Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Gabby Bill 0 Comments

When I told my friends and family that I was starting a career coaching business, and that I was going to write a blog about careers to accompany it, I got a lot of blank stares. These were followed quickly by a lot of smiles and nods of encouragement, because let's face it, my friends tend to be nice people, but frankly I could see that they were still a bit confused.

This isn't entirely surprising when you consider that my background doesn't necessarily lead to coaching if you look at it through a traditional linear lens. I majored in journalism in undergrad, with minors in theater and business. (Maybe now, at least, the blogging and writing makes more sense.)

But then I worked in public relations for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts for two years, left to pursue my MBA at Harvard Business School and worked in marketing and brand strategy for six years after that. And I was pretty successful in my jobs, too. Had you asked me a few years ago where I thought I'd be when I was 50, I wouldn't have blinked before answering that I'd be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Of course, times change, and with that, I changed too. The changes didn't happen overnight, but crept up on me so slowly that when it finally hit me that I was deeply unhappy in my career, I almost wondered how I had ever gotten myself into such a rut. It sounds truly awful, but at the worst of it, I routinely spent time praying that I would get sick so that I wouldn't have to go into work the next day.

And the funny thing is that when I expressed my dissatisfaction to people, most of the time I got a response that sounded something like this: "Yeah, my job sucks, too." Or, "Well, they don't call it work for nothing." More often that not, I got echoes of my own unhappiness, and even though misery loves company, it only made me feel worse. I didn't think everyone in the world could be miserable with their jobs, could they?

I took a step back. I started obsessively reading blogs and articles about careers. I put out somewhat vague Facebook statuses asking people to comment on what kind of job they thought I'd be good at. I bought books on careers and completed reflection exercises and assessments to analyze my strengths. And with each step, the picture started to become more and more clear.

I had been operating for years under the assumption that I should be doing X, Y or Z in order to prove something arbitrary; to meet some faceless, nameless societal expectation. Although I'm generalizing a bit here, by and large I had been following a path that was prescribed for me. I was taught that in order to be successful, I had to X. And in order to be rich, I had to Y.  And I had to be rich and successful because that's what smart people do, right? It was a vicious cycle, honestly, but I had never really realized that my tape had been recorded by a voice that wasn't mine.

That's when I decided to take back the control. I honed in on what I really wanted to do with my time every day, and quoting Mary Oliver, tried to figure out how I wanted to spend my "one wild and precious life." And in that reflection, I realized that more than anything I loved helping people grow and develop. 

Like a puzzle, I pieced together my favorite skills (writing, giving speeches/presentations, helping others grow and develop) with the things I wanted from a work environment (flexibility in hours and work location, the ability to feed both my need for alone time and social interaction), and after a nudge from my own career coach, a light bulb went off. I came to the conclusion that if I could help even one other person avoid getting into the rut I was in, or conversely, if I could help them climb out of their own hole, I would feel as though I had succeeded in life.

So here we are! Career & The City can be thought of as the content engine that builds upon the foundations of my coaching business. You don't have to be a client of mine today, tomorrow or ever to read or benefit from the content (although I certainly hope that if you ever decide to engage with a coach, that you'll keep me in mind!). Rather, it's a place for us to build a community of like-minded, ambitious individuals who are ready to own their career satisfaction

Here's a taste of the types of posts you can expect:

            - Inspiring stories from real-life career changers, people who pursued their passions, small   
            business founders and more!

            - My personal experiences in the job world, including my best tips for the job hunt, dealing 
            with difficult bosses, managing people, etc.

            - Links, resources and book reviews on topics that will help you on your journey to creating 
            your dream career.

I hope that you'll continue to read the blog and become a part of the community. Give us a like on Facebook or Twitter, if you're so inclined, and stay tuned for more excitement to come.

Gabrielle "Gabby" Bill is a career coach and consultant who believes everyone should be working in a job that leaves them feeling fulfilled. She coaches groups and individuals through a reflection process, uncovering often hidden motivations, values, goals and skills as they relate to their career. These reflections are then parlayed into concrete action plans to guide clients through the process of finding, creating and landing their dream jobs. You can learn more about her services by visiting www.gabriellebill.com