About this Blog

Barbara Babkirk is a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement firm in Portland.

With a focused and intuitive approach, Barbara makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them design a new life chapter. She has a successful record guiding career transitions for professionals ranging from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs.

An expert in her field, Barbara is a public speaker on work-related topics writes a solutions-oriented column about work for the Portland Sunday Telegram.


Scott Woodard is a career coach with Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement business in Portland, Maine.

Scott works with clients to identify and articulate their value and their personal brand. He helps clients develop clear, concise and crisp messaging to convey their particular difference, their achievements and their approach.

Scott coaches clients to market their brand through social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. He offers monthly workshops on how to make the most of LinkedIn for businesses or job seekers.

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013


October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

Wednesday January 08, 2014 | 01:46 PM

I heard some good news from a former client the other day who had been looking for a new job.

When I first met Ken, he was working in health care and wanted to explore a different work environment where he would be more intellectually challenged and have more opportunities to work collaboratively with colleagues.

Prior to contacting me, Ken had half-heartedly investigated options by talking with a few colleagues and submitting a dozen online applications. He did not like waiting for responses from prospective employers, especially since he rarely got any acknowledgement of his applications.

Thursday January 02, 2014 | 10:40 AM

Try This Alternative to a New Year’s Resolution


Resolve to evolve.

While the practice of setting New Year's resolutions has been around since the Romans, the last thing you may need is a list of "goals" you won’t achieve in 2014.

Monday December 16, 2013 | 01:18 PM

Women start almost 50% of Maine businesses, but it’s men who sustain their businesses and grow a larger bottom line.  Why is this so?

It may have to do with different mindsets that limit or expand their opportunities from the start.

I’ve found that women entrepreneurs tend to focus on earning “enough” instead of embracing a “sky’s the limit” attitude that is more typical of men.

A case in point is how men vs women respond to the question I frequently ask my business-owner clients: “what’s important to you in your new business venture?”

Wednesday December 04, 2013 | 07:30 AM

Author and executive coach, Richard Leider would say “a sense of purpose”.

Apparently, the quest for meaning is on our minds these days.

Research on the role of purpose conducted by Met Life showed that regardless of age, gender, life stage or financial status, most people assigned the highest importance to meaning-related activities in their lives—even above financial gain.

In my career counseling business, the search for “more meaning and purpose” by far outweighs any other reason driving clients’ job or career transitions.

Thursday November 21, 2013 | 11:59 AM

Conventional wisdom may tell you to put your job search on hold until the New Year once the Holiday season hits. But I disagree.

Think about all the people you see only once a year at Holiday events plus all the new people you might meet.

If you are not clear about your career direction or job target, you might cringe at the thought of people asking what you’re are up to, or worse still, what you want to do.

Once you’re prepared for the inevitable question, you’ll be set to welcome informal conversations and offers of help from potential contacts for your job search.  If someone suggests a contact and says, “use my name”, know that this approach rarely works. You’ll need to then say “Thanks! Would you please make an email introduction for me and I’ll take it from there?”  Then you can be certain that the email will not end up in spam or the trash since it came from a colleague.