Taking a holistic new look at careers

"POULSBO - Sometimes tragedy can be a good thing. It certainly was for Maria Marsala. The native New Yorker (like thousands of people across the nation each year) was involved in a serious car accident while residing on the east coast. But instead of taking the why me? approach to the incident, Marsala instead took stock of her life. Following the crash, Marsala completed what she called her life resumé, in which she jotted down every single job (paid and unpaid) she ever had The resume offered her true insight into what field she was really meant to work in. Having experience as a Wall Street trader (not as stressful as managing, she said), a consultant and a teacher among other occupations, Marsala found that she had the potential to be a great coach. It was one of those things that just popped up at me, she explained with a smile, accompanied with what she called a slow-Brooklyn accent. "

“POULSBO – Sometimes tragedy can be a good thing. It certainly was for Maria Marsala. The native New Yorker (like thousands of people across the nation each year) was involved in a serious car accident while residing on the east coast. But instead of taking the why me? approach to the incident, Marsala instead took stock of her life. Following the crash, Marsala completed what she called her life resumé, in which she jotted down every single job (paid and unpaid) she ever had The resume offered her true insight into what field she was really meant to work in. Having experience as a Wall Street trader (not as stressful as managing, she said), a consultant and a teacher among other occupations, Marsala found that she had the potential to be a great coach. It was one of those things that just popped up at me, she explained with a smile, accompanied with what she called a slow-Brooklyn accent. She attended Coach University via the Internet from December 1997 until her graduation in April 2000. That and life experience gave her good roots which she is now using to help her clients’ business and career dreams flourish. I’m doing what I love to do, Marsala said, noting that she is helping people do things they want to do too. I use whatever knowledge I have to do this. Although she was a life-long resident of the east coast, a visit to Bellevue 22 years ago planted a seed that would germinate and finally grow into a yearning for Northwest-style living. She tried Staten Island and then North Carolina but it soon became clear that it was pretty much Washington or bust. It never left me… I had the idea of getting here all the while I was in North Carolina, she said, noting that she decided it was high time to follow her dream. (Because) I assist my clients as they turn their dreams into reality by removing the gaps in their personal and professional life, I thought it only fair to complete doing the same with my life. I just knew I wanted to go to Washington, she added. So, after more than two decades, Marsala made another trip to Bellevue. I spent a month there and found out that things had changed in the last 20 years, she said laughing. Still wanting to escape from the big city, Marsala moved to East Bremerton last October before relocating in Poulsbo this May. Setting up her small coaching business here wasn’t easy because, instead of rolling out the red carpet, the city rolled out the red tape. The jury is still out on Poulsbo, Marsala said, when asked whether she liked it here. As a coach, she said many clients want to meet face-to-face with her at home. City code required her to obtain a business permit for the home occupation as a result, even though the majority of her work is done via the telephone and the Internet. The process has been a laborious one, according to Marsala. I’m rebuilding my business right now, she said, undeterred. This is making me take stock of what I’m doing. Marsala currently teaches many classes and conducts coaching groups over the phone. Certain classes are listed at www.coachmaria.com. This fall, she will also be instructing students through the Bainbridge Community School and through the Poulsbo Parks Department. Marsala is a member of the International Coaching Federation, a graduate of Coach University a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Organization, Peer Resources Coaching, TeenCoach and Webgrrls. She is also a web published author, who writes a monthly article OnLine Review for the Seattle New Times. The New York native is currently writing her first e-book called, Permission Slips for Business Owners, which will be available by the end of the year. “

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