Activating the best of you!

Joan Tabb

Strategic Career Development & Executive Coaching

Joan brings incredible energy, passion, and a proven track record from a dynamic 20+ year Silicon Valley career to Great in 8 Coaching. Her experience includes a decade in management at Apple, Memorex, 3Com and Intel followed by a decade providing marketing leadership services. 

Her approach to coaching involves increasing the client’s self awareness and skills, for advancement and impact at work. Joan has helped hundreds of people one on one, and many more through seminars, books, and over 100+ articles on career advice.

“I highly recommend Joan as a strategic partner to anyone who wants to enhance their career. She brings deep expertise in career development and management, as well as the corporate business arena. She is perceptive, insightful, passionate, and focused on making a difference in her client’s careers. She is both a coach and a skill builder. Joan helped me with a unique 360 assessment, working closely to give me new insights and strategies. She has helped me chart my career forward. Working with Joan has been an excellent career investment and I will return to her as I move forward.”
Senior Technical Program Manager at VMware

Joan’s Career Story—Innovation!

Arriving in Silicon Valley with a fresh Master’s degree in training, Joan’s timing was impeccable as she had the opportunity to develop award-winning sales training at Memorex. Then recruited to Apple, she was training lead on the powerful Macintosh launch team, resulting in award-winning training. She was then recruited to marketing where she spearheaded the development of hundreds of Apple User Groups, and became a spokesperson to Apple audiences around the nation. But she was unsuccessful in her bid to then Apple CEO John Scully to globalize the company’s marketing programs.
But 3Com saw the light! Joan was recruited to 3Com to play a leadership role to globalize marketing programs. These included user groups, advertising, direct marketing, developer relations and success story programs. Joan was passionate as a manager in selecting, developing and mentoring employees on her team. And she was a proud innovator of globalizing marketing when others were US-only focused.
Joan was also a founder of the Silicon Valley chapter of the National Society for Performance and Instruction. While there, she was asked to play a volunteer leadership role in the Palo Alto Career Action Center. At the Center she initiated a training program with Stanford University for the then-new concept, ‘Informational Interviewing’ and taught it to hundreds of people. She found she loved training and mentoring in the career empowerment arena.
In the next decade, Joan’s entrepreneurship began, starting both Focused Marketing and Charisma Communication, consultancies driving global marketing and branding programs for Fortune 500 Companies and several notable startups.
Next, when the tech downturn hit, as a community­-minded leader, Joan built and led employment networks to help get people back to work. It was during that time that she identified key differences between the good and the great job seekers. Those eight differences laid the foundation for her dedicated coaching practice, and the strategies in her book, Great in 8: Job Seeking Skills which has been a 5-­star winner on, and a key tool in her work with clients.
Joan is a sought-after speaker and subject matter expert, recognized by Congresswoman Jackie Speier as a ‘dynamic speaker, filled with enthusiasm’ six years in a row for the San Mateo County ‘Job Hunters’ Boot Camp’ bringing thousands of job seekers together for advice, encouragement and coaching. Joan was consistently evaluated as a top speaker. She is regularly invited to present to professional organizations where she has built the reputation as a dynamic presenter on a full range of career topics. Joan ensures that her talks are lively, interactive and leave all participants with actionable strategies to move their careers forward!

Joan earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology—with honors—from the University of Pennsylvania, and distinguished herself as the top student in marketing classes at the Wharton School.

She then went on to earn a master’s degree in Instructional Technology and Training from the University of Oregon. She also studied Literature, Theater and Psycholinguistics at the University of London and Public Relations and studied Advertising at New York University. She was privileged to take Margaret Mead’s last seminar in Anthropology at the New School for Social Research in NYC.
In career and executive coaching, Joan marries all of her professional skills, training, experiences and passions to help people see, embrace and articulate their talents and capabilities—ultimately for a better life.