What’s YOUR Heartbeat?

Heartbeat Necklace



Who knew a piece of jewelry would inspire a post?  I own a necklace like the one pictured  for many reasons. It reminded me of the EKG machines I used to be hooked up to on the visits to my cardiologist as a little girl and not necessarily a heartbeat.   Realizing it symbolized a heart beat, I thought, well what is my heart beat? What gives me purpose, what or who  makes my heart skip a beat?  What drives or motivates me?

On a personal level, that’s easy- my heartbeat, my reasons for breathing are my three nephews.  Who makes my heart  skip a beat? Well right now, Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy aka Jax,  Chris Hemsworth as Thor (my favorite Avenger),  and Jon Bon Jovi always. Personal growth, being creative, and helping others drive me.

What about on a professional level?  What drives and keeps us going?  This can be a bit more difficult as we go from day to day, get caught up in a rut at times, or have challenges.  Is it money, power, helping others, teaching, being creative,  or are we not so sure anymore? How do we remember our purpose day in and day out?  It’s not always easy, but it’s so important.  One thing that can help is to look  at a task or project with a different perspective- why is this important? What is the purpose and how or who is it going to help?  Not always looking at something in our “role” or “job title” can help us refocus and remember our heart beat.

As a career coach, I’ve always felt that my students were my heart beat and today I was reminded that they are the reason I coach. I’ve learned that I am people focused and helping others professionally or personally is what makes my heart beat.   This helps me to know that no matter what job I have, it needs to be a job where I am helping others and making a difference.

What is your heartbeat and how can it help you know what job or career may be right for you?

Try Something New


I have a confession….  Until recently, I, Hanna DeBruhl, pop culture junkie had never seen…. Star Wars.  I know, I know, what is wrong with me? My best friends questioned everything about my life and our friendship  based on this one fact.  Luckily thanks to said friends, I am now caught up to speed and excited for the newest Star Wars movie.

How did this happen may you ask?  Star Wars was just never in my wheelhouse, I didn’t grow up with brothers or date a guy interested in it. Yes, I knew what it was, and knew the characters, but had never sat down to watch this pop culture classic. I can now say that I am glad that I did. I understand and appreciate its greatness.

This experience made  me think about the importance of trying new things and as a career coach, it is important to encourage  students to go outside of their comfort zones.  Students should be allowed to  try new careers or jobs and not  always be set in a linear path. Life doesn’t work that way and you never know what may happen.  Many  students have varied interests and should be encouraged  to try them all out and see where it goes, but also be open to new ideas.  As career development coaches, we should teach our students to not get caught up in job titles, but in using skills, talents, and abilities, in their jobs.  If they have even a slight interest in a career field, give them a taste. Job shadowing and internships are vital to career exploration, hands on experience teaches and gives so much.

Career coaching didn’t fall into my lap, it wasn’t something I knew existed growing up, but it has become my passion.   It all started with my Global Career Development Facilitator course that I took on a whim.  That whim led me to where I am today and I feel blessed for it.   Not all experiences will turn out like mine, but as Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100% of the shots you never take. Yoda said, Do. Or do not. There is no try.

What is something new you’ve done that turned out better than expected?

Focusing on the One


 Great leaders are also great attentive listeners and hear what those around them say.  Leaders listen to problems and then work to find solutions. It may be a solution for one person or many people. The solution may spring from one thought or conversation, but it all comes from focusing on “the one”.

As a career coach, my “one” are many- students.   During summer vacation last year, I begin to think about how to focus more specifically on my students’ needs.  I begin to think of them as classes and individuals.  What were specific needs of each class and what did they need to be doing in the career development process  as they progressed through college?. For example with first year students,  I recalled conversations where students expressed  the desire to focus on their career, but the need to focus on school.  This was a “problem”, as a career coach I had to find the “solution”.    The “Career Shuffle” presentation was born! This presentation educated students on how to balance academics with careers and why that is important.  Students appreciated this specific focus on their needs and learned the small things they could do to move forward their first year.  The workshop for second years focuses on how to transfer  soft skills in the workplace to future jobs or careers.  Many students feel that if a job is not related to their major or  desired future job, it is not relevant, as career coaches we know this is not true.  It is important to teach students the value of their jobs no matter what they may be.   Creating these workshops has helped me become a better leader and career coach by building better relationships with students. Students understand that I understand their needs  and it helps build rapport.  As a result of presenting student focused workshops, I have seen an increase in the number of students in my office asking questions and receiving career assistance.  As career coaches and anyone in academia, our role is to meet students where they are and we can learn where they are by focusing on “the one”.   How do you focus on “the one”?