My Own Career Trajectory

After 15 years in corporate human resources, I started Workplace Solutions (1998) as a solution to my own career issue: the need for more balance and flexibility in my professional and family lives.  I’m a natural entrepreneur and successfully transitioned my HR career at Verizon (GTE) to start-up Workplace Solutions, a human resources consulting practice. My consulting practice was supported by anchor clients such as Verizon (GTE), Bell South International, Coca-Cola Refreshments, and Florida Progress.  Nine years later, I grew restless with HR consulting and began to investigate another direction.

At 48, I made a pivotal turn in my career trajectory. I commuted from Tampa to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program. I made this investment of time and money because I wanted to study under Martin Seligman and his colleagues at Penn.  Simply put, my studies at Penn focused on answering a philosophical question, “What makes life worthwhile?”  We examined subjects related to positive emotions, relationships, meaning, achievement, vitality, purpose, and the benefits of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. I combined my studies at Penn with my practical business knowledge and enhanced my consulting practice to include coaching methods and approaches. I help people make career decisions and achieve career goals. Typical topics are:

How to build resilience while looking for a job 

How to be your best when it matters most (job interviews and critical discussions)

How to be happier and more engaged at work

How to know yourself (self-awareness) and differentiate (brand) yourself 

Coaching methods that encourage leaders to grow, change and develop

How to build emotional resiliency, ward off discouragement, and learn from mistakes

How to coach high performance teams

How to identify and apply strengths in the workplace

My Credentials

  • Certified – Senior Human Resource Professional (SPHR)
  • Certified SHRM-SCP by the Society of Human Resources Professionals
  • Certified – Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI)
  • Certified – Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (TalentSmart)
  • Certified – Positive Psychology Coach (Positive Acorn)
  • Certified – Positive Psychology Practitioner (CAPP) Flourishing Center
  • Specializations: career decisions, interview preparation and boot camp, executive coaching
  • Master Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) | University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pennsylvania Secondary School Selection Committee Interviewer (2008 – 2013)
  • University of Pennsylvania Alumni Interviewer/ Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (2008-2013)
  • Facilitator – Military Resilience Training | Penn Positive Psychology Center (2010)
  • Frequent speaker on career matters, interviewing, resumes, positive psychology and strengths-based management practices in the workplace and Encore careers
  • Career Coach for Encore Tampa Bay (EncoreTampaBay.com)
  • Workshop presenter at University of South Florida, Muma College of Business, School of Accounting (2014, 2015, 2016)

On the Personal Side

Ask anyone who knows me, I’m passionate about my work as a career consultant and executive coach. I love what I do. My enthusiasm is contagious and often affects my clients in positive ways. I love to learn, collect information and share the latest research and trends; but my vocation is only a part of me. I’m also an avid reader. Contemporary fiction, psychology and the New Yorker magazine are among my favorites. I’ve been in a book club for over 20 years and spend much of my free time reading.  I love nature and try my best to be a good steward of the environment.  I spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in my garden where I grow herbs, lots of orchids and battle weeds!  Inside, the kitchen is one of my favorite rooms where I enjoy creating “one pot wonders” of comfort food for family and friends.

But here’s what’s most important to know about me, I did not simply study applied positive psychology, I live it. I practicing it everyday.  I meditate every morning. It is a ritual that centers me and keeps me focused. I practice yoga three times a week. I exercise five days a week. I take time to savor the good things that happen and connect with family and friends in meaningful ways. All which helps me deal with the highs and lows of life.

I’ve been happily married to Richard A. Jacobson, Sr. for 31 years. He’s my “steadfast tin soldier”.  Richard is a partner at a national law firm. He specializes in foreign tax law.  Our son, Rick Jacobson is a resident surgeon and researcher working at the University of Chicago.

Paying it Forward

I am grateful to my friends, relatives (especially Dad) and mentors who have helped me along the way.  I strive to pay their kindness and generosity forward. My community service projects have varied through the years from delivering for Meals-on-Wheels to helping underserved and unemployed individuals in the Tampa Bay community and at Metropolitan Ministries with workshops, resume advice, and interview tips.

I also volunteer at EncoreTampaBay.com and Encore Academy where I work with a “Dream Team” of coaches presenting programs that serve the career needs of individuals (Baby Boomers) seeking second careers and career transitions.