Senior Compensation Consultant
Head of Quality Assurance
Manager - Health, Safety & Environment Business Unit
Director of Systems Quality Engineering
Credit Risk, Senior Associate
Director of Special Projects
Area Sales Manager
Senior Vice President of Operations
Tracy Katz - Success Study
Tracy Katz was senior operations manager at a bank headquartered in the Southeast.
When her company of 20 years underwent a merger, Tracy found the newly available roles unappealing and wanted professional help transitioning to her next career.
Expanding her network and leveraging LinkedIn yielded a key ally at Tracy’s target company, who helped her navigate several job opportunities there.
Despite a roller coaster ride of promising job opportunities at her target company that didn’t pan out, Tracy’s optimistic persistence was rewarded with an offer of senior trainer for a bank operating system.
As a 20-year veteran of a Southeastern regional bank, Tracy Katz acquired a broad range of expertise in the financial services industry, including sales, service, training, and project management. Over time, she married these skills, becoming a specialist in operational effectiveness, business transformation, and change management, and a go-to person when departments merged or other complex projects arose. Ironically, however, when her company merged with another bank, she found the available employment opportunities in the new entity unappealing, not least because they required relocating. So, she opted for a severance package.
“I had been with my company for 20 years and was ready to try something new,” said Tracy. “The severance was really good – about a year’s salary – and I thought with all my experience I would have a job within a few months.”
In the end, however, it took much longer – and a few disappointments – before Tracy began the next chapter of her career.
Anticipating her departure, Tracy researched career coaching services early on and hired The Barrett Group to help with her career transition.
“I had done a lot of things in banking and I wanted to explore my passions. I wanted to do something different and I wanted The Barrett Group to support me in figuring out what that might be,” said Tracy.
Tracy also had two big concerns. First, after 20 years with one company, she felt she had little experience in the job seeking process. Second, she felt that she was a horrible interviewee.
“I don’t tell my story well. Yes, I have accomplished many great things, but I am insecure talking about my successes. During a job hunt, however, you have to do that,” said Tracy. “I needed help identifying my accomplishments and learning how to share them effectively during an interview.”
Tracy began the TBG program by developing a personal strategic plan with her Clarity coach, in which she identified her values and mission. She found the sessions very valuable. She learned that she wanted to be a leader in operations for a mid-size company in Florida. She wanted to work for a company with a strong brand, a great culture, a quality reputation, and integrity. Tracy is a problem solver by nature and wanted to find a role where she could fix things and help others.
Tracy’s job hunt got off to a promising start. She interviewed at a local bank with a new position for a process improvement engineer. But just when she expected to get an offer, the bank announced a merger and the position was shelved indefinitely.
Then Covid hit and Tracy found that many jobs were either unavailable or frozen.
“I got interviews but not as many as I thought I’d get, and I didn’t get selected for them. Also, there were few jobs available at my level. It seemed people were staying in their jobs due to the uncertainty,” said Tracy.
Tracy began working with her career consultant, Julie Mathern, who taught her how to strengthen her network and build social capital as the first step in her job search, then how to navigate LinkedIn Analytics – both critical to finding jobs in the unpublished market.
“You have no idea how helpful it can be!” said Tracy. “Julie taught me that, instead of applying for jobs cold, I should find resources within a company that could connect me with a hiring manager before applying. You won’t get a job if they don’t know who you are or if you don’t come with a referral. That was a great lesson!”
Tracy also learned a lot about interacting with recruiters through LinkedIn and turning messages and emails into phone conversations and, ideally, relationships. This tactic proved particularly useful in Tracy’s exchanges with one key recruiter she’d met early on.
“A recruiter at a company I was really interested in connected with me and we exchanged chats about a training position that would open up in a couple of months. Using LinkedIn Analytics, I located Jennifer, director of training at the company, who responded to my LinkedIn message. We had a great phone conversation and developed a personal connection.”
When the position did open up Tracy reached out to Jennifer, who helped her get an interview.
“I went through two weeks of interviews and thought for sure they would make me an offer only to find that they hired someone else. I was devastated,” said Tracy.
Trying to stay optimistic, Tracy refocused and continued networking. Other opportunities and interviews came and went. Two months later an opening for a product manager position at Jennifer’s company popped up in her searches. Tracy contacted Jennifer again to ask whether Tracy might be qualified.
“She got back right away to say, ‘Yes!’. She also told me about two other positions that I was qualified for,” said Tracy.
Thrilled, Tracy applied for two of the positions, with Jennifer facilitating and sending a personal recommendation to boot. Yet again, despite another great round of interviews, Tracy was denied both positions.
“It was a roller coaster of emotions,” said Tracy. “I knew I was a strong candidate and I didn’t know why I wasn’t getting picked. I was trying to learn from those experiences. I had two very strong interviews with this company and thought, “The third one will be the charm.”
Tracy told Jennifer she wasn’t selected and that she would continue to look for jobs at her company. Jennifer, very impressed with Tracy’s positive attitude, emailed Tracy a few weeks later to discuss a budding opportunity for a third time – this time, a position that she was creating with Tracy specifically in mind – a senior trainer of banking software for a major client.
Tracy is so excited to finally join the company she interviewed with on three different occasions. She credits her success in large part to The Barrett Group.
“I knew I really liked this company, and it was Julie Mathern who taught me how to leverage my resources in a way that proved most beneficial,” said Tracy. “Thanks to that, I connected with Jennifer who got me the job at the end of the day. This has been a great experience.”
Mara - Success Study
Senior Compensation Consultant
Mara was manager of compensation at a national construction management firm in Boston.
When Covid forced state-wide construction suspensions, Mara’s job was eliminated, and she struggled to find work in the deteriorating economic climate.
Mara narrowed her search to the industries that interested her most, used advanced LinkedIn skills to uncover leads, and leveraged professional preparation to nail the interviews.
Mara accepted a position as a senior compensation consultant in one of her two target industries, and is much closer to family.
Mara worked as manager of compensation for five years at a Boston-based design and construction firm. She created and implemented compensation strategies, collaborated with talent acquisition to hire and retain top talent, and helped the company achieve 100% pay equity. But when Covid hit and the company’s activities were put on hold, she was one of hundreds of company employees who were furloughed and, as clients scaled down or canceled their projects, ultimately let go.
Even before she was terminated, Mara started reaching out to people in her network for leads. She lucked out by landing a 6-month contract position, but she knew that chances were good that her company would not be able to retain her indefinitely and that she was on borrowed time to find a new job. So, she enlisted the help of The Barrett Group (TBG).
“I thought The Barrett Group could identify things that I should be doing but was not doing,” said Mara. “I also felt that a coach might be able to help me with my goal of getting a position at the director level.”
Years ago, Mara had been a director of HR for another company, but she decided to sidestep and specialize in compensation. The career move was tantamount to jumping off one career ladder midway up and climbing from the bottom of a different one. It set Mara back a few years in her professional pursuits, but she hoped that the time had come to become a director again.
“My goal is to move into a director level role again,” said Mara, “But what I didn’t know is whether potential employers would recognize from my background that I’m director material.”
Mara started with the Clarity component of the TBG program and really valued how it illuminated what jobs and industries she likes and doesn’t like.
“Clarity was really insightful for me. I see job postings that I now know not to apply for because they wouldn’t retain my interest,” said Mara. “The Clarity assignments were good. They made me pause and think about stuff in a very introspective way. It was an opportunity to be really honest with myself.”
Next, Mara started weekly meetings with her career consultant and appreciated the solid advice she got on how best to answer interview questions and discern what hiring managers are looking for. She also learned how to ask smart questions to assess whether a workplace might be a good fit.
“A lot of the perspectives that George shared with me were game changing,” said Mara. “He saw things through a completely different lens – I looked at the face value of things and he read between the lines.”
Mara also learned from George how to maximize the potential of LinkedIn job searches.
“George showed me how to filter my job search and find people and companies that interest me. I didn’t know any of that before. It’s been fun to work with the LinkedIn filtering system,” said Mara.
Despite all the work she put in, Mara uncovered few opportunities that ticked off all of her boxes. She didn’t take it personally. Instead, she blamed Covid and figured it was just a matter of time before she found the right job.
Still, as the term of her 6-month contract was about to expire, the financial pressure to find a job began to build.
Then, a month before her contract ended, Mara got a call from the hiring manager of a large healthcare organization in Orlando who was looking for a senior compensation consultant. They had a good initial conversation, which led to several interviews and culminated with a job offer.
“They said I sounded like someone who has been with them for a while, and I also felt like I had worked with them already,” said Mara. “It was a really good match for me because I had worked in the healthcare industry before and wanted to again. Plus, the job is located in the same city as my parents and several other relatives, and living near them was one of my goals. I was excited when they made me the offer.”
The position is not the director role Mara sought, however, she is happy to be working in both an industry and a city that she targeted in her search.
“Two out of three ain’t bad,” joked Mara. “I’m near family now. In fact, I’m driving home to a homecooked meal right now. I’m living with my folks until I figure things out.”
Mara is optimistic about her future options. She is looking for opportunities to grow at this new organization and feels good that she is already excelling and having a positive impact. What’s more, George and The Barrett Group are still in her back pocket ready to help her maximize every career opportunity that presents itself.
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Russell - Success Study
Russell was director of engineering at an international traffic safety solutions company.
Major corporate strategy shifts at his company compelled Russell to leave and seek new employment, but his job search efforts were going nowhere.
After first focusing on aligning his job search with personal priorities, Russell steadily revamped everything from his resume to his interview techniques.
Russell landed a position as a plant manager through a recruiter, and leveraged newly acquired skills to negotiate a better compensation package.
As director of engineering for an international traffic safety solutions company, Russell lead a team of seven in overseeing operations, R&D, and supply chain. He managed national accounts for various aspects of the company, and achieved many successes, including growing revenue, eliminating expenses, and increasing product margins. His team developed new processes and patents that were cutting edge for the industry.
When a private equity firm bought the company and began preparing to sell the organization, however, Russell saw the handwriting on the wall – it was time to go. He took a few months off to reconnect with family and soul-search on how best to move his career forward, and then launched his job search.
His efforts went nowhere.
“I sent resumes to recruiters and got some interviews, but nothing panned out. I was pretty surprised,” said Russell. “Based on my work history and experience, I thought I’d get picked up quickly.”
Russell knew how successful job hunts work – you have to get your resume into the hands of the right person. In the past he’d used headhunters and recruiters to do this, but this time it wasn’t working.
“Applying directly to companies and sending my resume to recruiters wasn’t getting me a second look. I applied to jobs whose job descriptions I matched perfectly, and I received zero response from 90% of them,” said Russell. “I was dead-on in experience, and I wasn’t getting picked.”
That’s when Russell contacted The Barrett Group (TBG). Time was of the essence. The last thing Russell wanted was to be forced to take a job out of desperation. At the same time, the further he got from his last job, the more questions it would raise among prospective employers.
“I wanted to move my career forward, but my money supply isn’t endless. It was worth getting professional help because it would speed up my job search and increase the probability of it advancing my career,” said Russell. “I went with The Barrett Group because of its extensive program. They don’t just update your resume, and throw you out there. They have multiple steps, including a personal analysis, and helping you produce a professional business plan. Other companies don’t offer the same level of detail.”
Russell found the Clarity component of the TBG program to be extremely helpful because it forced him to reflect on things that are important to him that he had neglected during his career.
“When you get wrapped up with a job, you lose focus on things. Had I gone through this process a few years ago, I would never have taken my last job,” said Russell. “The Clarity program made me see the importance of having a job that revolves around my priorities: family, personal time, professional growth, and financial security.”
With his career consultant, Lori Chevalier, Russell steadily worked on honing his resume, references, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile. He beefed up his networking, sharpened his interview skills, and fine-tuned his target markets. Within about one month, Russell began sending out resumes.
Then Covid hit.
“My timing was impeccable. I got really good responses and several interviews from my resumes early on,” said Russell, “but when Covid hit, hiring in manufacturing froze. I was panicked big time! If it weren’t for unemployment and the federal stimulus package, I would have been in serious financial trouble.”
Covid, notwithstanding, Russell continued his job search. He doggedly worked his network. Finally, Russell had a breakthrough when a recruiter reached out to him about an opportunity right up his alley – to be a plant manager.
After a series of virtual interviews, Russell was invited for a tour of the facility and to meet the team. The process went great and Russell was soon offered the job with the same base pay as his previous position plus several attractive perks.
He immediately turned to The Barrett Group for help in negotiating the offer.
“I was concerned about moving to a place with a higher cost of living. I wanted to make sure I could sustain my current lifestyle,” said Russell.
The TBG team did a cost of living analysis and reviewed the offer. They coached Russell to request a signing bonus, a moving settlement, and a raise in base salary, which sweetened the final package by $9,000. He is thrilled to be back doing a job where his passions lie.
“In so many ways The Barrett Group helped me. If I had not hired them, I might still be looking for a job today – or I’d have settled for something at much lower pay,” said Russell. “It was money well spent – and, in the end, I recovered my investment.”
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Kathleen - Success Study
Head of Quality Assurance
Kathleen was senior director of quality assurance at a company that manufactures synthetic DNA.
When Kathleen didn’t get a promotion she felt she merited, she left the company and sought an executive coach to help her self-reflect and understand how to market herself better.
Kathleen made her resume shine, fleshed out her LinkedIn profile, and honed her interview and compensation negotiation skills.
Kathleen landed as head of quality assurance at a start-up using cutting-edge technology in the fight against Covid, a job she finds both professionally rewarding and personally meaningful.
As senior director of quality assurance at a San Francisco biotech company, Kathleen directed 50 people in developing, and then supporting, a brand-new, quality management system and successfully achieving ISO compliance in record time. With this and other impressive accomplishments under her belt, and after four years on the job, she was looking forward to what she felt was a well-earned promotion to vice president. It never came. Instead, it became apparent that she and her supervisor had developed different values about how Kathleen’s program should be supported.
Kathleen ended up leaving the company, frustrated that she had not seen this outcome coming. Her first step was to hire an executive coach to help her process and understand what had happened.
“I thought that, because I didn’t get the promotion, perhaps I wasn’t doing something right,” said Kathleen.
She did an online search and found The Barrett Group (TBG). She had never used an executive coach before, but she wanted a professional to give her some perspective about her situation, help her handle uncomfortable questions that might arise about her sudden departure from her previous position, and offer her some guidance on how best to market herself for future opportunities. She started with what felt like a “soul-searching” experience in TBG’s Clarity Program.
“My Clarity coach had me address some really difficult questions, like how I might improve my work-life balance, assess what is truly important to me, and determine what I am really looking for in my career,” said Kathleen. “I found it useful. It helped me realize that I wasn’t very balanced – I’m a workaholic.”
In the next phase, Kathleen learned from her career consultant how to bolster her social capital.
“Greg helped me beef up my LinkedIn profile. I wasn’t active on it at all before. I had a profile, but I only dealt with it when I needed a job,” said Kathleen. “Now I’m much better about keeping in touch with people and helping them when I can. Keeping your network active and alive is really important because you never know if, tomorrow, you might not have a job.”
Kathleen also learned how to craft her resume for an executive position and began applying for VP roles, which she had set her heart on.
That is when Covid hit. Kathleen responded by boosting her resume-sending campaign and continuing to connect with people over Zoom. Months went by with few results from her job search, but there was an upside.
“It was good to take time off and decompress from working a lifetime,” said Kathleen. “It was an important mental break.”
Kathleen found the time to learn Spanish, take music lessons, and do gardening – and she reflected a lot on the terrible Covid crisis.
Then something extraordinary happened. One day at the end of July Kathleen received an email from a start-up biotech company expressing great interest in the CV she had sent them three months earlier.
“That was the first time I’d ever just sent my resume to a company cold and got a response,” said Kathleen.
The position was a bit of downgrade in terms of salary and title, but the opportunity offered a unique appeal – the young company was using cutting edge technology to battle Covid, and Kathleen would be lending her talents and skills towards that effort.
“When I began my job search, I really wanted a VP position – anywhere. Then Covid happened. And when this opportunity arose, I realized that I’m now totally fine with not being a VP. What is important to me today is helping the world get through this,” said Kathleen.
Kathleen turned to her career consultant to help her manage the hiring process.
“We did a practice interview and Greg helped me go over a presentation I had to give. Greg also helped me prepare for some tough questions – the hardest being, ‘Why did you leave your previous position?’” said Kathleen.
She also received help when it came to salary negotiations.
“Greg taught me how to ask for things in a way that didn’t sound demanding – and I got exactly what I asked for. I asked for a signing bonus and more stock and they didn’t hesitate. I never would have done that before,” said Kathleen.
Kathleen even received some great coaching about how to handle the issue of her title.
“They didn’t have a senior director position, so I made an agreement with them that, externally, they would call me “head of quality,” and in six months they would review my position,” said Kathleen.
Kathleen is thrilled in her new position.
“This is probably the best job I could have gotten because it’s so meaningful. I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines, I wanted to be part of the solution,” said Kathleen.
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Kwasi Asare - Success Study
Manager - Health, Safety & Environment Business Unit
Kwasi Asare was director of corporate safety at a firm that provides construction, maintenance and engineering support to the energy industry.
Energy & Utilities
Kwasi’s job was eliminated when Covid forced his company to restructure, but after 20 years at the company, he needed help navigating today’s employment market.
After reaffirming his personal and professional goals, Kwasi built his network of contacts and leveraged them to ensure his resume was seen by hiring managers.
Kwasi accepted a position as a business unit manager of a large company with good upward potential, and he managed to sweeten the compensation through negotiation.
As director of corporate safety at a large holding company that constructs and maintains equipment for the energy industry, Kwasi Asare led safety management for several business units, and he was the point man for standardizing processes and implementing best practices. A 20-year veteran of the company, Kwasi was unprepared for unemployment when the Covid crisis forced corporate restructuring upon the company, eliminating his position.
“I’d never been terminated or laid off. The next day I figured I should get moving to find a new job,” said Kwasi. “I threw together my resume and sent it to people I had worked with in the past. I started applying to places and I signed up for help from a bunch of executive search firms. I just jumped into it, ignorant of the process. It was not a coordinated or focused approach.”
It was in this way that Kwasi stumbled across The Barrett Group (TBG). His initial interest in TBG’s program was tepid at first because he “just wanted someone to find a job” for him. The more he learned about the model, however – TBG doesn’t find you a job, they teach you a proven methodology to find a job yourself – he decided to give it a try.
“It seemed weird to plunk down a lot of money after just losing my job,” said Kwasi. “But after I reflected more on it, it became clear that this would be an investment in myself. I wanted to advance higher than the director level and possibly transition out of my industry, and this seemed to provide me the option to explore new opportunities and think outside the box.”
Kwasi started by doing a deep dive into his personal values through TBG’s Clarity Program and assessing what he wanted from his career.
“The goal is to explore things that are related not only to work, but also to family, life balance, and geography,” said Kwasi. “If you don’t have that focus on what you’re looking for personally and career wise, it sets you back during your job search.”
While there were no “aha” moments, the Clarity process did illuminate one thing for Kwasi: A career transition is an ideal time to move closer to family, so geography became an important factor in his job search.
The next phase of the program was an exceedingly beneficial lesson for Kwasi about career management.
“I knew about LinkedIn, but I didn’t know how to utilize second- and third-degree connections. I didn’t understand the importance of cultivating relationships and leveraging them to get internal support when applying for a position,” said Kwasi. “Without some kind of internal advocacy, it’s hard to get past the automatic resume screening process.”
Kwasi spent a lot of time developing his LinkedIn network by reaching out to people he hadn’t talked to in years and rebuilding those relationships.
“I realized how poor form it was at first for me to send out my resume to people before I bothered to catch up with them,” said Kwasi. “I learned that from the Barrett Group. Once you genuinely build a connection with people, they often help you with a job search without your asking.”
It wasn’t long before Kwasi mastered how to circumvent traditional job-hunting practices.
“If there is a place you want to work, you first go to LinkedIn and research your connections to find people who work there. Once you figure out the six-degrees of separation, you can ping-pong your way to the top of the list and, possibly, into an interview,” said Kwasi. “You may not get the job, but at least your resume isn’t getting dumped into the trash.”
Leveraging his social capital in this way is exactly how Kwasi ultimately landed his next job. A few weeks after reconnecting with a business acquaintance that he hadn’t talked to in 10 years, the colleague called Kwasi to tell him about an opportunity as a safety manager of a business unit at a large firm on the east coast that might be a good fit. He even offered Kwasi a glowing referral.
The position wasn’t the promotion Kwasi wanted, but it is close to family, which was one of his main goals, and it’s a good job at a bigger company with opportunity for growth, which he didn’t have before. During the hiring process, Kwasi managed to negotiate a higher base salary, a better relocation reimbursement, and a signing bonus.
For Kwasi, even better than his new job is the education he got from the TBG program. In hindsight, he says, his TBG experience made him realize that, previously, he had not been maximizing his potential.
“Looking back, I should have left my former job a while ago. This whole experience really helped me take inventory of things in my career,” said Kwasi. “For 20 years I never thought about leaving the company. I never tested the landscape. That’s horrible! If I had known years ago what I learned from TBG, it might have set my career path in a very different direction.”
Kwasi plans to make the most of the investment he’s made in his career.
“This education was invaluable,” Kwasi said. “Going forward, I’m going to utilize the skills I’ve learned and leverage my social capital – not necessarily to find a job, but because that’s how opportunities come about.”
Manan - Success Study
Director of Systems Quality Engineering
Manan was an unemployed Director of Systems Quality Engineering seeking a similar role.
Manan’s job search was stymied by an underdeveloped network in a field where most jobs are filled through networking.
Rekindling old relationships and cultivating a sphere of influence generated new job opportunities, while expert preparations fine-tuned Manan’s interview skills.
Within four months Manan both landed a job that was a good fit and successfully negotiated a higher compensation package for it.
When Manan found himself unemployed he didn’t initially consider himself an ideal candidate for executive coaching services because he had a track record of successful job searches during his career. He launched a job search on his own for a role similar to his previous position as senior director of systems quality engineering at a computer systems design company in Texas. Manan soon came to realize, however, that the number of jobs available at his level in his field were low, and competition was high. Worse, most open jobs were filled through networking.
“In my field, 80% of jobs are filled through networking. I didn’t have a large network of contacts and I’m not a very outgoing person. I knew that approaching people, especially for help in getting a job, was going to be difficult for me,” said Manan.
After job searching for some time with no leads, Manan decided to enlist expert help. He had never sought professional job search services, and wanted a firm that excelled at helping people find great job opportunities, especially in senior positions. He chose The Barrett Group.
“The track record of The Barrett Group stands out. Over 90% of the people they work with get jobs in three to six months,” said Manan. “And from the very beginning, it was clear to me that people at The Barrett Group know a lot more than I do about job seeking. I soon realized that I hadn’t been using all the avenues available to me to make my job search as successful as it could be.”
Manan appreciated that The Barrett Group views networking as critical in the job search. They soon introduced Manan to some proven strategies that he could employ without having to transform his personality.
“They advised me on how to reach out to people and let them know that I was job hunting. They also coached me on the importance of being an active participant in my network and sphere of influence.”
Manan found the help to be invaluable.
“After I took those first steps and reached out to people, a surprising number were happy to talk to me and connect me to people in their own network – even people I had not been in touch with for five or ten years.”
Manan insists that the best part of his experience, however, was his interactions with his executive career consultant, Vivek Agarwal. “Vivek was a valuable ally from beginning to end. He gave me an understanding of the overall roadmap, helped me prepare for interviews, break them down afterwards, and provided great pointers and feedback on how to fine-tune my job search. And he was always available,” said Manan.
Vivek also helped Manan focus on the positive when he failed to get one job that he had very much wanted, showing him how he could learn from the experience.
About four months after engaging The Barrett Group, Manan was offered a job that he was delighted to accept – but not before using some new negotiation tips to beef up the compensation package to include stock, an expense account, and even relocation assistance to facilitate a move from Texas to California. And now, going forward, he feels empowered to better undertake future job searches with new skills and, most importantly, a robust, new network.
Some identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Barry - Success Study
Credit Risk, Senior Associate
Barry worked 10 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a senior credit analyst.
After an involuntary departure from the organization, Barry struggled to find another position that met his needs.
Barry revamped his resume and significantly improved his interviewing skills and confidence through numerous coaching sessions.
Despite the Covid-19 related downturn, Barry successfully landed a position at a global financial services company as a senior associate of credit risk.
For ten years, Barry worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a credit analyst and credit risk manager. He oversaw transactions at numerous American and foreign banking organizations and liaised with the regulators of various entities. He enjoyed his career there until the confluence of a bad professional decision and unfortunate timing aroused the disapproval of his managers. Not long afterwards, Barry was squeezed out.
With seven children to care for, Barry didn’t have the luxury of time to undergo a lengthy job search. When his position at the Fed was eliminated, he accepted a new position within two months that turned out to be disastrous.
“It was the worst experience in my career,” said Barry. I took the job out of fear. I should have passed on it, but I got desperate. So much was bad about the job. I hoped things would change, but they didn’t.”
Back in the job market again after only two and a half months, Barry struggled to find a position in an industry where positions are increasingly scarce, especially in New York City where his family lives. It didn’t help that he is over 50.
“Many of the banks in New York City are moving operations to lower cost centers, like Dallas, Tampa, or India. Banking is a horrible industry for labor. And there is definitely an over-50 discrimination in my field,” said Barry.
After yet another failed employment venture, Barry decided to hire The Barrett Group (TBG).
“I hired The Barrett Group because I really needed help framing better answers during interviews about why I had left my former job,” said Barry.
Barry succeeded in that and more. Two components of the process proved especially valuable. The first was a professional resume makeover.
“The Barrett Group helped me revamp my resume. It is now a much better resume than the one I came in with,” said Barry. “That alone is worth thousands of dollars.”
The second, and even more valuable, benefit Barry received from his TBG experience was personal interview coaching, which he credits for doubling the number of good interviews he had.
“I did not interview well when I started,” Barry admits. “But after coaching, I went into interviews more confident and better prepared. I probably improved my interview skills by 30-40%. That makes a big difference in a competitive job market,” said Barry.
These newfound skills shone during the interview for a position in Dallas that he knew was a long shot.
“I lacked some important qualifications for the job, so chances were not high that I would get it. Still, they considered me! That’s thanks to the Barrett Group interview skills,” said Barry.
While Barry did not get that job, he was invited to apply for another position at the company – this time in New York City where his family lived – and got it.
Beset by the Covid-19 downturn, Barry’s job search took 11 months – longer than he anticipated. But, he figures, without The Barrett Group the job hunt might have taken another six months. He is thrilled to have landed – not least, because he won’t have to relocate. That’s worth celebrating for both Barry and his seven children.
Bibi - Success Study
Director of Special Projects
Bibi was chief administrative officer for a large university, where she worked for 24 years.
Bibi wanted a change, but she didn’t know how to navigate the modern job market.
After learning her professional value and best practices for a successful job search, Bibi had the confidence to try for her dream job.
Leveraging the unpublished market, Bibi’s dream employer offered her a position and invited her to write the job description herself.
Bibi had spent 24 years working as an administrator of a large state university. In addition to leading a team of staff members across several divisions and streamlining administrative processes, she had significant financial and budgetary responsibilities. Bibi enjoyed her work for many years, but over time, she came to be became disillusioned. The higher she rose in the organization, the less her values fit with the mission of the university. She decided to take a leap of faith and try to find a more fulfilling career.
“My job was so much red tape and yucky politics,” said Bibi. “When I realized that I could retire and get benefits, I decided to see what else was out there.”
After so long at the same organization, Bibi had no idea what opportunities there might be and little idea of how to pursue them. She enlisted help to write a resume and create a LinkedIn profile, then she began applying to job postings. A few months later she started using recruiters.
“I wasn’t getting any response. It was depressing and scary,” she said. “I realized then that I needed help navigating this new world of the job market.”
Bibi’s job search was clouded by the stress of having left her previous position without a clear Plan B. “I felt demoralized and needed someone to help me recognize my own value,” she said. “Recruiters weren’t the right answer for me. They are paid if you’re hired, which is a different financial motivation than for someone who is hired to help you find fulfilling employment. I wanted someone to help me process the circumstances of how I had left my last job, give me confidence, and guide me in the process of finding another career. I wanted someone who cared about helping me to succeed and who could tell me ‘This is what we think you can do.’”
That is when Bibi discovered The Barrett Group. After only one week, Bibi knew what she really wanted to do – and that her dream was within reach.
“I was eager to do something I really care about, which is working with trees. But I never, in a million years, thought I’d be able to do it.”
Bibi was paired up with a consultant that she found to be a great fit. He counseled her on what the job market is like and what her job search approach should be – namely, tapping the unpublished market. He and his team gathered information about environmental groups, specifically one organization of which Bibi was a huge fan.
“Waffles was so supportive in ways that went beyond pep talks. I appreciated that he didn’t just tell me things that he thought I wanted to hear. He was reality-based.”
Bibi felt nervous about contacting CEOs directly, but she did it. “Waffles told me that I will hear back from only about 5-10% of people, but when I do, I will experience magic.”
By Bibi’s account, Waffles was right. She got few responses to her emails, but one that she did get was from the CEO of the very organization that she was most eager to connect with. He invited her to meet and promptly told Bibi that he wanted her to work for him. As he had no specific position for her to fill, he essentially invited Bibi to write a job description for herself. Soon thereafter, he offered her a job – and a salary that exceeded the salaries of similar non-profit positions.
“What I learned about the unpublished market changed my whole approach to job seeking and led to a very successful ending,” said Bibi. “To say it’s a dream come true is an understatement. I’m still in shock! I would never have gotten this job without The Barrett Group.”
Bob Meara - Success Study
Area Sales Manager
Bob Meara spent 20 years coordinating and developing advertising and marketing needs for New Jersey auto dealers.
Software Development & Design
When new senior leadership made corporate changes Bob disagreed with, he decided to leave. But after 20 years at one company he didn’t know where to start.
Bob prepped his resume to circumvent ATS filters and positioned himself as the ideal candidate for a job even in the absence of social capital.
Despite the economic toll of the pandemic, Bob landed an exciting position in a related industry that has much more growth and compensation potential.
As an automotive account executive in the advertising sales division of a major cable company, Bob Meara coordinated and developed digital marketing needs and video solutions for local automotive advertisers in New Jersey. He managed a team of marketing experts and a portfolio of over 25 clients. He’d spent 20 years with the company, but when changes from new senior leadership were no longer working for him or his clients, he knew it was time to move on.
It wasn’t long after Bob first began looking for new opportunities that he decided to hire a professional.
“I hadn’t written a resume or been on an interview in 20 years,” said Bob. “I wanted help getting my head together and to talk to someone with job market experience.”
Bob was drawn by the breadth of experience offered by the The Barrett Group (TBG). He launched into the program and started networking, even as he continued to work, and quickly saw some promising leads develop.
Then the Covid-19 crisis hit.
“All the people I had talked to went on a hiring freeze,” said Bob.
Consumer purchases for cars plummeted, auto dealers cut their local advertising – in short, the auto industry took a hammering. Bob remained committed to a career change, but he discovered some surprises in the job market.
“Everything is different. People don’t read resumes, computers read them. And computers weed out resumes by key buzz words,” said Bob. “You’re competing with many more people.”
Bob appreciated that TBG was prepared to help him navigate all these changes, starting with the Clarity program, which confirmed what he wanted to pursue – digital retail marketing. He launched into the TBG process. Bob found his weekly meetings with George Schulz, his personal career consultant, to be the most valuable part of his experience.
“George took the time to understand my current business and circumstances. He made the effort to learn what motives me – what makes me tick,” said Bob. “He told me all about the unpublished market. I never thought about that stuff before. It was very instrumental.”
Bob also found the expert help on rewriting his resume and LinkedIn profile to be very helpful.
“I don’t know what people are looking for in a resume or in a LinkedIn profile, but The Barrett Group showcased my attributes in a way that was very appealing to recruiters,” said Bob.
When it came to interviewing, Bob felt totally prepared.
“They told me all the questions I should expect to be asked so I would never be surprised. Then we rehearsed my answers,” said Bob. “By the time we were done, I had my pitch in my head and nothing felt too hard to answer.”
Bob ultimately found his ideal job – in digital retail marketing – from a job posting. And all of his coaching prepared him to know what to do to land it. He’s thrilled by the new opportunity. The company is relatively new, the territory is untapped, and he faces no internal competition. As for compensation, “The sky is the limit!” he says.
“The Barrett Group helped me know the right timing of when to follow up on things,” said Bob. “And the really important thing I learned is to be sure to pick the keywords out of the job description and put them on my resume. Playing that game gets you to the head of the table.”
“The Barrett Group helped me know the right timing of when to follow up on things. And the really important thing I learned is to be sure to pick the keywords out of the job description and put them on my resume. Playing that game gets you to the head of the table.”
“They told me all the questions I should expect to be asked so I would never be surprised. Then we rehearsed my answers. By the time we were done, I had my pitch in my head and nothing felt too hard to answer.”
“The Barrett Group provided me a lot of resources to get to the plate and know what to do.”
“George Schulz took the time to understand my current business and circumstances. He made the effort to learn what motives me – what makes me tick. He told me all about the unpublished market. I never thought about that stuff before. It was very instrumental.”
“Everything is different. People don’t read resumes, computers read them. And computers weed out resumes by key buzz words. You’re competing with many more people.”
“I hadn’t written a resume or been on an interview in 20 years. I wanted help getting my head together and to talk to someone with job market experience.”
“I don’t know what people are looking for in a resume or in a LinkedIn profile, but The Barrett Group showcased my attributes in a way that was very appealing to recruiters.”
Diane - Success Study
Senior Vice President of Operations
Diane had a distinguished corporate career when she decided to launch into a consulting role.
After two years in a consulting role, Diane realized that she preferred and wanted to return to a corporate environment.
Focusing on tools to leverage her social capital, Diane quickly saw successes but was holding out to find the right job – when an unexpected development demanded her attention.
After an extensive assessment of an exciting opportunity, Diane found her path forward and negotiated a better salary, better perks, a better title and a sign-on bonus that more than covered her career management fees.
Long before engaging The Barrett Group, Diane had an exceptionally distinguished career, working with some of the most exclusive brands in the world. She had been a senior vice president for a designer and marketer of luxury tableware and then a luxury goods corporation, serving as a chief information officer for prestigious luxury brands. Eventually, a friend of Diane’s convinced her to make a change. “A good friend of mine owned a consulting firm and was preparing for a crucial launch. He was looking for someone to handle the operations side and to actually execute the launch. I thought it would be very interesting and was excited about it.” So, Diane made a leap.
And Diane landed. “We successfully launched the product.” But like with any leap in life, it’s not just about the jump and the landing, it’s also about where exactly you find yourself in the end. “After two years in the consulting world, well, it was something that just didn’t appeal to me. I realized I was more cutout for corporate positions.” And so, Diane determined that she needed to summon up the strength and courage, and time and energy, to make another leap.
From the beginning, Diane recognized that she needed certain skills—skills that she felt she lacked. “I was all over. I was in my late fifties, and for all of my career I had never had to network or seek employment. I was always sought out or retained by search agencies or whatever. So, I really didn’t have the skills or know-how to use products like LinkedIn and those kinds of things.”
Diane recognized the true value of such skills. She did not need to be convinced that better marketing, promotion, and use of technology can determine the success or failure of a brand. “So, I started to do some research, and I looked at a few different companies. The Barrett Group was one of them, and, basically, after speaking with two other companies, I chose Barrett. I liked what they had to say. I liked the process they described. And I thought they could be beneficial, helping me seek what I wanted to do.”
Diane quickly got to work together with her consultant. “So, I became very active. On a weekly basis. I did my homework with my consultant.” First, they focused on the tools needed to promote her brand, including her resume and her LinkedIn. “Learning how to use some of the more sort of hidden or secretive features of LinkedIn was extremely helpful.” They then used those tools to promote her brand through leveraging her social capital. “I re-established contact with a lot of my former coworkers and such, which was extremely helpful. I networked with people who were peers at the time I worked with them, but who were now in executive roles like CEO.”
Diane quickly got results. “I landed an interview with a sporting goods company in New York.” But the purpose of The Barret Group is not to find a job for their clients. It is to find the right job for their clients. Diane rejected the opportunity with the complete support of her career consultant. “I ultimately decided that it was not something I was interested in, based upon their structure and things of that nature.”
And then came a twist. “In the middle of all of this my friend sold his consulting company to a firm that specialized in SAP consulting.” The new management showed they appreciated Diane and offered her a new opportunity. “They asked me if I would stay on as the VP of operations.”
Diane and The Barrett Group pivoted immediately—together and in sync. “I spoke to my consultant about it, and we looked at the pros and cons of continuing my search or moving forward with the new management.” Diane was now at least tempted to stay. “In the end, I considered a variety of factors, like some of the things that were promised to me, some of the opportunities that I would have, and the fact that I would now be part of a much larger organization with more structure. So, I decided to stay.”
Although a decision had been made, neither Diane nor her consultant lost focus. “So, my consultant at Barrett and I switched gears and she helped me negotiate the package with the new ownership. She was extremely helpful, taking me through the steps to do that successfully.”
Diane’s consultant had proved her value to Diane during the decision-making process, and she proved herself again during the negotiations process, a necessary step to making her decision a reality. “I probably would not have negotiated the salary and everything else I ended up with, you know, the perks that came with it, the terms of the contract and all those other things. I can't thank The Barrett Group enough.”
“I had been a chief information officer. The operations officer role was something I had never really been in before. It was new and exciting, and I looked forward to it.” And, finally, like many Barrett clients, she of course had a better salary, better perks, and a better title, as well as one other outcome. “You know, I received a sign-on bonus that more than covered The Barrett Group’s fees.”
“I have talked to many people who have been considering The Barret Group and have successfully joined the company. I would say that if you really feel you don't have those skills, don't try learning them on your own, because time is of the essence, because most especially because the people I do reference calls with are sort of in my same situation, a seasoned professional with a lot of younger competition.”
“I would say that it was so worth the expenditure of fees versus the return. So there's a great return on investment.”