March 8, 2023 in Case Study, English

Finding Meaning In a New Direction: Read Marianna Guglielmino’s Story

Marianna Guiglielmino shares her powerful story of how a life change prompted her to look within herself to uncover what she really wanted in her career. She is creating new life possibilities even though she is still in her current job.

You should read this interview because…

  • Marianna’s story shows how a significant life event can prompt a change in career trajectory  
  • Marianna changed her mindset which influenced her subsequent actions
  • Marianna regularly taps into her coaching lessons and insights as she changes

What you will learn from Marianna's change of career:

  • You can change your career at any point in your life

  • Embedding a continual learning mindset will help keep you on track when you are changing your career

Hi Marianna, how lovely to see you again!
Could yo uplease share what’s your career now and what were you doing before?

I am a Customer Success Manager and I haven’t changed my career yet.

What made you think you wanted to change your career? And when you realised a change was needed, did you already know what you wanted to do? or did you have no idea what else you could do?

I was on maternity leave with my first child, a few months before returning to work. I could see how I was no longer my old professional self, I wanted something more

I thought that a new job was the change I needed in my life but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I realised that I wasn’t aware of my strengths, my talents, my purpose nor my passions. I felt lost, stuck, frustrated with my indecisiveness.

How did you find out what was your ideal career if you had no idea?

I worked with Bruna to identify my strengths, my gifts and my checklist of non-negotiables that I had to find in my ideal job. What you could say was “my compass”

I soon realised I wanted to help others and that I loved coaching, so I enrolled in a coaching training program to become an ICF Professional Coach. While building my practice, and once back to work, I started asking questions to people whose careers seemed aligned to what I wanted to do. Since I knew what I was looking for, it was easy for me to start excluding jobs and refining my search while moving along.

When you decided to change your career, what obstacles and challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? 

When I decided that I wanted to become a coach, I was still on maternity leave, without a salary and with an 8-month old baby who I was still breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours, even during the night. I had to pay for an online course with Full Circle Global in instalments, and my husband took some days off to allow me to attend the training sessions. I clearly remember having 20 minute breaks during the training. Everyone else would meditate, take a walk, reflect upon what they had learnt or enjoy some food or pet company. I would instead breastfeed while quickly eating a sandwich and put myself together for another chunk of interactive training, sleep deprived and exhausted. When I got back to work, I started doing my 100 hours coaching sessions while my kid was asleep, mostly late in the evening or with people in different time zones than me to leverage the time difference. What kept me going was the feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction after every coaching session, and knowing that I was learning something new that was making me a better person. 

Finally getting the ICF ACC certification after 18 months was such a reward! 

When I returned to work, many things had changed, including me. I had learnt how to prioritise, the importance of having a good work/life balance, but most importantly to listen with my whole self. I started having a coaching approach at every opportunity. My conversations with clients and peers became more significant and insightful as I was using the things I had learnt as a coach, like deep listening, powerful questioning and belief challenging. I had grown in confidence. I restructured my working day around what was bringing value not only to the company or my clients, but also what was important for me. I got involved in internal coaching programs and interesting projects. I started mentoring my colleagues and attending professional development workshops.

Please describe the steps you’ve taken to land the new job:

I have now decided that, while I keep building my coaching practice, my next step in my career is to become a people manager so I am retraining once again. While the how, when and where are still cloudy but I have a clear vision on the why and most importantly on who I need to be to get there. All thanks to coaching, self-awareness and the hard work on myself. 

I learnt that what I thought was ordinary and common about me, is actually what makes me different. There’s no 0ne out there like me, with my experiences, my thoughts, my scars and my successes.

How did working with Bruna help you?

Bruna helped me get to know the real Marianna, my values and my essence behind all my excuses. A few months after our journey was completed, I realised that I had internalised our conversations and I could easily identify what was aligned with my gifts and what was not. Now, after a year, I can still clearly remember some bits of our sessions and what I learnt about myself back then helps me stay on track and keep going when I feel I am not progressing as quickly as I wish.

In what way did Bruna help you get unstuck?

Bruna made me realise that, in theory, you can always go from A to B if you have a good plan, but if you don’t change your self image you won’t go far. I wasn’t seeing myself as a successful woman.

I had forgotten who I was and all the mountains I had climbed to get where I was. By helping me realise what value I was bringing in everything I was doing, even if at that time I was “only” keeping a little human alive, Bruna showed me that there was much more to me than an Italian immigrant who was lucky to have a job in a foreign country.

Once I changed my self-image and started seeing myself as the person I wanted to be (and I already was behind all my fears and self-limiting beliefs), I became more confident and started putting myself out there more and more. 

Describe three or more things you enjoyed about the process of working with Bruna.

  1. Bruna is outspoken and fun. 
  2. She has an incredible knowledge of the brain-based coaching techniques, but she uses humour and a simplified vocabulary that make complex concepts easy to grasp. 
  3. The first time I spoke with her I thought she was different from the other coaches I had met. Her approach was refreshingly authentic.

As you are retraining right now, how does it feel? What makes it feel like it’s the right path for you?

I stopped using the word “right” as the opposite of wrong. By doing so, I give myself permission to try new things that feel right because they are aligned to my values, they make me smile or learn something new, not because they necessarily need to work out. 

I retrained as a coach thinking I would leave my job and do coaching full time. Life got in the way, so my plan had to change but since I trained on something I love, I feel it wasn’t a failure or a waste of time or money. Now I still coach in my spare time, however I have incorporated what I learned in what I do

In conclusion, training to become a coach made me a compassionate human being and allowed me to define a new career path for me. And since this career would allow me to coach and tick most of my boxes, I feel I am on the right path. 

Thinking about the future, would you consider using a Career Coach again to progress or change a part of your career? Explain your reasoning.

I would definitely do it again and again, because we keep evolving even when we feel nothing is really changing.

Taking the time to reassess and re-strategise once in a while it’s important at any stage of life and career to ensure we are actively taking our decisions, not passively accepting what’s happening around us. 

On top of your career change, in what way this coaching journey helped you grow in other areas of your personal life? 

I am much more confident when it comes to making decisions with my life as I know myself better and I know what to seek and what to avoid to make me thrive.  

What have you learned about yourself through coaching with Bruna?

I learned that what I thought was ordinary and common about me, is actually what makes me different and that there’s none out there like me, with my experiences, my thoughts, my scars and my successes.

I learnt that you already are the person you want to be, you just have to channel that and fake it until you make it, if necessary. Most importantly, I’ve learnt the importance of being vulnerable, open and asking for help.

Finally, what is your top tip for people who are stuck in the wrong career?

Stop thinking that you have to make the right choice right now. 

You have permission to change your mind as many times as you need. All you do while exploring what career you want to pursue is not wasted and won’t get lost, I promise. It will become part of you, and what makes you different from everyone else out there.

Trust the process, and be patient: it takes time but all will come together in a way or another.  

Thank you Marianna, your insights are highly appreciated!

In conclusion:

As you can learn from Marianna's career move:

  • The techniques and tactics learned from coaching sessions are useful no matter when you decide to use them. 
  • The coaching sessions helped Marianna move from thinking of the “right choice” to a “let’s explore” approach.

If you, too, want to change your career and feel great as Marianna does today, choose the career change programme that best suits your budget and learning preferences!

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