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Former GSA Head – Into the World of Self-Publishing

Originally Posted by: SHANTEÉ WOODARDS
Posted On: http://www.capitalgazette.com
Date Posted: Dec 24, 2012


Martha Johnson’s new job allows her to wear jeans to work, sing in her church choir and swim at night.

It is a far cry from her work as head of the General Services Administration. This spring, Johnson resigned from the position after reports surfaced about lavish spending at a Las Vegas conference in 2010. Aside from her departure, the $823,000 trip led to firings and disciplinary action among other top officials. Now the 60-year-old West Annapolis resident has started a different venture — writing.

Johnson recently self-published “In Our Midst,” a coming-of-age story about a gay boy. She also is working with a publisher on a nonfiction book about corporate leadership and what she has learned in her 33-year career. Friends from her past jobs — government, automotive industry, nonprofit organizations — have been shocked to learn that she’s writing.

“It’s been a hard year and lots of friends have been worried,” said Johnson, who has a husband and two children. “I tell them, ‘Actually, I just published a novel.’ And it just stops the conversation. It just changes the subject, which is wonderful. That’s been so much fun. I like the notion of surprising back.”

New career beginnings are quite common, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Labor Bureau estimates Americans hold an average of 11 jobs in their lifetimes.

That number can be influenced by the level of education and other demographic factors. For example, someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher was more likely to hold 11 to 14 jobs, whereas someone with less than a high school diploma would hold 15 or more jobs, according to Labor Bureau data.

Having a plan when transitioning to a new profession is key, said Melissa Marshall, who works as a career consultant at Boundless Innovations for Holistic Living. Plans should include taking a personality assessment test, listing likes and dislikes about their…


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