Meet the Team at Heart At Work

We’re committed to building Maine’s economy by helping individuals prepare for and find work they love.

The Heart At Work Associates team offers a comprehensive array of career counseling and outplacement services tailored to each individual situation—a unique feature of our firm. From establishing a career direction to creating a successful job search strategy that incorporates current best practices and use of social media, we customize a path that leads to satisfying work for any life stage or level of employment. We offer a unique blend of skills and experiences and all Heart At Work Associates clients have access to the whole team, and can benefit from each of our specialties if they desire.

Barbara Babkirk

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Barbara has made it her life’s work to facilitate career transitions. A Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, she compares a person’s career path to the ancient symbol of a labyrinth that has many turns, but always leads to the center.

Her clients range from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs. They may have been laid off due to downsizing or restructuring or professionals who, after decades in a particular career, want to explore an alternative for their second half of life. All have in common the desire to make a change, and  transition to a new chapter of their professional lives. She has developed a particular expertise helping boomers transition from a primary career to their next life chapter.

Well established in the southern Maine business and non-profit community, Barbara has been an active leader in the Maine Women’s Fund, a foundation benefiting women and girls in Maine and the Human Resources Association of Southern Maine where she has held a leadership role for several years.

A French major in college, Barbara is passionate about all things French. She has led retreats in Provence and most recently Paris, where participants travel to Chartres to walk the famous labyrinth to foster reflection and inspiration for their life and work journey.

Barbara lives and works in Portland with her husband, Doug. Her daughter, Kate, blessed her with a grandson, Hudson, who has already joined her for a labyrinth walk.

Barbara holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire, and the following certifications and professional designations: Master Career Counselor (National Career Development Association’s highest designation) National Board Certified Counselor, Certified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Certified Focusing Trainer, Certified Third Age Coach and trained labyrinth facilitator through Veriditas.

Contact Barbara for a conversation about how she can assist in your work transition: 207-775-6400 or


Doug Babkirk

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With an extensive background in higher education and group facilitation, Doug designs and offers uniquely tailored retreats for individuals and groups seeking to reconnect who they are with their work in the world. With a focus on supporting individuals through end-of-career transitions, he facilitates groups of individuals to clarify who and how they want to be in the next phase of their lives.

Doug believes that creating safe places for individuals in group settings can build their courage to act with greater personal integrity and authenticity.

As a trained facilitator prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal, founded by educator, social activist and author, Parker J. Palmer, Doug has worked with private and not for profit organizations, community groups, clergy, teachers and school administrators and college faculty who called upon his facilitation to guide them through significant personal and organizational transitions.

Doug lives in Portland with his wife Barbara and enjoys cooking with his grandson and kayaking in Casco Bay.

For more information about the Center for Courage & Renewal and its network of facilitators worldwide:

Contact Doug: 207-712-5140 or


David Lee

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David brings a diverse background and set of skills to his career coaching and consulting, including:

  • Expertise helping people have the “courageous conversations” they need to have—with themselves and with others.
  • Extensive experience developing behaviors that increase resilience and ability to face “change, challenge, and uncertainty”.
  • Involvement as a practitioner and lecturer in the field of mind/body medicine, and from that, an understanding of the impact our thoughts and beliefs have on our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as how our physical wellbeing affects how we perceive the world, and our ability to see opportunities (vs. only obstacles).
  • A deep interest in the Hero’s Journey concept and how that can inform our personal and professional development choices.
  • A passion for physical fitness and how it affects every aspect of how we “show up in life”, including aging well.

Much of David’s professional work—as well as his personal journey—has been focused on exploring these questions:

  1. What is the work you are meant to do?
  2. How do you bring your Best Self to work—and to life—each day?
  3. How do you create a “life ecosystem” that supports you being your Best Self and doing your best work?

He has a Masters in Counselor Education from the University of Maine at Orono.

When he’s not doing the work he loves, David enjoys surfing, yoga, reading, spending time with friends, and playing with his little blind rescue dog Minnie.

Contact: or 207-571-9898

Heart At Work Associates offers career counseling and outplacement services for your life stage in Portland, Maine and globally.

career counseling • outplacement & career transition services • relocation services • retention programs