“…the truth is that nothing is easy and all good results take effort.”
Meet GirlCrew Philadelphia member and Career Coach Gabrielle Bill
Bagging a job with Disney straight out of college would be a dream opportunity for many people, and for GirlCrew Philadelphia member, Gabby Bill, this was just the start of her career journey. “I started my work experience with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts straight out of university and spent two years in their public relations department before heading back to school to get my MBA at Harvard Business School. After graduation, I went back to Disney in a marketing strategy capacity for three and a half years before I got the opportunity to move up to Philadelphia for a new role at Capital One.”
Despite never having been to Philly before, Gabby made the move, “[I] didn’t know a soul here, but I took the risk, figuring that no decision was permanent and if I hated it I could always leave.” Unfortunately, things didn’t go exactly to plan, “sadly, I kind of did hate it! I knew pretty quickly that the job wasn’t right for me”. Although the experience did give her the chance to learn some new skills, it soon became clear that the job was having a serious impact on her life and mental health. “About this time last year, I was really unhappy. I remember wishing that I would get sick, just so that I wouldn’t have to go into work, and when I sat down and really thought about that, I realized how terrible that feeling was!”
Realising that a corporate job wasn’t what she wanted, Gabby began researching and found that the career coaching industry was a “perfect fit”. The chance to help others and the ability to be her own boss spurred Gabby on, and in 2015 she struck out on her own. “Coaching gives me the opportunity to help people grow and develop every single day, which gives me great pleasure. Running my own business challenges me constantly, and I love getting to make my own hours and work from home. Although this path is by no means easy and comes with a whole host of challenges, I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time!”
1. What is the best thing about your role?
The best thing about my role is being able to feel like I’m helping people every single day. Our careers are such important and integral parts of our lives, and yet I see so many people that are unhappy with what they do or just don’t feel fulfilled and challenged by their work. I think it’s so important for us to all be doing something we love. I really enjoy helping people see the possibilities and opportunities that exist for them in this space.
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
It’s really hard to be your own boss! On the one hand, I get to make my own hours, but on the other hand, it means I feel like I’m working all of the time, or if I don’t spend a solid 8-9 hours a day dedicated to my business I feel guilty. Creating that balance is a challenge, plus it’s odd to not have a manager or supervisor around the corner to answer questions or give you an outside perspective. I have to solve any problems I encounter on my own or proactively go out there and seek support from friends or colleagues. It’s just a different dynamic!
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
I think I’m most proud of being able to land my dream job at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts straight out of university at just 22 years old and with no work experience. It wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of persistence, patience, flexibility and tenacity, but I achieved something that people all around me thought that I couldn’t (and that felt great!). My first job was an incredible learning experience, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest. I actually wrote a blog post all about this if you’d like to read the full story!
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Be authentically you. There are thousands of coaches out there and so many try to be this everlasting source of positivity or make effusive promises about what they offer. It can come off as disingenuous or simply unbelievable if you’re not careful, because the truth is that nothing is easy and all good results take effort. Find your unique voice and story, and use those tools to go out there and have real conversations with real people. Your business will come from the relationships that you build.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
If you can dream it, you can do it.
If you are a GirlCrew member and are interested in being featured in Meet the GirlCrew, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! x