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 released-www.andywibbels.com and Suzanne Falter-Barns, a media insider whose savvy gets you publicity-www.getknownnow.com  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  www.eCareerCorner.com

Career/Life Transitions Coach

marcia@ecareercorner.com  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 Experience.com – 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 ColllegeRecruiter.com
  • 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,CollegeRecruiter.com-Ask the Experts online panel, online-CareerPlanit through NACE-now part of naceweb.com, interviewed by quintcareers.com 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

Mid Life Women & Transitions

I am a Professional Coach.  Who Do I Serve?  That question has been nagging at me, keeping me up at night…And then, it hit me!  Duh!  What do I specialize in?  Career/Life Transitions.  Who am I meant to serve?  Michael Port, a well-known motivational big thinker asks this of his listeners all the time.  He’s very cool and inspiring! www.MichaelPort.com   Mid Life women-Most of my clients are…I enjoy working with them, get energized helping discover/uncover new skills, attitudes, meaning & purpose!  I use humor & creativity-often, many in this stage-"empty nest moms" or just searching for more meaning & excited to have the time & focus to work on themselves!

I run Coaching Groups and see the women exploring different aspects of their life.  Some may return to painting after raising a family, others might take a ceramics class or keep a journal of their personal growth.  It is exciting to share these journeys!

I’m speaking on "Transitions" this Sat at Womens Expo- www.womensexpomd.com.  I’m looking forward to working with this group of diverse women.  Taking C.J. Hayden’s course -Coachpreneur’s Circle- www.coachpreneurs.com  She also created Get Clients Now- www.getclientsnow.com   and the program I teach www.gethirednow.com   We discuss niche and focus.  Exactly what I work on with my clients-niche, in terms of area, industry, career that fits for them.  I’m always learning & growing & I like to think seeing my journey helps my clients to learn & grow!

Blogs & “Lost”

I’ve been working til Lost-love that show!  Bizarre…what does it all mean?  Who are the "Others"?  On to more serious topics!

In Blog2Bestseller class today, we spoke of blogs of authors and branding.  Seth Godin, the Marketing "Guru"-  www.sethgodin.com  was one of the authors’ sites & blogs critiqued.

Got me thinking about my Brand- www.eCareerCorner.com go to it & get career tips & resources & as a BONUS-downloadable e-books and the Tips ezine!

Looking at presenting on the book I’m working on at MidAtlantic Career Counseling Association www.macca.net

And speaking at the Womens Expo in Catonsville, MD www.womensexpomd.com  I’ll be speaking on the Transition process and tips to come out with momentum and ultimately, clarity of purpose.  I often work with midlife women in transition-career, divorce, empty nest moms, those wanting to start a business.  That’s what my book, myself and a colleague are writing.  Any stories out there waiting to be told-marcia@ecareercorner.com Let’s talk!



Hello world!

Well, that’s what the "Blog Guru",otherwise known as Andy Wibbels,  www.andywibbels.com said…I’m taking a Blog2Bestseller  teleclass series with Andy and Suzanne Falter-Barnes, a reg oional & national publicity "guru"www.getknownnow.com.  Their teleclass series-so far, it’s great!  See, I’m a Career/Life Transitions Coach in Baltimore, Maryland-that’s the East Coast-"Maryland is for crabs"…The seafood, not rude folks!

I tell my coaching clients how we’re learning all the time-"works in progress"!  Some of my career change clients, especially those mid-life women, my specialty, feel they need to make the "right choice"-make it work!  Sometimes, opening yourself up to the process of finding your purpose, uncovering your passion and having meaning in your career, is "half the battle"!-This is vital to the entire journey and ultimately, the success!  I’m collaborating on a book about this and much more, stay tuned.  Soon, I’ll tell you how to download some of our work on mid-life careers!

Well, I guess that’s all for now-my former blog was with Blogger-http://eCareerChat.blogspot.com


Marcia-sign up for my ezine & get access to BONUS downloadable e-books!