritance taxes at a low level. Federal estate taxes though are set with what’s called a unified credit in between the receiving of the money and the paying of taxes.

Jean Chatzky: (34:53)
And that unified credit is more than $11 million per person right now. So essentially what that means is that unless there’s more than a $11 million in the total estate, there will be no inheritance or gift taxes owed. If the estate tax rules change and they may change with that amount of credit being lower than it is right now, that new limit will apply. But they’re talking about reducing it to its prior levels, which was somewhere in the $3 million range. So unless we’re talking about significantly more than that in the estate total, I wouldn’t really worry about it, but just make sure that you talk to this person who is the beneficiary so that they understand that they are the beneficiary and what they have to do in the case of your death. It’s just one of those line items that you should be really careful to button up as you’re planning your estate as a whole.

Kathryn Tuggle: (35:56)
Great advice, Jean, and this is such an important question. I’m actually surprised we don’t get questions like this more often because it’s something that needs to be done, but is surprisingly complicated.

Jean Chatzky: (36:08)
And beneficiaries in general are an interesting beast, right? Because they supersede wills. And so if there’s a beneficiary on a 401k, a beneficiary on an IRA beneficiaries rule. And so you want to be very careful, no matter where you’ve named a beneficiary, that you are consistent with your wishes across all of your accounts and that you keep them updated every time in particular, there is a significant change in your family, like a marriage or a divorce or a birth or a death. Thank you so much.

Kathryn Tuggle: (36:43)
Sure. Our next question comes to us from Elise. She writes, “Hi Jean and Kathryn. In early 2020, I was ready to begin paying off my student loans. I had been on an income based repayment plan that allowed for $0 a month, but I had started my first office job that year. When the pandemic hit, I decided to set aside each month’s payment into a savings account. And I’m now looking at a total of just over $4,000 by September when the federal loan forbearance ends. Now that we’re getting close to the deadline, I’m wondering if the money would be better utilized as an emergency fund. I currently have about $1,500 in my emergency fund, but it’s hard to save any more than $50 a month as I’m also newly engaged and attempting to plan a micro-wedding for next year as well. Thank you so much for your input.

Jean Chatzky: (37:33)
Well, first of all, Elise, congratulations on the engagement! Congratulations on the micro-wedding. That is a term that I have not used before, but I love it. And we’ll happily appropriate it and think of you every time I take it out for a spin. Personally, I love the idea of you using this as an emergency cushion. I don’t think that having $1,500 in an emergency fund in this day and age is generally enough, as we all know now, emergencies can happen with very, very little notice. And I think this is great that you’ve been able to save so much money over the course of a year. So fantastic work by you. The other thing that I do want to remind everybody is that income-based repayment is something that has to be recertified every year. And so the zero that you were allowed previously may not actually be your new monthly payment now. And for anybody who’s in this program, just make sure that you’re keeping up with it as federal loan forbearance ends at the end of September so that you know what you are heading for as the payments pick up once again.

Kathryn Tuggle: (38:49)
Thank you, Jean. And yeah, $1,500 in an emergency fund these days seems like too little, unfortunately, but great job saving all that money every single month.

Jean Chatzky: (38:59)
I’m hearing a lot of people during the pandemic were able to do the same. So really think about what you’re going to do with that money. Don’t just dive into a bout of revenge spending or impulse spending because the world has opened back up again. Thanks Kathryn. Thank you, Jean. In, today’s Thrive a look at some of the items on your credit report that may make lenders think twice about approving your applications. Whenever you apply for a loan or a credit card lenders, check your credit score by way of your credit report from one or even all three of the credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If they don’t like what they see either you’ll be rejected or approved, but with less favorable terms. We all want the best deals in terms possible. So this week HerMoney.com via our partnership with Bankrate, we break down seven items that you and your lenders don’t want to see on your credit report.

Jean Chatzky: (39:55)
Here’s a look at just a few of them. First, there are late or missed payments. This one cuts to the heart of what lenders really want to know. Are you going to pay your bills? Anything other than timely minimum payments are seen by creditors and lenders as missed payments when it comes to your credit score, making timely payments is the most important factor. It accounts for 35% of your credit score. Second you’ll want to avoid any foreclosures or bankruptcies. These are the two worst items you can have on your credit history. Foreclosure, stay on your report for seven years. Chapter seven bankruptcies remain on your credit report for 10 years and chapter 13 bankruptcies where consumers reorganize to repay some or all of their debts. Those to stay on your reports for seven years also you’ll want to steer clear of high balances or maxed out credit cards.

Jean Chatzky: (40:51)
How much of your credit you use makes up about 30% of your credit score? When you carry high balances, it can be an indication of financial difficulty. Lenders assume if you had the money to pay down your credit cards, you would, after all who would willingly pay interest fees, if they could avoid it, ideally you’ll pay off your cards in full every month and keep your utilization ideally around 10% of your total available credit or less. Lastly, and we’ve talked about this one before someone else’s debt can be a big problem when you co-sign a credit card or loan, the entire debt goes onto your credit report. So as far as lenders are concerned, you’re carrying that debt yourself, and it will be included in your debt load when you apply for a mortgage, a credit card or any other form of payment. Unfortunately, if the person you co-signed for stops paying, misses payments, or pays late, that will be reflected on your credit report too.

Jean Chatzky: (41:52)
This is just one of the reasons why we generally recommend avoiding being a co-signer if you can. There are so many other ways to help a loved one that won’t put your financial future at risk. Thanks so much for joining me today on HerMoney. Thanks to Ashley Stahl for the insight on how we can all make a U-turn. As we reevaluate our lives and careers. If you’ve been feeling stuck, I hope this show was able to put you on a path toward discovering a new and more joyful direction. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our show at Apple Podcasts, leave us a review because we love hearing what you think. We’d also like to thank our sponsor Fidelity. We record this podcast out of CDMSoundStudios. Our music is provided by VideoHelper and our show comes to you through Megaphone. Thanks for joining us! And we’ll talk soon.


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