Wow! What isn’t Gather the Women!

I almost forgot to tell you what I experienced at this womens circle group called Gather the Women.  We were about 20, all mid-life in or having gone through some life changes/transitions and very open to discussing current state of affairs, looking at solutions that result in peace, no poverty, clean & healthy environment, a society where all women & children are safe!  Before you think we just talked of world problems-not at all.

We made book marks of spirit beads so we all have a memento of the day.  Listened to music, had lunch and 20 strangers left as friends.

Gather the Women is a grassroots organization-looking at how every woman and male supporters can make a difference-one at a time.  They help women start womens circle groups-I’m starting 2-one by phone and the other local to reach more!  Women are the traditional caregivers, nurturers & of course, mothers, either of their own children or simply of Mother Earth.

There are several books by Jean Shinoda Bolen-The Millionth Circle & Urgent Message to Mother, to name a few!

So, tell me-what would you like to see changed to make our world a better place?


Marcia the Transitions Chick!   Turning mid-life into the RIGHT Life!

Career/Life Transitions Coach & Authorized Group Leader for Get Hired Now! ™ Sign up for my FREE ezine & get BONUS downloadable e-books!

What is Gather the Women?

In about 20 minutes, I’m going to a Gather the Women full-day seminar.  It’s about change-both inner and our world!  Universal wellness!  We’ll talk and learn & share what we feel about current events, life, the world in ourselves.  We do this by organizing into womens circle groups.  This is a warm, supportive collaboration, sorta like a town meeting.  I can’t wait!

If you want more info- www.gatherthewomen.orgor contact me!



Marcia Merrill, CCMC, JCTC

Career/Life Transitions Coach

the Transitions Chick

Wellness-Organizing My Clutter!

When you hear wellness,organizing doesn’t come to mind!  I read that sometimes, we can’t get things done until we prepare a space for it-so, I’m about tofinish a chapter for "Inspiration & Fulfillment", do an e-book for the one woman business ower and create a teleclass series…Time to be clutter-free now!

So, I’m doing my computer "Spring cleaning"!  I need to reorganize my computer files and many of the women I know, have some clutter they need to organize-your closet, the laundry room, even reconnecting with an old friend!  I say Let’s do our de-cluttering together!   April 1st-yep, next Sat is Wellness Day-De-Clutter & Recharge! Day! Some women I know are going to call on a phone bridge-I’m in MD, my best friends are in PA/IL/HA/WA and Baltimore!  Technology to the rescue!  By connecting through the phone-everyone will de-clutter together!  Powerin numbers & accountability!  Fun and accomplishing a chore you’ve been putting off!  If you want to join in, feel free, just email me at   No Cost!  FREE!  just the phone call!

What do you do to get organized and clear the clutter?


Marcia The Transitions chick!

Career/Life Transitions Coach-

What Do You Do for Your Mind/Body/Soul Health?

I finished with my coaching client & while waiting for my husband started reading Smart Woman magazine-it focuses on mid-life women & dealing with transitions in their lives…perfect for this mid-life woman career coach!  The article talked of how various women kept their mind/body soul wellness?  Made me ask myself-how do I do this?  Do I?

Yes!  I recharge and get in touch with my wellness, by petting my cat, talking to good friends, seeing a fun, romantic comedy,listening to relaxing music,take a walk and , oh yeah, workout!  Sometimes!  Some hit the gym, dance, meditate…

How do you reconnect with your mind/body /soul?

Planning Can Be Productive!

I am a Career/Life Transitions Coach.  I am an E-Commerce Business.  I am a wife, mom of 2 cats! 🙂  I am a tandem cyclist!  I am an acupuncture patient…and so on-you get the idea.  For the past few days, I’ve been talking & ranting to my friends and my coach-"I’m on OVERWHELM!"  Well, today,as suggested by my coach, I sat down & planned out my work schedule-put in my planner-my dates I had coaching clients (was in my Coaching Calendar-now all in 1 place!), appts, networking meetings and what projects I work on each day!

Of course, I may spend time outside of my alloted time if I’m "in the flow"…but I feel so free-it’s all there!  So, what projects are you needing to schedule or make room for?

Please comment-then I won’t feel like I’m talking to myself!  Folks email me-but don’t post…I wanna hear your thoughts!


Planning Helps Overwhelm, right?

I just read Andy Wibbel’s post  "Planning is not Productive"-"

Yep-I am a great planner.  I help my coaching clients move forward and create individual Action Plans.  It also combats "overwhelm."  I know this from personal experience.  I feel more sure of what to do-where I’m going , once I have a plan!  Just have to guard against thinking that by planning, your goal is reached.  A plan is simply a roadmap to achieve that goal.

I know I can get wrapped up in planning my "To Do" list for hours and that’s all I’ve accomplished!  Then, since I’m a very productive after midnight kind of person, I manage to get my to do list, done!  So, I can start another one!


Mid-life Woman Needs A Break!

Blogs are supposed to be personal…Here it is!  I’m feeling Blech-like I was runover by a bulldozer!  Sandpaper was swallowed-at least that’s how my throat feels!  Change?  Life transitions?  This mid-life woman feels yucky!  And I’ve got my first Product Factory class tonight!  I’ve been sooo looking forward to it! and now, I think I’ll have to just listen to the mp3! 

Usually, I’m full of resources & information…Atchoo!  Rest!

My web site tells good stuff-sign up for my newsletter & get good tips & resources!  And BONUS-downloadable e-books.

What do you mean by life transitions, anyway?

A recent Harris poll reported 70% of employees were planning to change jobs/careers when the economy picked up!  Well, employers are hiring, unemployment is decreasing, and consumers are buying.  Are you part of this majority?   

  Transtion is Change.  This can be a downsizing, divorce, kids leaving home or even death of a loved one.  Personal growth, wanting more time for self could also create a change or enhancement of your perspective.

Women, often, those in mid-life-(35+), find these questions particularly resonate.  Reflect on these:

  • I’m just not sure what I want to do.

  • If I pursue a goal or dream and many obstacles come my way, it must mean it     wasn’t meant to be.

  • I schedule time for everyone else’s needs but my own.

  • I’m doing or pursuing something in my life that gives me a strong feeling of               satisfaction, meaning and purpose.

  • I need to overcome my negative emotions.

o       I often downplay my knowledge to avoid seeming arrogant.

o       I take time to do things just for me.

o       I long to find/rediscover my passion/purpose in life.

I ask all my clients some form of these questions.  Ask  yourself, is there a change on your

horizon?  Journal, make a collage, do a drawing/painting, think on it while driving to the dry

cleaners, the bank, the gym…Whatever you’re doing….Just think-what is my meaning?

Thinking about defining Transitions, thought I’d share with you some info & statistics I talked about in my presentation at the Womens Expo-held during Womens History month!

“What is midlife, anyway?

I was speaking at the Womens Expo  in Catonsville last weekend on "Transitions & the Transition Cycle" and a woman in the audience asked-"what is midlife, anyway?"  My Psychology text when I was studying for my 2nd Masters degree, this one in Counseling Psychology , said, "midlife is between 26 and…"  I gave that answer but opened it up-what they thought midlife was…I heard 35+, then 40’s, 50 ish, and 60+…None are right or wrong.  I believe from working with my midlife clients that it is a time in your life where you feel your life is half over and you still might not feel any wiser.  The time when you take stock and may need to make some changes-or something is already altering-kids may be growing up, graduating and going to college or finished that and moving away.  Family life may be changing-a divorce, death of a loved one, needing to care for an older relative or being downsized or having to go back to work.

What I find is that the more in control of the situation my clients are, the better and easier their transition.  Most of them consider themselves to be in midlife-and they range from 36-60 ish.  One client is 72 and hopes she’s in midlife!  She feels at least she’s got 10-20 good years left and wants to do something meaningful,  and creative in her life.

That’s the key-wanting to do/follow their passions-what they feel they were meant to do.  My Blog2Bestseller teachers, Andy Wibbels, author of BlogWild-soon to be and Suzanne Falter-Barns, a media insider whose savvy gets you  Both say to be honest, direct, vulnerable and maybe even take a stand!  Ok, I will.  I believe everyone has to have meaning, to be involved in doing what they were meant to do.  Midlife is especially a time to make sure you’re doing what you were meant to do.  Not Woo-woo or super-religious, just my true belief and experience.  I was meant to help midlife women in their quest to develop meaning & purpose in their lives.  What’s your truth?

Media Room

Marcia Merrill, CCMC, JCTC

Career/Life Transitions Coach  410-467-0811   

Highlights of Qualifications

  • More than seventeen years professional experience in career counseling and related educational / multicultural environments
  • Proven track record in successfully working with non-traditional and traditional student populations – both current and alumni
  • Excellent written and verbal interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrated computer skills / interest – designer / editor of a career-related Web site and links

Professional Experience

Counseling / Coaching / Teaching

  • Develop and conduct career-related workshops and career information seminars
  • Provide career counseling for individuals and groups that assist them in achieving post-graduate objectives
  • Presented programs on career services at Student Orientation to market the Career Development and Placement Center
  • Co-taught First Year Experience class for freshman dealing with transitions from high school to college
  • Tutored private individuals (Internet job search, Education, English As A Second Language, French, and Spanish, Career Management / Marketing Strategies / Resume Development / Interviewing and Networking)
  • Instructed/supervised staff of 15 in Leadership Training Program

Program Development / Group Facilitation

  • Assisted with the administration of the Career Development and Placement Center
  • Designed and maintained the Career Development and Placement Center’s World Wide Web Home Page and links
  • Maintain contact, both in traditional manner as well as e-mail and telephone, with those seeking employment, providing support and follow up counseling to help them meet their career goals
  • Assisted in the preparation of the On-Campus Recruitment Program and numerous career, job fairs and special events
  • Created, developed, and implemented successful Career Development Mentor Program (in its 12th year!)
  • Facilitated Job Club and various career-related support groups


  • Assisted in conducting follow-up surveys on recent graduates (94% to 99% response rate)
  • Administer and interpret vocational interest tests such as the Strong-Campbell, Self-Directed Search, CASI, and inventories on the computerized career counseling software program-DISCOVER
  • Supervised the evening receptionist and provide training in effective communications/career counseling to graduate interns
  • Implement Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), chart results, and prepare materials for workshops and presentations

Technological Qualifications

  • WordPerfect, Access, PowerPoint, PageMill, and HTML Programming Language
  • Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop, Excel, as well as Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 operating systems, and Resume Expert (now – eRecruiting)
  • Regular participant in JobPlace Internet Discussion Group and feature writer for "Ask The Experts" – online career information resource as well as on panel of experts for
  • Featured reviewer for Career Management Institute’s E-Bridge
  • Experience in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and Counseling
  • Conversational and written ability in French and Spanish

Employment History

  • Career Consultant, Career Services, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Shool of Public Health, Feb. 1-28, 2005
  • Assistant Director – Technology / Career Librarian, Career Development and Placement Center, Loyola College in Maryland, May 2001-May 2004
  • Career Advisor, Career Development and Placement Center, Loyola College in Maryland, 1988 – 2001
  • Presenter, Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association Spring/ Fall, 1999/2000
  • Assistant Weekend Manager, Baltimore Ronald McDonald House, 1990 – 1994
  • Career Counselor’s Assistant, Maryland New Directions, Inc., 1987 – 1988
  • Sales Counselor, G. Briggs, 1988 – 1990
  • Career Management Coach/Private Consultant Training and Career Management Coaching-Self-Employed, 1983 – Present
  • Resident Director, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1986
  • Program Assistant to Director of Orientation, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), 1985 – 1986
  • Supervisor to Student Peer Advisors, UMBC, Summer, 1985
  • Manager of Off-Campus Housing / Transportation Resources Center, UMBC, 1984 – 1985
  • Bilingual Resource Librarian, UMBC, 1980 – 1982


  • Master of Science – Counseling Psychology – Loyola College in Maryland – May 1997
  • Master of Arts – Education – University of Maryland, Baltimore County – August 1986
  • Bachelor of Arts – Modern Languages and Linguistics – University of Maryland, Baltimore County – May 1983 (cum laude)

Professional Involvement

  • American College Personnel Association Liberal Arts Committee – Web Site Design Sub-Committee, Multicultural Affairs-Member, Career Development Directorate-1999-2002
  • Career Masters Institute
  • Certified Career Management Coach – Private Consulting, International Coach Federation
  • Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association – Appointed Chair, Technology Committee, Membership and Hospitality, Co-Chair, Executive Board – Conference Planning
  • Presenter, Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association- Fall, Spring Conferences 1999,2000
  • Maryland Association for Counseling and Development
  • Baltimore Area Career Services Consortium
  • Disability Support Network   

Entrepreneur, own coaching business specializing in midlife women in transition-career, job search, interview coaching, networking, resumes, cover & thank you letters, online job search,"empty nest" moms, "third age", baby boomers, divorce, downsized, want more meaning/ creativity in life…

16 years as Career Counselor, Assistant Director in College Career Center-focus was on tradional age students, MBAs & graduate students and alumni/ae.  Created a  very successful "Career Development Mentor Program" which partnered alumni professionals with students interested in their respective fields.

Published in Baltimore Sun, Monster, National Association of Colleges and Employers, CareerBuilder, Womens Journal of Howard County, Bankrate-in house employee newsletter, Adult Career Development Network Journal,NACE-Career Choices, series, the Experts online panel, online-CareerPlanit through NACE-now part of, interviewed by on Technology, MidAtlantic Career Counseling Association’s Interact newsletter,chapter in third volume of soon-to-be published, "inspiration & Fulfillment" & various Career publications.

Possible Topics:

Midlife women, transitions, career change, jobs, new graduates, college students, recruiting, resume writing for mature workers, graduate school selection, interviewing, networking, disabilies and jobs, workplace and age discrimination, coaching and credentials, coaching training, job clubs, mentor, mentoring, setting up a career library, recommended career books…

Typical Interview Questions:

What is midlife and what is different?

How do you know it’s time for a career/job change?

Steps to making your resume timeless/age-proof?

What are 10 Interview tips?

How to make yourself memorable at networking events?

Networking and the quiet, shy?

Steps to finding your "Dream Job"

What is a mentor?

Discuss career resources

Technology and the job search