I established my career and life management consulting practice in 1983, and since then I’ve worked with more than 1,000 clients of all ages, from different professions, and with diverse backgrounds and cultural roots.

My clients include: teenagers to adults over 70, high-school graduates to PhDs, lawyers, firefighters, doctors, bartenders, managers, real estate developers, psychologists, salespeople, artists, students, teachers, writers, hairdressers, parents, and others. They are located in the Washington, DC metro area, around the country, and abroad.

I’m proud of their successes, and I am delighted as well as humbled that they are eager to share their success stories and testimonials with you. I’ve organized and chosen a sampling of their stories thematically to make it easier for you to hear the voices that may resonate with your life situation.

Ruth Schimel offers a range of approaches

“I would never recommend that you rely on a headhunter for career advice. Headhunters earn their money from placing people in jobs, so their incentive is to match skills with job functions—not to engage you in the labor-intensive and delicate work of helping you identify your passions, abilities, and propensities, and how all of this can translate into an inspired career path. By no means am I suggesting that headhunters are sinister or soulless. They just don’t have what you seek.

Who does? First, there is a great deal of common advice out there in the form of career counselors and self-help books. I tend to favor unique resources that can help you to stretch your concept of self and develop the heightened awareness and insight you need to make the next career move a wise one.

In the realm of individual consultants, I highly recommend Ruth Schimel, who offers a range of approaches to suit her clients’ varied personalities. I worked with Ruth some years ago when I was leaving the practice of law. What differentiates Ruth from others in her field is that she helps people integrate complex information and envision a career in the context of their lives.”


“The age of 40 was hurtling at me at a hundred miles an hour, and my soul-deadening federal job made that certain milestone seem all the more depressing. The fact that my career path was strewn with two master’s degrees and the corpses of many unfulfilling jobs just added a sense of panic to my overall unhappiness.

The work Ruth and I did together really helped me get to the root of why I was unhappy and to understand what was actually important to me. Through the homework and our meetings together, Ruth challenged me to take some mental risks in determining where I could go with my life. Perhaps more importantly, the work we did provided a framework that I have been able to use on my own to guide me as I move forward with my career change and starting my own business.

Instead of being afraid of reaching 40, I am looking forward to all of the exciting challenges I will face before I get there.”


“I just accepted a high-level management position, and I want you to know that I would not have gotten it without you, Ruth. I would not have recognized myself as someone who had the abilities required to apply for it, nor would I have been able to think as broadly and openly as the interviews demanded of me. Our work together enabled me to know myself more truly and in a whole new way. At the same time, our work gave me the skills to create a winning resume and to come across well and enjoy two days’ worth of interviews with nearly a dozen different people. Best of all, I am going into this job with the feeling that it will be a good fit. Thank you so much for helping me discover who I am and where I need to be.”


“Ruth helps you bank (quite literally) on the positive—your talents, abilities, and interests. She works with you through a very creative process in a caring—dare I say, nurturing—way. Ruth speaks truth to the powers that rule you so that you can liberate your authentic, whole self. Working with her and that new-old self is revealing and fun!”


“I sought guidance from Ruth during an uncertain transitional period in my professional life. She facilitated both deep and meaningful reflections of my past and uninhibited and playful visions for my future through a careful synthesis of information and listening. With a keen intellect, generous spirit, and engaging wit, Ruth identified within me areas for growth and reflected my greatest attributes and true ambitions. She adeptly guided me onto pathways towards my highest aspirations and equipped me with tools and resources to support my journey independently in the future.”


“I chose Ruth from a number of career counselors I interviewed because of her holistic approach to career and life management. I was spinning my wheels trying to make sense of what seemed like disparate interests and skills. Ruth’s unique process enabled me to view myself from 360 degrees and helped me see how my abilities can be combined in many ways I would never have dreamed up myself. She helped me create a vision for the next phase of my life, which includes relocating and starting my own business and equipped me with tools to help me achieve those goals. I could not be more grateful.”


“When I was struggling to find a new career direction, Ruth Schimel provided a structured process of self-discovery, along with compassionate and perceptive coaching as I worked through this process. The result was a new career that I love!”


“Ruth is much more than a career and life management consultant. She becomes your mentor and partner. She cares what happens to you, even beyond your meetings with her. She leads you, step by step, much like a gourmet chef leads her apprentices through a complex recipe until you create a gourmet meal. Ruth brings a wealth of experience to the table to help you find the life you want to lead. She has done it all herself: government, education, consulting to the private and nonprofit sectors, and now, her own successful business. She can answer most of your questions, and some you haven’t even pondered, about your career and life path. Of course, she can help you perfect your resume and practice interview skills. But she can do so much more for you. Her clients leave their last session empowered to take the next step to lead the life of their dreams. I did.

Ruth helps you answer all of your important questions:

  • Am I a good match for my current job?
  • Where am I going next? How do I get there?
  • What is my greatest potential and how can I reach it?
  • How can I best fit together the pieces of the workplace/home life puzzle?
  • How can I make the time to attain my career?

How does she do so? First, she asks the right questions of you. Next, she has a broad knowledge of and contacts in most career fields. Finally, she somehow knows who you are. Like any good mentor, she makes you see yourself for what you are. She is a wonderful mix of assertiveness and compassion, equally adept at pushing a bird from the nest and helping it fly. She is insightful and acutely perceptive, and wise. Make an investment in your life, because you only live once. Ruth can help make it the life you have always dreamed it could be.”


“It has been 12 years since I first worked with Ruth to design a life and career that felt right for me. Every time I am considering a change in my professional life, I pull out my Ruth Notes to see if the new opportunity meets the test of being a good match for me. Over the years, I’ve met with Ruth intermittently to “keep me honest” and on track. She has an amazing talent for bringing out the best in people and helping them find their way.”

Long-term benefits of working with Ruth

“Ruth Schimel gave me a great, structured opportunity to assess where I wanted to go in my career, at a crucial moment after having completed a mid-career fellowship at a major US university. The introspection and exercises she helped me to pursue gave me added confidence for what I can now say, 25 years later, was a high-achieving, highly individualistic career indeed. I would say that the most important result was how positively I have approached challenges in my life ever since. In a world where we’re taught to detect (and express) the negative, I gained a new, far more effective frame through which to see (and react to) others and events.”