How Gaby Alcalá Manages 2+ Careers (Healthcare Consultant, Podcast Host)

by | Mar 5, 2024

Meet Gaby Alcalá. She’s a multi-careerist based in Boston. I met her when I took an executive education course at Harvard. Her career spans healthcare and media. She’s intellectually curious and keen to grow.

Gaby’s Careers

Engaged in healthcare management consulting, guiding organizations in navigating and excelling in value-based care initiatives.

Hosting a podcast that delves into the lives of unsung heroes, individuals making a significant impact in their communities but not necessarily in the spotlight.

Providing personalized support to individuals, fostering life balance, and enhancing productivity.

On her motivations for having many careers

I am motivated to pursue a multicareer path driven by a fundamental need for variety. My personality comprises two distinct sides – deeply fact-oriented and analytical and reflective and creative. Having a multi-career approach allows me to integrate both aspects seamlessly. While my professional background in healthcare consulting remains essential, I am equally passionate about utilizing my personality’s more creative and reflective facets.

This journey is also fueled by a profound interest in learning how individuals reflect and grow in their own lives. My substantial organizational skills are valuable, enabling me to navigate and excel in diverse pursuits.

On how long she’s had these careers

I have been diving into them actively for around three years, but before making it “official,” I mixed and matched. When my kids were growing, I wanted to avoid overextending and missing out on moments that were not going to come back. I’ve always pursued a balanced life, and now, with more time and confidence, I’m committed to all these pursuits.

Advice to aspiring multi-careerists

Understanding your core values is crucial in navigating multiple careers so that you can make explicit decisions about your lifestyle and priorities, acknowledging that you can’t do everything; certain trade-offs are inevitable. The key to avoiding overwhelm is being highly organized; I find success in allocating specific times or days for various activities instead of randomly deciding what comes next. Additionally, I maintain a list where I jot down everything I want to do, prioritizing weekly to ensure progress in all areas. Regularly questioning the urgency of tasks is essential. Finally, I use the analogy that when driving at night, focus on the road ahead, not the distant horizon. In my multicareer journey, I highlight the present moment and celebrate small progress.

On overcoming obstacles

There haven’t been significant setbacks, but there are moments when I fear that my consulting business has been impacted as I dedicate time to other pursuits. However, with time, I’ve realized that the skills I acquire in these other ventures also benefit my consulting business. One of the biggest challenges is understanding that, at times, one career may take precedence, resulting in a loss of momentum in others, but this is part of a cycle, and eventually, things compensate each other. Lastly, navigating the perception that my multiple careers may dilute the seriousness of my primary career involves maintaining authenticity and allowing the inherent synergy to speak for itself without actively convincing others.

On how multiple careers are beneficial

Having multiple careers has brought variety, something I cherish and that keeps me motivated. The diverse pursuits require networking, improving my skills in that area. The reflections gained from assisting others and conducting podcast interviews have significantly benefited my consulting business.

On personal time

I think I have a natural knack for balancing all aspects of my life; it’s like I’ve got an internal regulator, maybe developed over years of self-reflection. When something starts taking up too much of my time, I start feeling a bit anxious. Connecting with my core values is crucial, and I know what brings me energy and keeps me going. For example, I’ve realized that without exercise, my afternoons don’t go well, and if I skip socializing, I feel a bit down. Family always takes the top spot in my priorities.

On what she wishes she had learned earlier

I wish I’d known earlier just how enjoyable dual careerism can be and how the skills you pick up in one area can boost the others. It’s not just about balance but also about sharpening your creativity, which has been a pleasant surprise.

On what to read

Resources related to each of my careers, such as articles and books, have been invaluable. Also, what has made a significant impact is diving into literature about the experiences of other entrepreneurs. Susan David’s book ‘Emotional Agility’ played a key role in my personal and professional development.

On the stigma of having many careers

Yes, there is a stigma, but when you pursue things with genuine passion and convey that enthusiasm, you realize you can be contagious to others who may not be doing the same. Additionally, reminding myself that this is my life, not someone else’s, and that I’ll regret not pursuing my passions has been a significant motivator.

On what to share with others

I simply state it; if asked, I’ll explain what they are, but I don’t feel the need to justify my choices anymore.

Day in the Life

6:00 am: Wake up
6:00-7:00 am: Coffee, 10-minute meditation, and read a chapter from a personal or professional development book
7:15-8:30 am: Gym
9:00-10:00 am: Organize and plan the day
10:00 am – 6:00 pm: Work
6:00-7:00 pm: Break for a walk or tea with friends
7:00-8:00 pm: Tie up loose ends
8:00 pm: Day ends for family and relaxation

On where to find Gaby

Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author.
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