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 all of our specialties if they desire.

Barbara Babkirk

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Barbara, a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, 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 broadly from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs. They may be employees at any level who have been laid off due to downsizing or restructuring, professionals who, after decades in a particular career, want to explore an alternative for their second half of life, or women interested in meaningful work after raising children. All these have in common the desire to make a change, and  transition to a new chapter of their professional life. She has developed expertise helping boomers transitioning 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.

A French major in college, Barbara is passionate about all things French. Since 1999, she has offered 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: 207-775-6400 or


Amy Jaffe

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Amy has firsthand experience with the challenges of career transition, having been downsized while working in human resources for a financial services company early in her professional life. As a result, her approach to  career counseling combines empathy and sensitivity with practical, actionable counsel.

In the midst of her career transition, Amy took advantage of the career counseling that was offered to her, and her career path was forever changed. Her personal experience navigating the tumultuous “quarter-life” years has influenced her career counseling and become the primary focus of her interest and expertise. Recognizing that individuals in their twenties and thirties often need the benefits of an objective perspective to make informed choices about work, Amy incorporates interests, skills, and personality assessments into her work with quarter-life clients. She helps clients develop greater clarity about themselves, explore their career options, and confidently articulate their career choices.

In addition, Amy brings to Heart At Work Associates expertise in job interview preparation. Any client can meet with her to learn interviewing techniques, enhance their skills, and prepare for specific interview situations. Amy also helps clients with other practical aspects of the job search such as resumé and cover letter development and networking.

Amy held positions at the University of San Francisco, Golden Gate University, and Bates College, in addition to working in private practice since 2006.

A mother of two young children, Emma and Milo, Amy lives in Portland with her husband, Justin, and wily dog Wallace.

Amy has a Master’s Degree in Career Development from JFK University, a BA in political science from Colgate University and attended Waynflete School.



Nancy Rankin

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In joining Heart at Work Associates, Nancy comes full circle to her roots as a career counselor. She has extensive experience working with adults young and old in a variety of settings – higher education, business, outplacement, and private practice. Most recently, she has been a full-time faculty member in the Psychology Department at the University of New England where she has taught Lifespan Development among other courses. This experience has only deepened her appreciation for the importance of re-evaluating one’s priorities and values throughout the different life stages, particularly with respect to work.

Nancy brings empathy and a strong intuitive sense as well as a practical focus to helping others find or create meaningful work. She is skilled at helping clients assess their skills, personality style, and values while offering suggestions and support for future directions.

In addition, Nancy loves to encourage the use of the creative process when wrestling with important life issues, particularly challenges around work. To that end, she created a workshop, Life Tapestries, that offers the opportunity to explore a specific issue from a more intuitive, experiential approach.

Outside of work, Nancy plays violin with a community string ensemble, No Strings Attached. It offers a way for her to connect to her love of playing music with and for others.

Nancy has an M.Ed. from the University of Vermont, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Maine, a National Board Certified Counselor, and a trained administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Contact Nancy at: or 207-251-9356.


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


Jim Peacock

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Jim Peacock

Jim, an experienced career coach, has served in leadership roles in career offices in colleges and universities and is a nationally certified Global Career Development Facilitator (CDF) Instructor. He has taught the CDF class since 2000. In 2007, he received the Outstanding Career Practitioner Award from National Career Development Association (NCDA). Jim is a two-time Past President of Maine Career Development Association.

His philosophy when working with clients is to listen first, discover the passions, skills, and values, then to encourage clients to trust their instincts and embrace intentional serendipity in their career development. He believes that career paths are often created by by accident and his work has been influenced the “happenstance theory” of career counseling by John Krumboltz.

Jim has hiked over 1600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, loves kayaking, fishing, camping, and anything outdoors. He continues to play hockey 2-3 times / week in the fall and winter months. He and his wife have three grown children, and two of the world’s most amazing grandchildren.

Contact Jim: 207.649.9761 or


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