Director of Marketing
Operational Efficiency Consultant
Chief Commercial Officer
VP of Business Development
Vice President of Market Access
B. Randall Willis
Head of Client Success
Senior Patient Experience Role
VP of Marketing Operations
Lisa Pooley - Success Study
Director of Marketing
Lisa Pooley was director of marketing for a small cybersecurity software company.
Cybersecurity, Software, Supply Chain
After losing two jobs within a year due to corporate reorganizations, Lisa worried that employers might think twice about hiring her. She wanted help putting her best foot forward in finding a new role – and quickly.
Lisa reflected on her career goals and her value proposition, then leveraged the power of LinkedIn and her own social capital to land a great job with a promising future.
After four months, Lisa landed a position as director of marketing at a Mexican supply chain and logistics company hoping to use Lisa’s talents to break into the American market.
Lisa Pooley had been director of marketing for a small, cybersecurity software company for seven months when the organization got a new president – with a new vision. He decided to hire an outside ad agency and let his entire in-house marketing team go.
The timing was incredible because Lisa had just been laid off earlier in the year from another company also in the throes of a corporate reorganization. After the first job loss, Lisa had hit the job boards and worked tirelessly to find another position, sending out hundreds of applications in the process. She landed a new role within four months of job hunting and felt fortunate to be able to choose from among three job offers. What bad luck, then, to have chosen a company that laid her off again within months! Worse, how would she look to prospective employers as she started job searching again?
“How many people at my level lose jobs twice in one year? I knew it would look terrible on paper. I needed someone to help me make warm handshakes. That’s when I reached out to The Barrett Group,” said Lisa.
Lisa began doing The Barrett Group (TBG) Clarity program, and she loved it. She enjoyed that her Clarity coach, Mike Stromberg, challenged her to assess her career and her personal life – especially her family life – from a fresh perspective to determine what makes sense for her now. She also found great value in learning more about her communication style and how best to interact with people who have different communication styles.
“Going through Clarity with Mike was a great experience. He got me thinking about my ideal work-life balance, what I want to achieve, and my goals in three, five, and ten years. I hadn’t done that in a long time, and it was extremely beneficial because a lot has changed since I started my career.”
Lisa had done marketing her entire career and had worked at the director level for most of that time. She hoped that obtaining a VP position might be in her future – at a minimum, she wanted a position that was comparable to what she had been doing. Still, she was cognizant that her age was becoming a liability.
“I’m older, and sometimes people would rather mold a younger person to a role than pay for someone with a lot of experience. I needed to re-brand myself. Being a marketing person, you’d think I’d be on top of how to do that, but I wasn’t. Things have evolved and changed, and I knew I couldn’t count on doing things the way I had always done them.”
With that in mind, one of the first things Lisa did when she transitioned to the next stage of TBG’s program was to get new, professional photos taken. She also started reworking her resume and her LinkedIn profile with her career consultant, Rob Wicker.
“Rob is great and very engaging. Going through the whole TBG process with him was very enlightening, starting with my resume. My resume had been professionally revised not long ago, but it needed fluffing up. The new resume we created with the TBG writing team did well when I sent them out.”
When it came to LinkedIn, Lisa realized how much more she could – and should – be doing to leverage the platform for job seeking – and for career management, in general.
“I was active on LinkedIn, but not like I should be. I probably have 1,800 contacts on LinkedIn, but I never paid attention to the value of that. I just got caught up in my own world,” said Lisa. “I should be reaching out to people. I should be posting and creating my own content. I’ve made it a goal to do that regularly now. I’ve learned a lot of new ways to use it, too, like identifying people with connections to job leads or exploring possible new industries that could use my marketing skills.”
Lisa appreciated the way Rob kept her focused on the job seeking process – especially when it came to elements of the program that were new to her.
“Social capital building was difficult for me because I hadn’t done it before, but Rob explained why it was important. I had done networking before, but social capital building is different. It involves offering your services to people. I didn’t want to do it, at first, but I started with my close network and got some good responses, which was great. I found it to be refreshing to connect with old friends – and rewarding! At one company I applied to, I realized that I knew someone who worked there. Rob told me to ask him to put in a good word for me. I would not have thought to do that before. My contact did as I asked, and I ended up getting selected for the next round of interviews!”
Lisa didn’t land that job, but the experience gave her confidence that the process works, and it helped her grasp the value of social capital. With a deepening sense of her own professional value, too, she kept up her efforts, reaching out to others in her network and offering to pay-it-forward.
One of those individuals was Lisa’s former boss, herself a veteran of the pay-it-forward methodology. Lisa’s boss commended Lisa’s gesture and encouraged her to keep up such activities throughout her career. Then, instead of accepting any services from Lisa, she turned around and helped Lisa land a position that was perfect for her.
“My boss from my former company was connected through a professional organization to someone who was recruiting for a director of marketing position. She told that person that she knew me and recommended that she interview me. The woman did, after which I went on to have six more interviews at the company.”
Lisa got the job – and within four months of beginning the TBG program.
The role is at a mid-sized, supply chain and logistics company based in Mexico City with plans to relocate their headquarters to the U.S. Lisa’s assignment is to create the company’s brand in the U.S. Even more exciting is that there is potential for her job to turn into a chief marketing officer position, which would fulfill her longer-term career goal.
“I love my new position! I’ve been here a month now, and it’s the perfect role for me. I’m leading all the marketing in the US and am enjoying being able to make significant decisions. This organization is small enough that I know I will wear lots of hats and will learn a lot.”
Lisa is grateful to have learned TBG’s job search methodology because she is convinced of the career benefits it can yield. She has even taken to coaching people in her own life on all she has learned.
“I found so much value in The Barrett Group program – from Clarity to career management best practices. Going through the TBG program helped me understand what I truly want to do and how to attain it. The value of leveraging your social network is powerful. I am now sharing everything I know with my family and friends about the importance of building and maintaining social ties, because those ties really help uncover new positions and new opportunities!”
Agata Lewandowska - Success Study
Operational Efficiency Consultant
Agata Lewandowska was head of administration and facility management at the Polish affiliate of a multinational engineering and technology company.
Administration, Engineering, Technology, Finance, Health, Non-Profit, Audit
When her husband was offered a job in Geneva, Agata quit her own job in Warsaw and looked for a new one in Switzerland, but job hunting was challenging in another country.
Agata revised her CV and LinkedIn profile and worked hard to develop a network of contacts in Geneva where she knew no one.
Within about three months, Agata was offered a position as an operational efficiency consultant at a major non-governmental organization with a much better compensation package than she’d expected.
Agata Lewandowska was head of administration and facility manager at the Polish affiliate of a multinational engineering and technology company in Warsaw. She loved her job and was highly valued by the company for her skill in optimizing processes and creating efficiencies. However, she and her husband hankered for adventure, and they knew that they were unlikely to come by it unless they actively took steps to make it happen.
“I adored working at my company, but we wanted a change. Our life was very comfortable, but if you don’t consciously change things, you could do the same thing for your whole life,” said Agata. “So, my husband took a job in Switzerland, and we moved to Geneva.”
The move was good timing for Agata who was pursuing an MBA at the time and was stretched thin by the demands of her intensive academic load on top of work and family responsibilities. She left her job and spent her first year in Switzerland concentrating on completing her degree. Although she welcomed the relative break it afforded her, Agata’s new normal required her to fly back to Warsaw each weekend for classes and exams and left her no time to develop relationships in Switzerland.
As soon as she graduated, Agata was eager to get back to work. She had been out of the workforce for 10 months, by that point, but figured that having an MBA would open new doors for her. She underestimated the hurdles she would encounter, however.
“In Geneva they speak French. To work as a head administration or facility manager again, I’d have to speak fluent French, which I don’t – I speak French at an intermediate level. So, I thought I would target a role as a business analyst or project manager at an international company because I have solid experience in those two areas and, at an international company, I could use English,” said Agata.
Agata was industry-agnostic, which should have made her job search easier, but no matter how many jobs she applied to, no matter how well she fit an advertised position, her search went nowhere.
“I updated my CV and applied for numerous positions, but I got no responses at all. Nothing. It was like I was sending applications into the depths of the universe,” said Agata. “Many people told me I should forget about my experience and apply for junior roles, but I didn’t want to take a huge step back in my career. After three months, I knew I needed help.”
That’s when Agata found The Barrett Group.
“I had a list of top-level headhunters from my MBA program, but I didn’t want a headhunter. I wanted a job. Headhunters just try to fit people into jobs that are available. I wanted an organization with a different approach. The Barrett Group was the only company of this kind that I found.”
Agata started the Clarity program in December and valued the confirmation it gave her of her strengths and attributes.
“I have undergone lots of training and development programs, so I wasn’t surprised by the outcomes of the Clarity assessments, but after being out of work for so long I had started to doubt the value that I offer employers,” said Agata. “Clarity not only affirmed that, but also it gave me a good idea of how to leverage my strengths and discuss my weaknesses in a realistic and positive way.”
In the next phase of TBG’s program, Agata worked with her coach to revise her CV, her motivation letter, and her LinkedIn profile. At the same time, her coach gave her exercises to begin building her network.
“It felt like the revision of my documents took a long time, but I realized later that it was designed that way to give me time to do the networking exercises. I had little experience with that, and I had very few contacts at all in Switzerland – 95% of my network was in Poland,” said Agata.
Agata’s coach, Rebeca Gelencser, had her start by reaching out to contacts in Poland to get used to the process. Then she showed her how to reach out to people in Switzerland.
“I didn’t have a lot of confidence at that point, but Rebeca was so supportive of me. She seemed more confident in me than I was in myself!” said Agata.
As Agata developed her network, Rebeca showed her how best to communicate her skills.
“After about a month, I could see things starting to roll. I would talk to someone, who gave me the contact information of someone else. It was a really precious exercise,” said Agata. “To be honest, I never got to the point where I felt entirely comfortable with it because then I found a job!”
Agata’s coach learned of a great opportunity and brought it to Agata’s attention.
“Rebeca saw a position for process optimization at a major non-governmental funding organization and connected me with the recruiter. This was the first job I applied to for which I felt my skills matched 100% and which also matched my requirements. It seemed perfect for me.”
After submitting a CV, Agata was invited to interview and take an assessment. She was delighted when the recruiter then invited her to apply for a second position in a different department.
“I was pursuing opportunities in two different departments. I finally got an offer from the first one, which I preferred. The offer was way higher than I expected, and I accepted it without waiting to hear about the second position.”
Agata is delighted to be back to work and in a role that offers challenge commensurate with her experience. The uniqueness of her success isn’t lost on her.
“It’s really hard to get a job if you arrive unemployed in a country where you have no network. All the immigrants I know in Switzerland said it was inevitable that I would have to take a lower-level position.”
Agata credits The Barrett Group program, and especially her coach, for helping her to forge a new path.
“I used to wonder who on earth would pay for a coach. I felt that I could always motivate myself – but that isn’t always the case. I often felt so discouraged. But Rebeca gave me strength and optimism after every conversation. She made me feel that I could do it,” said Agata. “The Barrett Group was so valuable because it offered me a different approach. I’m not yet comfortable with networking, but I’m sold on the process, and I’m going to keep working at it.”
Peter Witke - Success Study
Chief Commercial Officer
Peter Witke was head of international sales at a medical supply company in northern Europe.
Medical Devices & Equipment
When an executive-level disagreement about management structure forced him to seek other employment in the middle of the Covid crisis, Peter knew he needed help.
Reeling from an unanticipated severance, Peter benefited greatly from the Clarity program, which helped him better understand himself and his ideal work environment.
In two months, Peter landed a role as chief commercial officer at a company with a great need for someone with his skillset.
As head of international sales for a spinal device medical supply company in Germany, Peter Witke oversaw distribution to 37 countries around the world. He designed local strategies for business partners, managed the corporate sales structure, and set organizational goals. He racked up many impressive achievements, including 39% growth in Europe. Despite his accomplishments, however, a disagreement with company leadership about management structure evolved into an untenable work environment, and Peter left the company.
Peter had always managed his job searches and knew what to do. He contacted recruiters, reached out to his network, and signed up for LinkedIn Premium for premium job access resources. But this time was different – the Coronavirus had just begun sweeping across Europe.
“At the start of Covid all the responses I got from recruiters and hiring managers were a variation of ‘We aren’t hiring now because of Covid,’” said Peter. “I also learned that, nowadays, the majority of CVs are run through an algorithm that easily filters you out if you don’t tick a certain box. I hadn’t run into that before.”
As a homeowner and a father of four over age 50, Peter felt a high level of stress about his financial situation. He knew he matched the profile of someone who can expect high hurdles to a successful job search. So, when he learned about The Barrett Group (TBG) and the robust professional support they offer jobseekers to leverage the unpublished market to find their dream jobs, Peter was intrigued.
“I found The Barrett Group’s story appealing. When I heard from The Barrett Group that 75% of all jobs are found in the unpublished market and they can help me access it, I became very curious to find out what they do differently from what I have always done,” said Peter.
Peter first talked to Tomasz Lisewski and was impressed by TBG’s sales offerings. He remained skeptical, however, until he interviewed TBG CEO, Peter Irish, too.
“I became convinced that TBG could open doors to me that were currently closed – even in a completely different industry,” said Peter.
Peter signed on with TBG and began the Clarity program, which to his surprise, turned out to be the most valuable aspect of his entire experience.
“The Clarity program was a real eyeopener for me, especially the DISC profile exercise,” said Peter. “It was the scariest experience in my life to answer 24 questions and have it yield a 20-page analytical report about my skills and personality that was spot on! The report included what other people say about me. It wasn’t all positive, but it also made me better understand why my last job failed.”
Peter learned a lot about himself, including the kinds of management structure that fit and don’t fit his personality and skills. The coaching that followed built on that understanding.
“My Clarity coach, Julie Holifield, really helped me process my situation and figure out a reasonable next job. She was very compassionate at a time when I felt vulnerable,” said Peter.
Next, Peter was assigned an Executive Career Consultant and Program Manager, Paula Nordhoff, who gave him various tasks and guided him on how best to benefit from LinkedIn, leverage his network, get in front of hiring managers, and represent himself on his CV. Peter threw himself into the work, meeting twice per week with Paula.
“It was obvious that Paula was very experienced. She realized that I was in a difficult state of mind. I wasn’t just looking for a job, I was surviving life. She kept me very active, which was important to me psychologically,” said Peter.
Peter’s ultimate landing stemmed from a contact he’d made months earlier at a medical exhibition. The head of another medical device company desperately needed someone with Peter’s skills and experience to commercialize his products. He was thrilled to consider hiring Peter as soon as sales in medical devices recovered from the Covid downturn.
With Paula’s help, Peter nursed the relationship for several months, offering the CEO ideas and a proposal for a corporate strategic plan. Peter was finally offered an employment contract as chief commercial officer of this exciting company – and at a compensation level exceeding that of his previous position.
He couldn’t be happier.
“This has been a great learning experience,” said Peter. “I greatly appreciate the compassion shown to me by my two coaches, and their willingness to support me in getting to my next role. This coaching can really make a difference in how you approach the job market.”
Ray Cleary - Success Study
Ray Cleary was vice president of risk management, transaction underwriting, and portfolio management for a large airline leasing and financing company, overseeing business in the Middle East and CIS region.
Finance, Financial Services, Airlines, Aerospace & Aviation
Not long after Ray relocated to Dubai, his company announced a merger that would shutter his office, forcing Ray to rethink his long-term career goals.
After deciding to make a bold shift in job function and to live in a specific geography, Ray leveraged his network of contacts to help him achieve his goals.
Within four months, Ray was offered the position of general manager of fleet management of another large airline in his target geography – a transformative pivot in his career.
Ray Cleary was vice president of risk management, transaction underwriting, and portfolio management for a large airline leasing and financing company. Located in Dubai, Ray oversaw a $2 billion portfolio in Russia, Turkey, CIS, and the Middle East region. He had assumed the position a year earlier, transferring within his company after eight-years doing similar work in a different region and market.
Two years after Ray moved to Dubai, however, his company announced a merger that would result in the closure of his office. It triggered Ray to reflect on his career goals – specifically, the kind of work he wanted to do and where to do it – and whether those goals aligned with the prospects available to him in his soon-to-be merged company.
Ray wasn’t ready to leave the Middle East, however, his time to make new contacts in the region had been short-lived, then stymied by the pandemic, such that he had few good work options there. So, he hired The Barrett Group to help him source opportunities.
Ray began his TBG experience with the Clarity program. To his surprise, it was life changing. In addition to confirming that he wanted to pursue employment in the Middle East, he realized that he wanted to redirect his career.
“The counseling process pushed me to deeply consider what I value in life,” said Ray. “I was at a stage in my career that I wanted to move away from risk management and the transaction writing piece of the airline industry and move towards a commercial role, like fleet and relationship management. Clarity crystalized for me that I had two options: I could stay comfortable and continue to do what I was doing – but somewhere else, or I could step out of my comfort zone and achieve what I wanted to achieve.”
Other pieces of the Clarity Program that Ray found very valuable were seeing his “strengths and shortcomings” in a structured report, learning what triggers him, and learning how to manage different personality types to get the results he needs.
“I found that really useful,” said Ray. “I came to understand what I want, what my flashpoints are, and how to navigate various situations and conversations. It really helped me when it came time to interview with the person I work for now.”
In the next phase of his TBG program, Ray worked on his personal branding campaign. He was delighted with the changes the TBG team made to his CV and LinkedIn profile, and his consultant coached him on how to pivot from talking about hard skills to talking about how he could add value to an organization.
“Isabelita really brought value to the program. She was a great sounding board, and everything was prepped before I went to the market to look for a job,” said Ray. “Isabelita then challenged me to reach out to lots of people and follow up on various opportunities.”
Ray came to realize that his network of contacts is like an ecosystem.
“I hadn’t kept up my LinkedIn connections, so Isabelita had me doing searches, finding second and third level connections, then sending them a message. The success rate of my effort to connect with someone turning into an exchange was remarkably high.”
That ecosystem turned out to be Ray’s golden ticket to his dream job.
Ray first came to know about the position that he ultimately landed thanks to the thesis supervisor of the executive MBA program that Ray was pursuing, who had seen the job posting in LinkedIn. By coincidence, one of the people on the adjudication panel for a group MBA project Ray was working on was also a senior member of the consultancy firm that had advertised the job opening. Ray later discovered that a former boss of his now worked at that consultancy firm, too.
“Lo and behold, the connections from past, future, and current were all involved in this role coming together. The need to maintain a good network was evident to me!”
Ray was thrilled to find such a great job opportunity, however, he still had to prove himself in the interview process. As it turned out, it all hinged on a 90-minute phone conversation.
One Saturday morning in early July Ray connected with the hiring manager for the position, who asked whether he was available for a group interview later that evening. He was. The evening interview turned out to be intense but, essentially, all it took for Ray to secure the position. Despite the challenge, Ray felt fully prepared.
“I faced off with four to five people on the call. It was a tough 90 minutes! I had to think on my feet, and the whole process brought home to me that you need to be well-prepared when a good opportunity comes to you,” said Ray.
Ray credits The Barrett Group for his successful performance in that interview.
“There was a significant amount of work that I put in during the three months leading up to that interview. From reflecting on what I wanted to do, to recognizing my skills, to building up contacts – I was prepped for that interview. That is due to The Barrett Group, no question about it!”
When Ray received the initial job offer, his career consultant provided critical assistance in the compensation negotiations, resulting in a much more attractive package.
“This is where TBG really earned its fee. Thanks to Isabelita, I was able to understand quickly what should be in the package and, so, negotiate a better one,” said Ray.
Three weeks in, Ray is thrilled with his new job.
“I am quite happy! This has been a very smooth process for what has been a very significant life event. I foresee growth on so many levels – and it’s all thanks to TBG for preparing me for it. As for my new role – it will truly transform my career. Whether I spend four or six years doing it, my career now goes on a different road from where it was headed before.”
Christine Lowthert - Success Study
Christine Lowthert was director of athletics for a small, liberal arts college in New England.
Higher Education, College Athletics, Nonprofit, Consulting
Leadership, Management, Organizational Development, Strategic Planning
After nearly 20 years living and working far from her hometown, Christine decided it was time to find employment closer to family and she needed help transitioning.
After a career coaching deep-dive, Christine leveraged social capital, a resume overhaul, and LinkedIn to explore and pursue a totally new career path.
In addition to landing as area director for a national nonprofit, a position that offered virtually everything that she was looking for in a new career, Christine garnered some unanticipated consulting work, inspiring her to launch a small LLC to manage such opportunities.
For 17 years Christine Lowthert worked in higher education college athletics. In the last eight years of that period, she helped run the athletics department at a small, liberal arts college in Massachusetts. She oversaw multiple aspects of student-athlete services and athletic programming, ultimately growing the department and bringing new revenue to the school. Christine’s tenure there was capped by a promotion to director of athletics, a source of pride to her and a testament to her career achievements.
After nearly 20 years in the field, however, Christine began to realize that she wanted a change. Christine hired a career coach to discuss her concerns. Those conversations resulted in Christine deciding to get out of college athletics altogether.
“College athletics was something I enjoyed and was good at, but I had fallen into it, rather than chosen it. I never intended to spend my career doing it,” said Christine. “It had also taken me far from where I had grown up, and I wanted to be closer to family.”
So, Christine resigned at the end of the school year, sold her house, and moved back to the Philadelphia area. She took the summer off to think about her next move. She knew she was drawn to mission-driven work, especially at nonprofits. Towards the end of August, she started sending out resumes.
It didn’t go well.
“I was stunned to get no responses. In my last role, I had people seeking me out with opportunities. When I still had no responses by the end of September, I started to get nervous, thinking “this is going to be harder than I thought.”
Christine started researching recruiters and stumbled upon The Barrett Group (TBG).
“I really liked The Barrett Group approach because it felt holistic. And, rather than relying on a recruiter to match me with a job, I would learn how to develop myself and my career. At a time when I felt I had no control over the job seeking process, that was crucial to me.”
Christine was reluctant to spend any more time evaluating her career path in the Clarity Program because she had already worked with a career coach a few months earlier and wanted to focus on job seeking. But she was glad she did.
“I started off impatient, but there was so much value in my Clarity sessions. I soon saw that trusting the process would help me find the best long-term fit in my next job. I really liked working with Mike Stromberg, my Clarity coach. He provided meaningful feedback on the personality assessment I took and did a great job showing me how to assess whether an opportunity would be right for me. Up to that point, in my eagerness, I had been applying to anything – even things I knew I didn’t want. After Clarity, though, I withdrew myself from consideration for opportunities that I knew weren’t right for me.”
For Christine, the most valuable aspect of Clarity boiled down to nine words.
“My ‘Aha!’ moment was when Mike observed, ‘I strive best when I work for a cause.’ That sentence is so simple, but I had been struggling for a while to articulate the sentiment. I knew I like to help people and wanted to work for a nonprofit, but Mike’s comment was so succinct and spot-on that it became a guide in my job search.”
With greater insight than ever about her career path, Christine began meeting with her career consultant, Larry DiBoni.
“I loved Larry! We had an immediate connection, and he became an integral part of my life at the time. We had very transparent discussions about the steps I needed to take. He was so knowledgeable and uplifting that it felt like mentoring, not a business relationship.”
Christine and Larry met weekly, covering different topics each time, beginning with Christine’s resume.
“The resume rewrite was very powerful. It was a complete overhaul. Before TBG, I had been taught to simply update experiences and responsibilities as they happened. But once the resume writing team got a hold of my resume, they told my story. They highlighted my accomplishments, the specifics of what I had achieved, and the results I produced. It was a very impressive process, and it completely changed my thinking about how to write a resume – and, frankly, how to read a resume as a hiring manager. I was very appreciative of that experience!”
Larry and the resume writing team also helped Christine transform her LinkedIn profile – which produced an unexpected outcome in her job search.
“Within a few weeks of updating my LinkedIn profile, I got an unsolicited message from someone who is building software for the athletics industry. She offered me contract work to provide expertise on how the software should operate and what features it should have. It’s just a small role, and it allows me to capitalize on my experience in the athletics world.”
Christine found the most challenging exercise of the TBG Program to be building social capital.
“I’m an introvert and I don’t like to ask for help. Even though the calls Larry asked me to make were just to catch up with people, not to ask for a job, I struggled to do it. I put it off for a while, but Larry did a good job motivating me. Eventually, I put on my extrovert hat and did it. I soon learned how valuable it is.”
Concerned by how much time it was taking her to find a job, Christine knuckled down and began calling people in her network. Soon, she began meeting new acquaintances for coffee and breakfast. Then, on February 1, Christine recollects, the floodgates opened.
“Overnight, I went from getting zero responses to tons of leads. I don’t know what happened, but it was wonderful! People were calling and emailing to tell me about opportunities they thought I might like. Some led to interviews, some did not. I decided not to pursue anything regarding athletics, but I was thrilled to see doors opening.”
Christine’s activity on LinkedIn continued to pay off, too.
“I found myself interviewing for three jobs that I applied to on LinkedIn. Larry was very helpful in prepping me for the interviews. We went through the job descriptions point by point, and he coached me on how best to answer questions I might get. He was very motivational. Of the three roles, one was a phenomenal fit. It is at a nonprofit located close to my family with a mission to support and inspire youth to be successful. To me, there is no greater cause.”
Seven months after starting the TBG program, Christine was offered the position of area director for a large, national nonprofit organization in the Wilmington, Delaware region catering to children of all ages that ticks virtually every one of her boxes. She couldn’t be happier.
“It’s going really well! The team is amazing. My boss is very supportive and encouraging, and everyone that reports to me is so committed to helping and developing the children. I’m excited to be able to build something special here.”
In addition to finding an appealing full-time role, Christine has decided to start a small consulting business doing work for people in the athletics world needing periodic help with projects.
“I received enough offers for part-time gigs while I was job hunting that I was inspired to launch my own company. I will be selective about the jobs I take and see where it goes.”
Christine is grateful to have regained a sense of control over her career and to have learned so much about career management from TBG.
“Nothing could have been better about The Barrett Group Program. And it’s hard to know what was most valuable about the program because everything goes hand in hand. Clarity helped me identify what I was looking for, and Larry taught me how to pursue it. Understanding the different layers of the whole process is so valuable – and I will continue to carry that knowledge with me throughout my career.”
Ned - Success Study
VP of Business Development
Ned was general manager of a sustainability solution provider startup in the agricultural industry.
Agricultural, Startup, Advertising, Marketing
Leadership, Product Launch, Business Development, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service
When the startup he led shuttered during the pandemic, Ned embarked on a job search that stretched out much longer than he ever expected.
Ned consistently came in second place during his job search for reasons he couldn’t identify until he did a deep dive with his coaching team about specific areas he should work on in interviews.
After 10 months, Ned received two job offers simultaneously and accepted a role of VP of business development for a small software company offering a digital advertising platform for pro sports teams.
When Ned’s employer, a manufacturer of adjuvants for the agricultural industry, decided to commercialize a new-to-the-world technology in 2019, it funded a spinoff to launch the product. Ned, director of marketing for the parent company, spearheaded the effort and applied, and was selected, for the role of general manager for the new startup. He built and led a small team, engaged with growers and brands, created demand, and expanded sales to 12 countries. They hit several key metrics, but the pandemic stymied sales in 2020, and the company folded.
“I put in a year and a half, but Covid was one of the main reasons that impeded the success of that product. We weren’t able to engage with customers face-to-face, which created problems,” said Ned. “The parent company didn’t want to support it anymore.”
Returning to the parent company was no longer financially attractive to Ned, so he began job seeking. He had a varied background, having worked in marketing on both the consumer-side as well as B2B, for public as well as private companies. He also had prior experience launching new technologies, so he felt optimistic about his prospects. He talked to his connections and headhunters and pursued some unique opportunities. After a few months, Ned took a contract position for a PC gaming peripherals company with potential to go full-time. It didn’t go well.
“I worked there for three months, but I knew after three weeks that it wouldn’t be a good fit,” said Ned.
After his contract job ended Ned pursued some other opportunities but, when nothing worked out, he decided to get professional help.
“I had been using headhunters, but they don’t work on my behalf. They work on behalf of their corporate clients,” said Ned. “I wanted to find someone who would champion me. I needed to make an investment in myself.”
Ned engaged The Barrett Group (TBG) and began working through the elements of the Clarity Program with Justin Helman, his coach.
“I was very happy with it. I liked the structure. I reviewed various documents, filled out very detailed information about myself, and took some tests. Clarity gave me an opportunity to evaluate myself in a ‘this-is-your-life’ moment and consider where I want to go. I have a diverse background, and Clarity grounded me. I decided I like small to midsize companies. I also realized that I’m happy to market any kind of product as long as it is not a commodity, is higher quality, and is something that is differentiated in the market.”
After the Clarity Program, Ned was paired up with career consultant, George Schulz. Ned found him to be a good partner, and they soon realized, to their surprise, that their lives had previously overlapped.
“I had met George before. We have some common friends,” said Ned. “George has a natural gift to make you feel comfortable. He is very creative and thoughtful, and I always looked forward to talking to him. I always got something out of it. He comes prepared and is always available. And if you seem to be going down a wrong path, he makes you take a step back and think.”
Ned valued working through the program with George.
“First, we worked on my resume. It’s always a good investment to have a professional re-write it. TBG made some good enhancements. Then we worked through LinkedIn. I used LinkedIn a lot in my prior job, so I was already well-versed with it for finding sales opportunities. But I learned a lot from George about how to use LinkedIn to find job opportunities,” said Ned.
When it came to building social capital, Ned learned to expand outside his comfort zone.
“I am used to networking, but within my immediate social circles. George made me feel more comfortable pushing a few degrees outside of that – for example, with people from my alma mater. I was reluctant to call someone who might disregard me, but George convinced me that, if so, that person just isn’t the right person to find a job through. But you never know. He said, ‘Don’t be embarrassed. If you hold back on reaching out, you may be missing opportunities.’ George helped build my confidence lot in networking.”
As part of Ned’s overall market access campaign, George helped Ned connect with hundreds of recruiters, some of whom turned out to be good connections. Ned scored several interviews and, as his job-seeking efforts picked up steam, he relied less on George to prepare for them. But then he noticed a frustrating pattern. He consistently came in second in the hiring process.
“I had seven or eight “silver medals” in my job search. I never got the gold. Invariably, someone had more years of experience than I did, or the hiring manager liked me, but the CEO had a different vision of who should occupy the role. At one point, I was closing in on three different job opportunities and felt that I didn’t need the weekly calls with George as I prepared for the interviews. That was a mistake. All three jobs fell through, and I was back to ground zero.”
At that point, Ned re-engaged with George, who brought in a senior TBG consultant, Waffles Natusch, for a deep dive on Ned’s situation.
“The three of us sat down to talk and Waffles asked pointed questions. We drilled down to some areas to be mindful of during an interview. For example, I should listen more, answer questions more succinctly, and take care not to talk over people.”
Shortly thereafter, Ned got two job offers in the same week, with a budding third potential offer.
“Those meetings were really helpful. I was pretty down on myself, but George kept me going,” said Ned.
The offer Ned accepted was a VP of business development position for another startup, this time a small software company offering digital billboard services for pro sports betting. It’s a newly created job in a newly created market for the company. Ned thanks his brother-in-law for making a key introduction.
“I don’t have experience in this field but, thanks to the skills I worked on with George, I felt confident and was able to portray myself in the best possible light.”
After working the TBG Program for 10 months, Ned was thrilled to have landed an exciting job at the right level, with great compensation and potential.
“A month and a half in, things are going pretty well! There were times where I felt in a rut during my job search, but regular engagement with George kept me energized and on path. That was the most helpful aspect of my job search experience.”
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Jocelyn Hirschfeld - Success Study
Vice President of Market Access
Jocelyn Hirschfeld was senior director of sales and business development at a mid-size provider of medical supplies, services, and support.
Healthcare, Hospitals, Medical Devices
Sales, Business Development
After 16 years with the same company where she played multiple roles, Jocelyn thought it was time for a change, but she wanted help thinking through her next move and how to make it.
Reconnecting with people in her network revealed numerous, exciting career pathways for Jocelyn, and overhauling her LinkedIn profile drove recruiter attention her way.
Jocelyn landed a job with a medical device startup that values the experience she brings and offers ample opportunities to keep her challenged.
Jocelyn Hirschfeld played many roles during the 16 years she worked for a private provider of medical supplies, services, and support. Starting with the company back when it was struggling, Jocelyn worked her way up from account manager to regional manager, then to VP of sales, and finally to senior director of sales and business development. She took pride in the role she played in turning the organization into the billion-dollar company it became.
During her tenure, Jocelyn saw the company make acquisitions and, ultimately, get acquired. It was that final acquisition that triggered Jocelyn to sit back and think about her career and consider whether it was time for a change.
“I had zero anticipation of being at my company as long as I had been. I wasn’t unhappy in my job, but I like to be challenged. I had taken it upon myself to understand every single department in the organization over the years and then…I hit the ceiling,” said Jocelyn. “I didn’t see myself continuing on as I was for another 15 years until retirement.”
The decision to change careers did not come lightly to Jocelyn, though. She did her job well, she was well paid to do it, and she questioned the sense of rocking the boat.
“It’s hard to get serious about changing jobs when you’re in a very lucrative position that you’re comfortable with. I did a lot of second-guessing. Do I really want to do this or is this a mid-life crisis?” said Jocelyn.
Jocelyn also felt naïve about how to approach a job change after so long with the same company. She knew she would need help. She did some research and pulled the trigger when she came across The Barrett Group (TBG). TBG, she felt, offered the range of services she needed to make the necessary mental shift and prepare for a major career transition.
“Working with David Black, my Clarity coach, was good because he set up our calls and kept me on task. That was important because I was still thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m actually doing this!’ I would have dragged my feet as much as I could have,” said Jocelyn.
Although she didn’t think she needed to bother with them initially, Jocelyn found the personality profile tests that she took during the Clarity Program to be great.
“I hadn’t had one of those tests done on me in a while and the results were enlightening,” said Jocelyn. “I realized that things that used to be important to me are less important to me now, like titles.”
In the next stage of the TBG Program, Jocelyn began meeting with executive career consultant, Paula Nordhoff. Paula assigned Jocelyn various tasks to do. Jocelyn didn’t always find the tasks easy to do, but the process was an awakening. That is when she began to get excited about changing jobs.
“Paula told me to reach out to anyone and everyone – by phone only. I kept thinking, ‘What’s the point?’ At first, I considered it just more work when I was already working so many hours as it was. I secretly wanted to outsource it to someone else but, of course, that wouldn’t have made any sense. So, I started to do it,” said Jocelyn.
“Reaching out to my network turned out to be extremely useful and a lot of fun. People were shocked that I would consider leaving my company, but they were happy to connect me with other people that they thought I should speak to. I soon realized that the grass was greener on the other side – and that I could do this! Building social capital ended up being extremely instrumental to the entire process of my job search.”
Jocelyn couldn’t believe that she’d allowed life to get so busy that she had lost contact with people to whom she had once been so close. She really enjoyed it and, the more she talked to people, the more excited she got about her career prospects. It became very clear to her that she was doing the right thing. She realized that she no longer had to limit herself to a highly corporate environment. She was drawn now to the high-risk, high-reward challenges of the startup world.
Several promising job opportunities resulted from Jocelyn’s efforts to build social capital, but her company’s stringent two-year noncompete agreement was a deal breaker in many cases. Jocelyn was unvexed. She was in no rush and, anyway, the intense interest she got from some hiring managers to bring her on board was invigorating. When she did successfully land, she gave credit to the work she and the TGB team did to re-brand her.
“I had my resume updated, which was very well received,” said Jocelyn. “And we did a lot of revisions on my LinkedIn profile. That was very helpful. My profile before was poorly done, but now it’s great. There are so many different components of LinkedIn that can capture the attention of people, and I had none of it activated. Reverse engineering was also important. I actually landed through a recruiter, and I think that he found me thanks to all the work we did on LinkedIn.”
The company was a brand-new, medical device startup with an exciting new product to launch. When they met Jocelyn, they knew she was the right person to bring it to market. The interview process spanned nearly six months, but the slow timing gelled perfectly with Jocelyn’s own timing. She relished the challenge of doing something totally different. She also thought the CEO would be a great leader and mentor for her.
“As I reflected on the opportunity, I became increasingly interested. I feel that it could be the greatest success I will ever have. Plus, I wouldn’t have to worry about my noncompete,” said Jocelyn. “When they finally asked me to give a presentation on how I would launch the product into market, I was excited by the prospect because the new role would incorporate all my previous expertise in leading teams, developing marketing strategies, maintaining manufacturing relationship, and many other of my talents.”
Soon after, Jocelyn found herself in negotiations for a VP of market access position. She is thrilled about her new career and appreciates the help Paula gave her during the job search process.
“Paula was always very helpful. It’s extremely hard to work and job search. It’s two full-time jobs! But Paula is very task oriented. I really valued the work we did on social networking and LinkedIn, as well as Paula’s ability and patience to keep me on track!”
B. Randall Willis - Success Study
Head of Client Success
B. Randall Willis was president and co-partner of a New York City-based, digital marketing agency.
Leadership, Administration, Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Client Relations, Entrepreneurship
After 10 years in his role and 25 years in the industry, Randall wanted to sell his company, but he wasn’t ready to retire, and he lacked clarity on what to do next.
Randall proactively built his social capital, made peace with being a “square peg” with zero interest in fitting into a “round hole,” and leveraged TBG’s research team to explore companies that offered a good fit for his unique value proposition.
After job seeking for more than a year, Randall found an ideal position with great growth and leadership potential at an internet marketing agency offering elements of both the corporate and entrepreneurial world.
When B. Randall Willis partnered up with the founder of a tiny, digital marketing agency in New York City in 2010, he planned to build the startup and grow it as successfully as he had started and grown a similar Boston-based digital marketing agency in the decade prior. Within five years, he grew the business to eight figures, cultivated a high-end client roster, and saw the company recognized as a “Top 5 Agency in North America” for five years running. After 10 years, Randall was delighted with his accomplishments but ready for a break. He sold his share to his partner and began considering what to do next.
Randall got more time to think about his next move than he anticipated. Soon after stepping down from his role as president, the pandemic hit.
“The pandemic created a big lifestyle change for me. We closed our apartment in New York City and moved to our summer home. I focused on some side projects, and I had one or two business opportunities that would have been amazing, but when Covid hit they all went black,” said Randall.
When the economy improved the following year and Randall’s career remained directionless, he decided to get an objective perspective on his situation. He engaged The Barrett Group (TBG) and started TBG’s Clarity© Program.
“Clarity was a great exercise. My engagement with my coach, Scott Brown, was excellent. The work we did mostly validated what I knew, including things I didn’t want to admit to myself.”
One inconvenient truth that Randall confirmed is that he didn’t want to be hired by corporate America. He saw little alternative, though. Consulting didn’t interest him, and he had no appetite for building an agency from scratch again.
“I’m an entrepreneur, not a corporate guy. But I didn’t want to start another company. I have done that two or three times already,” said Randall.
So, Randall resigned himself to look for a corporate role at an established company, specifically director of marketing or director of client services. He began working through the TBG program with his career consultant, Lori Chevalier, determined to follow it to the letter.
“If Lori told me to wear red shoes or stand on one leg, I would do it.” said Randall.
With the help of Lori and the TBG team, Randall overhauled his resume and LinkedIn profile, and he learned about the importance of social capital in a career and how to cultivate it. Most importantly, Randall got motivated.
“The Barrett Group got me moving. I had just been sitting around waiting for the phone to ring before, but then I started calling people five times a week. One shortcoming I have is that I’m not a networking guy. I’m very social, good with clients, and I’ve closed hundreds of deals. But I’ve never interacted with my peers much. I was too busy building my businesses. Here I was looking for my next gig in life and realized that my network was stagnant.”
Randall found that the exercise of building social capital produced an unexpected benefit.
“It was very therapeutic. I called people I hadn’t talked to in 20 years and said, ‘I’m at a time in my life when I value my relationships and want to let you know that and to see how you are doing.’ People responded by telling me what I had done for them and how much they appreciated it. I can’t believe the nice things people said.”
Randall worked the program from A to Z but, as time went on with no results, he brought his concerns to the TBG team. He felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
“I’m a unique client for The Barrett Group. I’d be the best director of marketing for any company. I have 25 years of experience, I understand clients, profitability, teams, and production,” said Randall. “But a resume title of ‘director of marketing’ doesn’t describe all I have to offer. In fact, it puts me at a disadvantage because I’ve never actually had that title. I was a business owner and the boss of the directors of marketing at my companies.”
Randall then began meeting with another career consultant, Waffles Natusch, who has expertise in client strategy changes. They rebranded Randall by rewriting his resume and LinkedIn profile, highlighting professional strengths over specific titles. More importantly, Waffles helped him address the essence of why he was looking for a job in corporate America when he did not want to work in corporate America.
“Waffles said to me, ‘Come on! You’re an entrepreneur. Your strengths are a corporate weakness. Corporate employers hire people to do one job. That’s not you – you have too many talents. Plus, they probably think you will steal their clients,’” said Randall. “Those comments were very beneficial. Waffles had the chutzpah to be very frank with me, and I really appreciated that. He really understood me. Working with Waffles was a game changer!”
Buoyed by this fresh outlook, Randall employed a strategy that he had used during a previous career change: Identify marketing companies that were potentially good fits and reach out to them directly. The TBG research team helped by producing a list of 650 agencies for Randall to explore.
“I gave TBG certain criteria, such as agencies only in the Northeast and 200 people or fewer. I researched every company on the list and whittled the number to around 30. Then I reached out to them. Waffles helped me draft the language. About half responded, and I engaged in conversations with about two or three.
One company turned out to be an ideal fit – a small, internet marketing firm at which the CEO plans to retire and is seeking a successor. Randall was offered the role of head of client success, with the potential to become managing director within months and, ultimately, CEO and owner. This opportunity is the sweet spot for Randall between the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds.
“It’s better than I ever could have expected. It’s not too corporate-y. The team has some growing and areas for improvement that I can help with, but I am starting with a good team,” said Randall.
Randall is thrilled with how his career change journey has ended.
“I’m an outside-of-the-box kind of guy,” said Randall. “I thought a career coach would try to make me corporate-y but, in the end, working with TBG, I came to understand how to go about a job search that is right for B. Randall Willis. TBG helped me find peace in who I am, who I am not, and then how to craft a suitable job search strategy.”
Elizabeth - Success Study
Senior Patient Experience Role
Elizabeth was national director of patient experience for the healthcare division of a global provider of food and facilities management services.
Hospitality, Healthcare, Hospitals
After working more than a decade with the same employer, Elizabeth wanted a change, but her job search was not yielding results.
Elizabeth overhauled her resume and LinkedIn profile, built up social capital among her contacts, and capitalized on interview opportunities to highlight her professional successes.
Elizabeth accepted a senior patient experience role with a large, private healthcare system that enables her to directly impact patient experience.
Elizabeth was a national director of patient experience for the healthcare division of a global provider of food and facilities management. Her job was to standardize programs across the enterprise that would improve patient experience and drive improved patient satisfaction in food and housekeeping services.
After nearly 11 years with the company, Elizabeth was ready for a change. Specifically, she wanted a position that would allow her to have a greater influence on the patient community that she serves.
“As a service provider, I felt a part of the healthcare community, but also not part of it. I feel passionate about the service I provide to patients, and I wanted to find a job where I could have a more direct impact on their experience.”
In early 2020, Elizabeth began looking at job postings and getting the word out about her interest in a career transition. Although she got some interviews, they didn’t go anywhere. Then, when the pandemic hit, her job search took a backseat to new demands within her current role. It wasn’t until the new year that she decided to accelerate her job search efforts. She found The Barrett Group (TBG) and allowed them to guide her career search.
“I know how to work and drive results in my field, but I didn’t know the job market or how to market myself,” said Elizabeth. “I had been out of the job market for 10 years, and I felt like I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to structure my resume and have my competencies stand out or create a value proposition for myself.”
Elizabeth began with the Clarity component of TBG’s program, finding it fun and helpful, but it was working with her career consultant, Julie Mathern, in the next stage that she reaped the biggest rewards, beginning with revamping her resume and LinkedIn profile.
“My LinkedIn profile has never gotten so many views since Julie and I reworked it. At every interview I was told that my resume looks great. The metrics just popped from the page!” said Elizabeth. “I was impressed with the results even before the revision was complete. I used a draft resume to apply for a job in Philadelphia and landed an interview. Wow! And when the final draft was finished, the interviews starting rolling in.”
Elizabeth’s branding campaign electrified her confidence and affirmed her belief that good self-marketing was essential in drawing attention to her candidacy.
“Rebranding myself made my expertise in patient experiences much more visible. It was a real self-esteem booster to see employer interest in me grow after that,” said Elizabeth.
Next, Elizabeth’s career consultant had Elizabeth develop her network of contacts.
“It was challenging to reach out to people because I didn’t think they would want to talk to me. But I came to realize how important it is. Julie impressed on me how crucial relationships are – not just now while I’m job seeking, but throughout my career. The resources that The Barrett Group provided me were really helpful. They detailed the standard things to do and say when engaging with people, which made me feel less awkward.”
When it came to interviewing, Elizabeth credits her career consultant and the resume team with making the process easier.
“Because my resume spoke for itself, I didn’t have to exert myself a lot during the interview process. All I had to do was give examples of how the metrics tied to my professional experience.”
Still, Elizabeth was well-prepared for interviews.
“Julie and I spent time going through sample questions and we laughed when, in one of my first interviews, I was asked four questions from TBG’s guide,” said Elizabeth. “I give a gold star to The Barrett Group for preparing me so well for interviews.”
When Elizabeth received a rejection one day, her consultant coached her to send a gracious response back to the hiring manager. To Elizabeth’s surprise, the hiring manager followed up with a different opportunity that turned into a job offer.
“I ended up turning that job down, but I give The Barrett Group another gold star for coaching me to reply to a rejection email that yielded a job offer!” said Elizabeth.
Throughout the program, Elizabeth valued very much how comprehensive TBG’s approach is to job seeking.
“The TBG program doesn’t just target job postings, it shows clients how to leverage a resume and LinkedIn profile to create a brand and market themselves, it teaches them to create new contacts and develop relationships so that hiring managers know what they bring to the table.”
Most valuable for Elizabeth were the discipline acquired via the career consultant weekly meetings, and the support rendered by her consultant that pushed Elizabeth beyond her comfort zone.
“Julie told me to get in touch with an executive that I’d formerly worked with who is now the CEO of a company. I was nervous, but I did it. He then connected me with someone who is now serving as my mentor. I’m not sure I would have done that on my own. Julie was the push I needed.”
When it comes to landing her new job, Elizabeth gives significant credit to her career consultant, too.
“During the initial screening, I learned that the job’s salary range was significantly lower than my minimum requirements. Julie counseled me to continue the process, saying that ‘everything is negotiable.’ In the end, they offered me the job at the compensation level I wanted. I even asked for relocation assistance, and they were happy to do it.”
Elizabeth is now the System Director of Patient Experience at a large, private healthcare system where she will oversee the entire patient experience for 24 hospitals and 200 satellite sites. In this role, she will have a direct impact on patient experience.
“I’m excited to have more of an influence. At this point in my career, it was time to make an investment in myself – and this was an investment well worth making. I felt that the coaching was so directed. I don’t mind telling anyone that The Barrett Group got me results!”
Most clients give TBG permission to use their first and last names and their photo with their success study. In some cases, however, clients are not at liberty to disclose this information publicly, therefore, some identifying details must be omitted or changed to protect the privacy of the client and/or their organization.
Ray White - Success Study
VP of Marketing Operations
Ray White was co-founder, VP of marketing, and executive coach for a small, business consulting firm providing companies executive coaching on business growth.
Business Consulting, Executive Coaching, Wellness, Eye Care
Administration, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing, Executive Coaching
A year after starting a coaching business, Ray realized that coaching didn’t interest him nearly as much as hands-on marketing and growing companies, but he struggled in finding a new job.
Ray learned that showcasing the talents that meet specific needs of a company, versus advertising the breadth of his talents, is a much more effective strategy in a job search.
Within four months, Ray landed as VP of marketing operations for a young, digital marketing agency providing services to eye care professionals – becoming the company’s first-ever executive hire.
Ray White spent over a decade of his career overseeing operations, performance, and marketing at a multinational digital marketing company before giving rein to his entrepreneurial side. In his first venture, he created, co-launched, and developed a mental health and wellness app for large businesses. His passion for emotional health also prompted him to start a business consulting firm focused on coaching companies to improve organizational performance by reducing personal stress.
Ray’s work with his largest client went exceedingly well. In addition to executive coaching, Ray shouldered the company’s marketing responsibilities, as they lacked a leader. Marketing wasn’t what he was initially hired to do, but Ray loved it. When the company fell on hard times some months later, it terminated Ray’s contract. Ray realized then how much he liked having a hands-on role in growing a company.
Ray decided to make a career change.
“Losing that client was a major decision point,” said Ray. “I enjoyed being a coach, but it was not as fulfilling as the marketing aspect of the business and working with a team. I talked to my business partner and, ultimately, decided to pass my clients to him and seek a role at a marketing agency.”
It didn’t go well. Ray looked for jobs on LinkedIn and reached out to people in his network with few results.
“I stumbled across one or two interviews, but they weren’t what I was looking for. I didn’t have any other good leads, either,” said Ray. “It’s funny because I’m a marketing guy and you’d think I’d be better at marketing myself. But I’d never had to look for a job before, so I wasn’t any good at it.”
Having heard of The Barrett Group (TBG) from a friend, Ray resolved to engage the company for career management help if he was unsuccessful in landing a job on his own. Soon after, that’s exactly what he did.
“Getting coached was refreshing! It was the first time for me, and it felt good to be the person who was learning,” said Ray. “I started by meeting with Marsha Foster in the Clarity Program. She was awesome! She took me step-by-step through an examination of myself, making me think about me and what I want to do.”
Ray decided that he wanted a job where he could continue to coach as well as have input into the growth and strategy of that company – and it had to be a growth company, either in Dallas or full-remote. He targeted four industries.
“Marsha’s coaching gave me a good foundation for my job search. Working with her made me feel like I was on the right path,” said Ray.
Ray saw even greater benefit from the next part of TBG’s Program.
“Barbara Limmer was my career consultant,” said Ray. “She provided a lot of really good information – content, training, and clear steps. She didn’t just say, ‘Go do this.’ She said, ‘Here are all the pieces to the steps you need to take. Here are the challenges you will encounter, the steps on how to get through them, and the plan for what to do next.”
Such counsel proved helpful for the toughest element of the program for Ray – building social capital.
“I have always been someone that people come to for help, so it was very hard for me to ask for it,” said Ray. “The TBG angle, of course, is NOT to ask for help, rather to offer support to others or just connect with them. It took a while to get my head wrapped around it, but it got easier. Barbara pushed me through it, and it was rewarding.”
What turned out to be the most valuable aspect of Ray’s career campaign was re-branding himself. He began by rewriting his resume with the help of the TBG writing team, understanding that he would adapt his resume to every opportunity. He and Barbara also discussed the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) in screening resumes.
“I knew of ATS, but I was completely unaware of how big an influence it has in the hiring process and how strict the filters can be,” said Ray. “I thought my new resume turned out great. It was a big change from before.”
Ray also learned how to create an effective LinkedIn profile.
“I was really active on LinkedIn before, but I haphazardly threw stuff out there, not understanding the impact it had on recruiters. I didn’t view it as a means to match me to a job. I had many different professional experiences, and my LinkedIn profile did a HORRIBLE job of matching me to marketing jobs. I was an author, I had my own business, and I had lots of different titles. No one would look at my profile and think that I wanted to be a VP of marketing.”
With Barbara’s help, Ray reworked everything to brand himself as a VP of marketing. That included interview practice.
“During one interview, I spoke in great detail about my experience because I wanted them to know how broad my background was. What I learned from Barbara is that I should tell them only about talents that relate to the job description – be very specific in my responses to what they need. I found that to be surprising, but it made all the difference. The next interview went much better!”
Before long, Ray was getting about two interviews per week. He ended up in the final stages of three leadership opportunities at small- to medium-sized digital marketing agencies. His preferred role, at an eye care agency, involved a rigorous hiring process with eight interviews for which Barbara prepped him well. His efforts paid off. Ray was offered the role of VP of marketing operations in a brand-new industry at the maximum compensation range.
“The company is a leading, 40-person, marketing agency, and I’ll oversee both marketing and operations. I’m the first executive hire for this company. It is a great niche in a high growth company and it’s an excellent fit. I already love it!”
Ray is especially delighted to have landed so quickly.
“I thought it would take me 12 months to find a job, but it took only three or four. Landing even a month earlier than 12 months would have made investing in TBG worth it, so landing this quickly was fantastic.”
Reflecting on his quick success, Ray credits TBG and his coaches for showing him how to navigate the employment market and how best to demonstrate the benefits he offers an employer.
“Looking for a job is scary. I’ve done well in my career and thought I was on a very clear path. Then, suddenly, I realized I was going to have to take a different path. Having executive coaches helped me do that.”