Lafayette Hill resident Jan Moskowitz Zacharjasz, founder of a life-coaching firm called Coaching for Resilience, is offering a free five-day online workshop titled “Kickstart Your Midlife Reboot” next week.

by Barbara Sherf

Are you a “Baby Boomer” in need of help managing change rather than allowing change to define you? If so, Lafayette Hill resident Jan Moskowitz Zacharjasz, the founder of a life-coaching firm called Coaching for Resilience, is offering a free five-day online workshop titled “Kickstart Your Midlife Reboot” next week.

The half-hour workshops take place on Facebook Live at noon from Monday, Feb. 4 through Friday, Feb. 8, and will be recorded for future playback. Zacharjasz earned her M.S. in Human Organization Science from Villanova University and her B.S. in Individual and Family Studies from Penn State University, where she graduated as class valedictorian.

A Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, Zacharjasz believes the changes Boomers experience can be highly distressing, and her goal is to help people navigate through different options today.

“In midlife there are so many different changes that take place in our roles and responsibilities. We can all use some help shifting our mindset and expectations when we reach certain milestones, like when adult children move back home, your spouse becomes ill, or you retire early unexpectedly. Along with these role changes comes plenty of stress and the need for reinvention,” said Zacharjasz. “This program is all about helping people to see where they are in their lives and move to the next steps.”

Zacharjasz brings a 25-plus-year career in program management, coaching and group facilitation to her work in resilient living. Her work spans the public and private sectors in healthcare, with focus on the changing needs of Baby Boomers who are redefining what it means to age today. She started her business two years ago and had to learn how to navigate technology and social media.

“I think that communications today are very different from when we grew up. There is so much going on digitally these days, and things happen at a much faster pace. It can be daunting to take it in and continue to feel relevant, particularly as people think about retiring,” said Zacharjasz, 62, who did not demur when asked her age. “Oh, my age does have relevance. I’m a member of the ‘sandwich generation’ and caregiver for my 90-year-old mother, whom I love dearly. I also cared for my mother-in-law, whom I adored, too, for seven years through Alzheimer’s. I’m focusing on people in mid- and later life and can absolutely relate to all of this.”

Most recently, Zacharjasz directed an award-winning discussion group program at a dozen locations in Philadelphia named “The Next Chapter – Talking About Our Lives,” designed to promote successful aging in those who are 55+. This program focused on health and wellness, social connectivity, life transitions and strategies for cultivating positive aging.

“Every day as early as 5 a.m. there will be a post with the day’s exercises. Participants will be asked to visualize where they want to go and tap into the strengths they’ve used in the past for their current situation,” said the mother of two daughters who graduated from Penn Charter School in East Falls.

Mindy, 31, a graduate of Northwestern University and Teach for America, has worked for several education technology start-up firms and lives in Philadelphia. Shelly, 26, was a Special Ed teacher at Overbrook Educational Center for students with visual impairments, and she is currently working on a Master’s degree in School Counseling.

Zacharjasz is married to a Cuban Jew, Mario, an architect and Principal Partner at PZS Architects in Roxborough. The couple will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary in March. Mario serves on the boards of the Kimmel Center, Salvation Army and Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. Zacharjasz is a past President of Erdenheim-based Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun and Chair of the Bux-Mont Regional Coalition. Starting a new business at 60 can be daunting, but Zacharjasz said she had a great role model in her 90-year-old mother, Dr. Gertrude Moskowitz, who is still living in the family home in Penn Valley.

“She was an innovator and ahead of her time, working for 35 years at Temple University training nearly every ESL (English as a Second Language) and foreign language teacher in Philadelphia. She got her doctorate when I was in elementary school when most mothers were housewives and spoke around the world.”

While she teaches at several area adult night schools, including Plymouth Whitemarsh Adult Evening School, Main Line School Night and Temple Ambler Campus, Zacharjasz is excited about taking her work to an even broader audience.

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