Activating the BEST of you!

Career Coach Joan Tabb

Joan is a passionate professional on a mission to maximize your impact and help you to identify and activate your talents and passions. 

She is focused on career and executive coaching in Great in 8 Coaching, and as of 2018, has added a new expertise to empower Baby Boomers in ReVitalment—the later and potentially most impactful stage of life when people can bring all of their experiences, talents and passions to their vital next chapter of life. Joan is reinvigorating the retirement paradigm and wants to unleash all of the latent energies that can be propelled into making our lives better, our communities better, and our world better.

Joan brings a dynamic Silicon Valley career to Great in 8 Coaching with a decade in management at Apple, Memorex, 3Com and Intel followed by a decade providing marketing leadership services. She then leveraged her expertise and pivoted to the empowerment business, activating people to maximize their impact and sense of  fulfillment. Her specialties, in career and executive development, now include Re-Vitalment—activating people in their later chapters of life—a stage that has been under-appreciated.

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’s Passion to Empower

Joan invests deeply in each and every client. She helps you to identify and build on your strengths, identify opportunities for further development, mitigate weaker areas and illuminate blind spots. Together you navigate as a team. You will get the preparation you need to succeed.

Joan takes a 360-­degree approach with each client including where and how their work fits into the bigger picture of their life. The results speak for themselves. Take a look at the Client Story section of this site and learn more about some real client successes. Joan is always eager to share her strategy-­packed tool chest. She has a love and passion for empowering people. If you’re ready for change and advancement, you’ve come to the right coach.

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.


“Working with Joan has been a transforming experience. I sought out Joan when I was at a crossroads, first to seek career guidance and then to upgrade my self-marketing skills to thrive in today's arena. While working on these relatively concrete objectives, I also evolved into a better manager and worker from the heightened consciousness I developed through Joan's discovery process.

Through Joan's coaching, I now:
• Can clearly articulate my strengths and the value I bring to my current and prospective roles
• Think more strategically about everything, from problem-solving to email communications and conversations
• View my role from a fresh perspective and with renewed vigor, increasing my engagement and performance.

Best yet, Joan helped tailor approaches to suit me: my style, my beliefs and motivations. This allowed me to speak and act authentically immediately, and eventually naturally with practice. Joan is everything I could ask for in a career coach: insightful, inspiring, and most of all, effective."

Supply Chain Development at Hewlett-Packard

“It is rare to come across a talent like Joan! She has the unique ability to know just when to bolster your sense of personal empowerment and confidence throughout the roller coaster ride of a new career search. She applies her practical real life professional experience to mapping out your career search development plan and keeps you on track every step of the way. I found her to be instrumental in assisting me to successfully and confidently bring out the best possible version of myself. I could not recommend Joan more highly!”

Logistics Project Manager at HGST, Inc.