From ‘hustle culture’ to C-suite: How to chart your own path with Erin Ashley Simon 

Is "hustle culture" worth burning out? Hear one exec's story about how healing from the grind helped her reach the top of her chosen field.

At 24 years old, Erin Ashley Simon was working on the digital and TV side of a major music and media company, living her dream career. But there came a time when certain aspects of the industry started to take a toll on her. 

Drinking at events and stuff Like that. It’s environment where, unfortunately, in some circumstances, it’s not the greatest to be a woman in certain environments. And also, you have so many amazing artists, but at the same time, there’s a lack of understanding of boundaries. People are very passionate, and they want to succeed, and they want to succeed and want to win,” said Simon. 

Simon noticed her health started to deteriorate, and what she was once passionate about was beginning to impact her well-being. 

“When you’re young, you’re like, ‘I’ve got to grind,’ it’s hustle culture. Hustle culture is not always healthy. That, coupled with having a lack of mental health and a well-being foundation, I needed to instill. Plus, certain negative environments turned for the worse as I continued in it,” said Simon. 

Simon says with her mother’s support and encouragement, she decided to leave the career she once loved to go and put herself first and heal from the culture that burned her out. 

“It took me actively working on myself, conversations with loved ones, really being honest with myself, and being accountable for myself as well. I finally said you know what? I’m going to go,” said Simon. 

She went to therapy, exercised, and started leaning on mental health services to help her heal. Then, she set her sights on pursuing another passion. 

“I said to myself, I’m going to give myself six months. I’m just going to go after my passion that I’ve always had since I was a kid, which was video games. I was like, I’m going to make a career in this space. I don’t know what way or how, I’m just going to do it,” said Simon. 

She entered into the gaming industry right when it started to boom and carved a new path that landed her in executive ranks, one of the few Afro-Latina women in a C-suite position in the gaming space. She took a leap from one career to the next, believing something better was on the other side. It took planning, saving money, and a network of people ready to help her get to her next role. 

“The one thing that I did throughout my entire career is to help people, and I always treated people with respect. So when it came that time for me to pursue a passion, I had so many people in my circle supporting me, helping me, mentoring me, and guiding me. That’s one of the most important lessons: If you want to change your career, if you want to do something different, You’ve got to treat everyone with the same level of respect,” said Simon. 

To watch the full conversation on Simon’s career transition, watch this week’s episode of ‘The Reset With Coach Tish,’ above.


Letisha Bereola thegrio.com

Letisha Bereola is a life coach who helps ambitious women overcome burnout and reach their career goals, so they feel great at work and happy at home. She’s a former Emmy-nominated TV news anchor, Podcast host of AUDACITY, and a speaker. Learn more at www.coachtish.co.


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