Does your current nine-to-five no longer give you fulfillment? Shifting careers is life-changing, and it's no easy feat. Join Gabriela Brunner of The New Firm as she talks about her rollercoaster ride of finding out what she truly wanted to do with her life. Tune in if you want to rewrite your work journey but are clueless about how to make a graceful career transition.
[00:00:13.030] - Gabriela Brunner
Hi everybody. This is Gabriela Brunner from The New Firm
. And I'm coming to you live from beautiful Costa Rica. I hope you can kind of take in some of these gorgeous use and we might even get a little bit of the waves in the background. I wanted to talk to you guys today a little bit more about how to make a graceful career transition. And as you guys have maybe seen, that's really what I'm all about. So my story is that I started out going to college and not really knowing what I was going to major in at the time. But when I thought back at where the decisions in my life happened, that kind of led me from either one direction to another. Then I thought back to the time when I was applying to College. And I actually want you guys to take a note of this question and use this as a journaling opportunity to kind of give yourself a little bit more insight and clarity. So the question that I want you guys to think about is what did I want to be when I grew up? So, for example, think about a time maybe when you're applying to college or maybe even before that, maybe you were eight and opening a lemonade stand, or maybe you were twelve and you were at a cocktail party with your parents and somebody was asking you, oh, what do you think you want to be when you grow up? And I want you to write down everything that comes to you. So it may not be just one specific instance, it may be several. And when I think back to myself and answering that exact same question, the first one that came to mind was my College applications. And in that application, I indicated that I wanted to do something that combined business and art. And I went on to explain all the different reasons why that was important to me. And then I kind of lost sight of that in College and I ended up becoming a government major because part of me was afraid to do the math that happened.
[00:02:13.820] - Gabriela Brunner
There was a requirement for the business courses. And I also had a kind of a sad experience in one of my art classes. So I started out my freshman year and I signed up for studio art and I was taking some other courses, calculus being one of them. And I had a pretty traumatic experience in that. It was like the first time where I felt like I failed. I was taking calculus, I was doing all the extra work, and I just wasn't getting it. And so I ended up having to drop the class. So that basically took me out of contention for some kind of a business degree. And I didn't have the courage or the support, the right kind of support to know what kind of questions to ask, to see if it was still possible to do a business degree, even though I wasn't very good at calculus. And I didn't know that. And maybe that's a possibility, right? But the point is that at the time, I didn't know that. And then I took a studio art class, a drawing class, to be specific. And one of the teachers told me that my art wasn't very good.
[00:03:16.070] - Gabriela Brunner
And that really deeply scarred me for a really long time. So much so that basically somewhere in the next few months after that, I stopped drawing. I stopped getting any kind of pleasure out of it. And I even left art pretty much completely until I did some healing around that. And actually, a couple of months ago, I started painting again and just kind of letting it come from the heart. And that has brought me so much joy anymore. But what I want you guys to take out of that sort of little story right there is that there was a point in my life when I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something to combine business and art, and I was sure of it. Even at the time, I thought I would really love to own my own business. And I had demonstrated that in my years before. I remember one time literally setting up a little lemonade sort of snack stand on the stairs leading from downstairs.
[00:04:13.770] - Gabriela Brunner
Part of my house to the upstairs part of my house. My sister and I sat there, and basically, our only client was our dad.
[00:04:19.520] - Gabriela Brunner
But he was a very good client.
[00:04:21.840] - Gabriela Brunner
But the point is, I've always had this entrepreneurial spirit in me as well.
[00:04:25.970] - Gabriela Brunner
And when I was 13, I actually combined business and art because I started a card-making business. There was this really cool art project that we did in school. And I thought, well, this is summer, my mom and I kind of got this idea that I could spend the summer creating these cards and then maybe selling them to people.
[00:04:48.330] - Gabriela Brunner
And I actually did that when I was 13.
[00:04:51.690] - Gabriela Brunner
So much so that I got an order for 150 custom-made cards for the holidays that this family purchased and then gave to all their family and friends with the beautiful story behind it that it was a 13-year-old girl in Honduras who handmade these cards.
[00:05:07.890] - Gabriela Brunner
So now we're going to fast forward a little bit because after I graduated college, I kind of didn't know what to do. Like, I felt like I had no idea what I was going to get myself into, and I just needed a job. So I started working at Carnival Cruise Lines, doing group sales reservations, which was so far from anything that I felt like I wanted to do. But I committed to the job, and.
[00:05:30.360] - Gabriela Brunner
I decided I'm going to be great at this. And I actually was a valedictorian of my little group training class is pretty cool.
[00:05:38.600] - Gabriela Brunner
First time being valedictorian. But then somewhere along the lines, I knew that there was something more for me. But the problem was I forgot how to think for myself. I forgot how to listen to what it is that I truly wanted to do. And I had a friend at the time who was about to go to law school, and this is literally how it happened.
[00:06:05.030] - Gabriela Brunner
Hey, Gabriella, what are you up to? Do you think you're going to go on and do maybe some graduate work, something like that? Well, I'm really a not sure friend.
[00:06:13.010] - Gabriela Brunner
I'm thinking of business school, but I don't really know. Maybe some kind of master's degree. Hey, well, I have this outfit book.
[00:06:20.300] - Gabriela Brunner
Do you want it? Maybe you can use that to study.
[00:06:22.900] - Gabriela Brunner
Sweet. I can save myself $50. I don't have to buy the book.
[00:06:25.950] - Gabriela Brunner
I can study on my own, and I can do this.
[00:06:28.530] - Gabriela Brunner
I think I'll go to law school.
[00:06:30.200] - Gabriela Brunner
So you can see that there's probably a lot of things kind of wrong with that scenario, I didn't even give myself a moment to think.
[00:06:39.430] - Gabriela Brunner
I didn't even give myself an opportunity to explore whether that was something I truly wanted to do it. And remember my story about when I really didn't have any of the pressures of society, when I really could think for myself, and nobody was telling me to go there, do this, do that. Like, what my heart really desired was business and art. So then I sat down on this path, and here's the thing is we are resilient people. We're resilient. The human race is so resilient. And even if you don't want to do something, you can convince yourself that it's the right thing for you. So I convinced myself that law school was what it was going to be.
[00:07:17.480] - Gabriela Brunner
That I was going to be able to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish by going to law school and doing it.
[00:07:24.920] - Gabriela Brunner
And all the while, I just started ignoring and basically shoving aside all of the feelings that I had while I was going through a law school.
[00:07:32.970] - Gabriela Brunner
I didn't want to fail.
[00:07:34.500] - Gabriela Brunner
I didn't want to have to explain myself to anybody when they asked me.
[00:07:40.360] - Gabriela Brunner
So what are you doing now? What's going on with law school? I didn't want to have to say, you know what? It wasn't for me. And I quit or I dropped out.
[00:07:50.010] - Gabriela Brunner
Because I knew that I didn't want.
[00:07:51.120] - Gabriela Brunner
To do that or I left because I knew that this wasn't for me. Even though I had some kind of support around me and I knew my mom and my dad were still going to love me and appreciate me even if I didn't go to law school. I didn't really know that at the time. I really felt like my entire world was going to fall apart if I left this profession that I never even really consciously wanted to begin with. So I want you guys to take that story and go back to that question that I asked you at the beginning, which is what did you want to be when you grew up? So some of you might have wanted to be an astronaut, and some of you may have wanted to be a Baker.
[00:08:31.630] - Gabriela Brunner
Some may have wanted you to be a teacher or something like that. And maybe those things aren't super practical right now, given the situation that you're at in right now, because it may require a whole lot more schooling or maybe a completely different change of degree or too many credentials and you don't feel like you can do it. And that's okay, because here what I want to do is try and give you some practical information I'm not telling you to go quit your job, go enroll in aeronautic school.
[00:09:00.440] - Gabriela Brunner
And spend $500,000 on something different. What I want you to think about, though, is take these careers or jobs or ideas of what you want it to be when you grow up. And I want you to take out the elements, pick out the themes that are inherent in each one of these things. How about we take a time when you were five years old, maybe 10, 12, 15, pick three or four times in your life, and then pick out the things that you thought you wanted to be at that time when you grew up, and then take the elements. So, for example, if you thought you wanted to be at some point an stronaut, another point a firefighter, another point of an EMT, I can see some themes in there. You want to be adventurous, you want to explore. You want to do something that maybe not everybody does. You wanted to have a lot of action, a lot of sort of high pressure, specific small situations that are kind of high pressure, a lot of activity in small instances, you wanted to help people. Perhaps you wanted to have a little bit of the prestige that comes with saying you're an astronaut, right?
[00:10:09.040] - Gabriela Brunner
There's absolutely nothing wrong with that I think that's actually pretty cool because you earned it. So I want you to go ahead and take the question, what did you want to be when you grow up? Pick a few definite times in your life, a few memories.
[00:10:20.700] - Gabriela Brunner
If you need a little bit of help with that, then I invite you to kind of set yourself up in a quiet space, perhaps a beautiful spot in your home, maybe a gorgeous beach like this, perhaps after a yoga class or a nice run, if that's what you enjoy doing. And set the intention before this activity that you want to come up with these career inspirations that you have throughout your life and then do your activity.
[00:10:49.690] - Gabriela Brunner
And as soon as something pops into your mind, write it down. It might be a little trickier if you're on a bike ride or walking or whatever, but take your phone with you, do a voice memo, do something like that, and then just write down all of these activities that just come up to you as inspiration about things that you really want to do or at some point in your life you really wanted to do. And then when you have another quiet moment, maybe get yourself a nice cup of tea, maybe a glass of wine, whatever feels good to you, and then just take each one of these things and look at the consistent themes that are there. And then I want you to come up with a list of five or ten consistent themes that you see between these different job opportunities or career paths that you once envisioned for yourself and your life. And when you do that, I think you're really going to start to understand that it's not so much that you wanted to be an astronaut, but you wanted to experience these particular feelings in your life. And becoming an astronaut is something that allowed you to experience these feelings more often than not. So I want you to go ahead and do that in your Journal. And then the second thing that I'd like you to do is actually take the time when you kind of has.
[00:12:02.020] - Gabriela Brunner
That fork in the road moment, that decision-making time in your life. Like that story that I gave you about, hey, here's an LSAT book. Why don't you go to law school? In my heart, really, what I probably would have wanted to really do was go to business school and explore something there. And I really want you to go ahead and consider what was happening when you made that pivotal decision in your life. Was somebody influencing you? Was money a concern? Were you going to be the only one in your family who didn't go to law school? Perhaps you were struggling with some confidence issues and just really kind of think about how you came to that decision. In my case, how did I come to the decision to go to law school? Well, somebody gave me an LSAT book. I thought that maybe was a sign that that's what I was supposed to be doing because it was too easy. Second, my mom and I talked about it, and we were like, well, you want to potentially have a lot of money in your life.
[00:13:02.130] - Gabriela Brunner
You want to help people. You want to elevate your status. Because at the time, I was a front desk agent and had some experiences where people belittled me because of my education and told me, Just because you have a college degree doesn't mean that you're qualified to do anything more at this hotel. True story, by the way. And so I wanted to have something that people couldn't argue with. When I said, I'm a lawyer, it's like, okay, you have the credentials. I can't argue with you about that.
[00:13:32.390] - Gabriela Brunner
So that was actually something that was important to me at the time. I wanted to also improve my writing skills, and that's one of the reasons why I chose the law school I went to. But can you start to see that none of these things were really about what was in my heart or what was really something that was going to make me happy to do? I didn't even really fully understand what it was like to be a lawyer. And instead of actually taking the practical steps to finding out, I just based my decision on what everybody else was telling me to do. So perhaps it's society that influenced you a little bit at the time. So I want to make sure that you guys don't feel super overwhelmed with what I'm sharing with you. So I'm going to break it down for you just a little bit. Question one. Think back to different times in your life. When you say to yourself, I want to be blank when I grow up, I want you to Journal these things. If you need a little bit of inspiration or something's not coming to you, you feel stuck. Then I want you to pick a favorite activity of yours, go for a walk, be in nature, take a nap, whatever it is that feels good to you.
[00:14:34.060] - Gabriela Brunner
And before you do that, I want you to set an intention that these moments, these images are going to come back to you. And when they do, write them down, trust them. Just write them down.
[00:14:44.100] - Gabriela Brunner
Then I want you to set aside another 30 minutes of your day or your week and create a nice, inviting environment. Maybe light a candle, maybe have some tea and look at the specific career choices or job opportunities that you wrote down. And then try to pick out some common themes of what are common characteristics in those jobs. It could be adventurous, it could be serious, it could be helping people. It could be potential for a lot of money, whatever they may be. And then you're going to make this list of five or ten things that are going to give you more clarity as to what it is that you want to feel on a day-to-day basis when you have a job. And then the second thing I want you to do is to take almost like the opposite. Take those times when you had a fork in the road in decision-making time and go ahead and just really think about or really just let it out why you made the decision that you made. Was it because it was for you, was totally heart-based, totally inspiration base? Or was it because somebody handed you an LSAT book and said, yeah, I think you should do this.
[00:15:48.710] - Gabriela Brunner
And then I really would love to hear from you guys. So if you guys feel inspired to let me know what comes up for you, you can go ahead and find me at Gabriela@TheNewFirm.Co and it's not .com it's .co. You can also go hop onto my website at www.TheNewFirm.Co and at the very bottom of the page you're going to see all the links to the social media. You can join our Facebook group there, you can comment on my business Facebook page, or send me a message. I really want to hear from you guys and see what all of this comes up for you because this is really going to be this clarity is really going to be the first step to helping you figure out where you want to go from here.
[00:16:31.650] - Gabriela Brunner
So I'm so excited to be here with you. I'm so excited to have shared these stories and I'll leave you with a little bit more from Costa Rica just to inspire you, just to get you feeling and knowing that you're not stuck, that you can listen to your heart, that you can make a change right now, even if it doesn't feel like it and that I'm here to support you in whatever way I can. I hope you have a beautiful day and I will talk to you soon. Bye.