Executive and Career Transition Coaching

hermes|path is an approach that helps clients navigate career transitions by transforming obstacles into opportunities for positive change. Executives who find themselves needing guidance maneuvering the hurdles of a new role, or professionals stuck at a career crossroads will find that hermes|path coaching can help them examine their assumptions to gain wider perspective, boost their resilience, and successfully blaze a new path forward.



Strengths-Based Coaching  The hermes|path approach is to build on clients’ strengths, rather than focusing on their weaknesses. Clients learn to embrace their unique talents and use these skills as the basis for their growth. They are encouraged to follow their own paths and not a preconceived idea of what success looks like.

Crafting Creative Solutions  During a career in a perpetually changing design industry, Etta Jacobs honed her ability to quickly craft innovative and effective solutions to the full range of business challenges: dwindling resources, shrinking budgets, compressed timelines, interpersonal tensions, and sudden shifts in scope and market conditions. Drawing upon this design-thinking to boost clients’ resilience and capacity to innovate, Etta widens her clients' perspective, developing their ability to gracefully handle the hurdles in a 21st-century career.

Focusing on How, not Why  Many people struggle with change. One way to support clients through their transitions, is to focus on results. Clients are taught how to shift their perspective and reflect on how to make a change, rather than revisiting a cycle of why questions. Instead of asking clients why they have not followed their passion, they are asked how they can start to move forward.

Building Resilience  The heart of the hermes|path practice is strengthening resilience by encouraging clients to look at things in a new light. Clients are prompted to reexamine their assumptions about change, and to recognize that there are detours in every journey. The goal is to learn how to adapt quickly when life takes an unexpected turn—to see it as a serendipitous opportunity along the path.

About | Bio

Etta Jacobs, Founder

Etta Jacobs, Founder

About the Founder hermes|path was founded by Etta Jacobs. Etta's passion is helping people reach their highest potential. She quickly guides her clients to identify their goals and focus their energy to achieve sustainable results. Etta coaches her clients through career transitions, building their confidence, poise, and capacity to lead. She helps her clients cope with the anger, anxiety, and uncertainty that come with sudden job loss by channeling their energy into fruitful self-exploration. These clients quickly find realistic opportunities that capitalize on their skills and passions. Etta has a combination of real-world senior-level corporate experience and intuitive insight into her clients’ deepest skills and talents.

Etta gained her corporate expertise as an award-winning executive at two Fortune 500 companies, where she coached cohorts of managers and directed teams of creative professionals working on innovative, multi-million dollar projects. She shepherded her teams through continuous technological change and corporate reorganizations, providing the vision to drive innovation, nurturing their resilience and cultivating creative problem-solving skills. Etta mentored cross-site teams, building their agility as they reinvented production workflows, to meet increasingly aggressive deadlines, without sacrificing quality. 

Etta draws upon this experience to guide her clients to look at events through different lenses, question their assumptions, find creative and unexpected solutions to their career challenges, and build a career that is aligned with their strengths, talents, and values. 

Etta supports clients in corporate, non-profit, and educational organizations, including Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, Novartis, Agenus, United Jewish Philanthropies, Shore Educational Collaborative, and Social Innovation Forum.

Etta holds a Master of Organizational Psychology and is a Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF). Etta earned her MA and her Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from William James College. She has a BFA from Syracuse University. 

About the name  Hermes is the Greek god of transitions. He is a trickster, a messenger and guide. The hermes|path approach arose from 20 years of directing and mentoring creative professionals who would encounter obstacles at the most unfortunate times—usually right before major deadlines. These stumbling blocks, or “Hermes hiccups” would get the team’s hearts racing, fueling their creative energy. The Hermes hiccup is a metaphor for resilience. It encourages clients to view the inevitable obstacles in a new way—as serendipitous opportunities along their path.



I had the good fortune to work with Etta while in a tough professional situation, where I’d lost a good deal of faith in my motivation and competence. Working with Etta was a ‘centering’ experience for me, helping me to reconnect with what makes me effective, to build skills and strength to manage my environment better, and ultimately to commit to a major professional shift.

I’m extremely grateful for Etta’s coaching - always warm and truly engaged, and with just the right amount of challenging me with questions to help me move my thinking and action forward. Thank you, Etta!
— Jessica, Senior Non-Profit Leader
When I contacted Etta I was in desperate need of a new perspective. I found it difficult to see worth in myself outside of a job that was causing me immense anxiety. Over the course of our time together I discovered a new sense of professional viability and I was able to imagine my ideal future for the first time.

I would not have been able to do this without her assistance. I would recommend her service to anyone in need of a professional reset. She is worth the investment.
— Elle, Actor & Writer, Greater Boston
Etta strikes again!
So this morning I was faced with a difficult situation. I was preparing a response to a difficult email, and stopped, spoke to two coworkers and then wrote a respectful response. It was clear and to the point, stated my concerns, and some solutions. I thought, thank you Etta!

When I first met Etta, I would not have paused and approached the situation in that manner. I would have charged right in and made a decision based on my initial reaction. Etta was an amazing mentor to me, she helped bring out the best in me.

Through her coaching, Etta helped me develop a deeper knowledge of the business of publishing. She taught me how to approach difficult situations, and how to stand up for what I believe is right, in a respectful and thoughtful way. It is often at moments like this morning that pause and think of the effect Etta had on my life and career.
— Tricia, Design Manger, Hoboken, NJ
If you are experiencing fear, doubt, or anxiety like I was, Etta’s compassionate presence will guide you through an honest exploration of yourself. Etta provided the space and time to unpack my limiting thoughts about career transitioning that resulted in me enrolling in a coaching program after over two years of indecision.

Etta provides a delicate balance of accountability and flexibility allowing you to take ownership of your progress through self-reflection. She actively listens and intuitively knows the right questions to pose to encourage you to think deeper.

Working with Etta is an invaluable investment in yourself.
— Nancy, Future Wellness Coach, Greater Boston
“Who do I want to be when I grow up?” That was the conundrum I faced in my career path and I realized I needed assistance to focus, define and find the answer.

Etta has been pivotal in helping me find that answer. The tools and objectivity she brings have greatly honed my focus and thought process. More importantly, I feel like I am moving forward again towards a goal that I am energized and happy with; rather than treading water in the same spot wondering in which direction to swim.

Etta has been an invaluable resource for me. Whether you want to move up in your career or perform better on the path you are on, I would highly recommend Etta.
— Mike, Creative Director, Greater Boston
Etta was great at giving lots of feedback in a positive and constructive way. A lot of what she did, was validate what I already knew, which gave me the confidence to move forward with action steps I would have otherwise been tentative about executing. I learned that 360 degree evaluations have a lot of value, a self-care plan is just as important as a work plan, and that my emotions have a huge impact on my colleagues and employees.
— Jenny, Non-profit Director, Greater Boston
I am who I am today, thanks to Etta Jacobs. I reported directly to her, and had never managed people before. It was Etta’s coaching that influenced how I manage today. She not only guided me (and other managers) through challenging situations, but she always highlighted the important lessons.

She was very courageous. This was not something that came easily for me, as I was a bit more timid. Public speaking for example, was not my forte, and Etta was key to my becoming more confident in making presentations. She helped me break through my fears!

Etta was a strong advocate for design. I learned from Etta, to speak up in a way that is not overpowering or insulting, but respectful and clear—to not give up, but find creative ways to push things forward. Here is the quote from Etta that I’ll never forget: “It’s when times are hardest, that we need to be kindest to one another”.

At some challenging points in my life, Etta brought clarity, when I could not see what was right in front of my face. I love the advice Etta gives, because it always comes with a story. She can be very humorous, which makes you feel even more comfortable. In Etta’s eyes, there is always a bright side. She was always the first person I would want to talk to when I had an issue. Her compassion and her attention to our needs was something that I am not sure everyone experiences with their bosses. I couldn’t be more grateful for all she did for us.
— Christina, Design Manager, Montreal Canada
I was stuck, so unsure of what to do to change my situation, and Etta helped immensely. By leading me through a set of visual and mental exercises, Etta helped me identify the exact problem, and worked with me to develop tools to deal with it. Since then I’ve found a renewed sense of purpose and the strength to make changes for the better.
— Alex, Project Manager, Greater Boston
Thank you so much for that aha. It is so important to keep reminding ourselves that we are the driving force in our lives. It is so easy (incredibly) to fall into victimhood. As a coach, It is so easy to spend all your time and energy on other people’s careers that you forget about your own.

I appreciate how inspired I feel after speaking with Etta – although I have been coaching for a while and fall into traps a lot, Etta’s enthusiasm is contagious!

Etta has a special magic for sure!
— Diane, Leadership Coach, Greater Boston
Etta has natural coaching abilities and is a very skilled coach! She is empathetic, curious, and has a calming yet powerful presence. Etta is an excellent listener and is able to stay right with you no matter where the conversation leads.

Etta is very skilled at helping her clients really explore possibilities and come up with a plan of action. Etta’s real world experience in the professional world is an added bonus.
— Ellen, Certified Business Development Coach, Greater Boston
When I came to Etta, I was in a dark place and skeptical of coaching in general. With her help, I quickly discovered it wasn’t a new career path I was looking for, but a better understanding of my purpose in life. With that understanding, I am now able to open myself to the right opportunities when they arise.

Etta didn’t attempt to force me to follow rigid guidelines or tell me what was right for myself. It was her goal to help me surface the answers that were inside me all along.

Her ability to listen, prompt, and suggest explorations was like nothing I’ve experienced before. What she helped me learn about myself will always be with me. I now have no doubt, that with the help of the right coach, one can achieve almost anything!
— Andrew, Account Executive, Greater Boston
My friend gave me Etta as a contact because I was in a difficult place in my work and personal life. Etta helped me become aware of the “noise” that was around me which helped me clear the way to a better path. She listens intently, asked the right questions with no judgement. When I would pose a question back to her, she would answer in a way that would make me think about my question which helped me think more about what I wanted for myself.

I am very grateful to have been able to work with Etta and have her coach me. If in the future I need assistance again, she will be the first person I call. I would recommend Etta to anyone who needs an objective perspective that is not judgmental but has a lot of experience to offer.
— Joyce, Operations Manager of Business Analysts, Greater Boston
Etta is so good about pointing out things relevant to my goals, that are going well, even when I’m feeling things are moving at glacial speed. Recently, she pointed out that my style of acting on something requires me to contemplate for a while before taking action. That helps so much, when the next goal feels like a reach.

Etta is able to connect things that don’t seem obvious to me, but make a lot of sense put together. She’s a really good listener and puts things together from different parts of my life, even when I feel like I’ve been rambling on!
— Sarah, Professional Musician, Western MA
I was lucky to have Etta as a mentor for many years to model for me how to navigate successfully in a work environment that was constantly changing, full of challenging personalities and often unclear direction.

I worked directly with Etta from when I first began managing people to many years later when I was ready to move on. On reflection, the best part of working with her through this period of my career, is that she did not keep giving the same advice or direction. Etta tailored her responses to where I was in my career right then. If I was still working on mastering a challenge, she would work through it with me. If there was something that I already had the skills to resolve myself, she wasn’t afraid to gently point me toward that realization. She also never failed to point me toward opportunities where I could grow, even If I initially resisted the challenge.

Work is messy and difficult sometimes, and having Etta as a resource for me to talk through my thinking and approach to daily challenges was a real treasure for me.
— Hope, Design Manager, Montana
Etta possesses exceptional leadership skills and was able to coach our team to higher levels of productivity. She set a strong example for her group by exhibiting exemplary conduct and incrementally raising the bar with performance. She could also recognize talent by hiring some of the most effective members on our team.
— Rob, Publishing Professional, Greater New York
Etta prompted me in perceptive ways, listened carefully, shared great insights, and suggested fruitful explorations. A direct recommendation she made more than once—and which I initially dismissed—ended up being spot-on. When I found a new job—a perfect fit—it seemed like good fortune had landed in my lap and that the universe had conspired with me. But in fact, it was the work that Etta guided me through that helped me open to just the right possibilities when they presented themselves.
— Emily, Design and Communications Professional, Western MA

Etta connects with clients quickly and engages in relationships that help them grow. She provides strong guidance while ensuring the client is driving and accountable for their own development.
— Dr. Anne Perschel, Leadership and Business Psychologist, Greater Boston
Etta and I met for coffee... I wasn’t looking for a coach. But after a few minutes, Etta touched all my buttons! I was laughing, choked up, and realized how frazzled I was because I was simultaneously trying to walk on a few different paths. Since that is not truly possible until I can clone myself, something needed to change!

I’m a pleaser and an outgoing fun person who loves to say YES! I was spreading thin on all fronts; work, creativity, my business growth, personal growth/betterment, self care, family care, hubby and me time - I couldn’t escape this feeling of frustration, non achieving,

I’m pleased to say, that I’m better :)

After working with Etta, I feel more in control of myself and my life. I’m on one path, wearing many hats! But I know what I want, and how I want to live my life while supporting my family emotionally and financially.

I feel like I’m laying my path one brick at a time, so that it goes my way. When I hit a bump, I decide what the detour will look like as best I can. Feeling empowered helps handling surprises and expectations.
— Penelope, Floral Designer (among MANY other things), Greater Bosotn
Etta was highly effective in helping me chart a new course through a career change. She quickly helped me clarify my strengths, goals, values, and work style so that together we could identify a wide range of possibilities.

Equally important, she helped me overcome a fear of change. Her insights and perceptions have opened new doors, putting me in a place where I now have several viable, realistic options, and I can move forward with optimism and enthusiasm.
— Dawn, Writer and Book Editor, New Jersey
Etta has a great way of championing me and others. I always end up feeling more magnificent and wonderful than when I started a conversation with her. I’ve come to count on it from our interactions, knowing that if I have an idea that feels a little out there that she will be there, listening to what I have to say and genuinely enjoying what I bring to the conversation. I find it easy to internalize her compliments, too, because she hits such true places inside of me.
— Heather, Co-Active Coach, Atlanta, GA

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”

– Edward de Bono

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