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Meet Trailblazer Aileen Axtmayer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aileen Axtmayer.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Aileen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a Holistic Career and Health Coach, but I didn’t always know this was where I wanted to end up!

I studied elementary education all four years at Villanova University, but during the spring of my final year, I finally acknowledged the nagging feeling in my gut that something was off. Through working with a career coach, I learned more about myself and what I really wanted to do. I realized, I was passionate about helping and teaching others and that being a career coach myself was a better avenue for me to capture those interests. I moved to Boston to get my master’s at Northeastern University and have been helping others find meaningful work for the past 10+ years.

When my older brother battled (and won!) a Stage IV cancer diagnosis, that experience forced me to take a hard look at how I was (or wasn’t) caring for my own body. This led me to complete an Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching certification along with a 200-hour yoga teacher training. I’ve now expanded my focus to helping exhausted professionals restore their energy, feel like their best selves and do more of what they love.

When we’re healthier we’re able to perform better at work and enjoying our work is just about as influential to our well-being as what’s on our plates. I love guiding others to see this connection and supporting them as they make changes in their lives.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. I think that it’s so important for women to know that so they don’t judge themselves if their own journey feels like it’s circuitous or riddled with uncertainty and challenges.

One of the biggest struggles for me was making the decision to leave my job in higher education to do my own practice full-time. I loved what I was doing and having job security but also knew if I wanted to build my business to where I wanted it to be that it was time to go all in. That choice validated what I often tell my clients: fear isn’t a sign that you’re doing something wrong and you’re never going to feel fully ready for some changes in life.

Once I started my own business, my biggest struggle was “shiny object syndrome” or a feeling of being distracted and pulled in every possible direction because of a lack of strategy. I don’t have a business or marketing background, so I tried to teach myself everything at first which, in hindsight, was not very smart! Participating in training and getting my own coach has been one of the best things I’ve done.

My biggest advice to others starting their journey is to try not to be afraid of asking for help. Instead of viewing it as a weakness, shift your perspective to think of it as a way of investing in yourself and realize that no one person is expected to have all of the answers.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Aspire with Aileen – what should we know?
I started my path with a strong focus on career coaching to help people land work they love. This includes everything from the process of figuring out what they’d like to pursue to creating a job search strategy, updating resumes, interview prep and more!

I noticed that chronic stress and constant low energy were the two most common barriers that interfered with people either landing a job or being able to enjoy a new role once in it. Now, through my integrative nutrition and yoga training, I’m able to help people address these barriers. We evaluate how food, exercise, mindset and relationships all impact their health and then create consistent small and sustainable lifestyle changes together.

This intersection of career and health is a unique specialization; it helps me be a better career coach as looking for a job doesn’t happen in a vacuum and your strategy has to fit in with the realities of your life. It makes me a better health coach as you can eat all of the veggies in the world but if you don’t spend your days doing work you enjoy then you won’t feel like your best self.

I’m proud that I “walk my talk” and am truly passionate about what I do, spending my days empowering people to make positive changes in their lives.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Listen to and trust your intuition.

We often seek answers to important career questions solely by looking externally: What are other people doing? What are the coolest jobs? We leave ourselves and our unique wants, skills and interests out of the conversation, which often leads to a perpetual process of feeling dissatisfied.

Slow down. Turn inward. Quiet the noise around you and listen to your gut because it knows more than you think. Know that it’s okay to make a change and that there are multiple paths that can be a good fit, so don’t create a false expectation that you should have one dream job. Life is too short and your is health too important to not spend your days doing what brings you joy.

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Image Credit:
Pure Style Photography

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