VP of Operations
Security Program Manager
Global Director of Finance
Vice President of Sales and Business Development
Director of Industrial Controls
Senior Construction Management - Executive Scheduler
Software Architect / Engineer
Corporate Director of Hotel Operations
Director of Process Excellence
Head of Revenue Technology & Operations
Diane - Success Study
VP 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.”
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Vincent Capodicci - Success Study
Security Program Manager
Vincent Capodicci was a longtime foreign service officer at the U.S. Department of State and a director of operations and security of several high-risk embassies and consulates.
Federal Government, Nonprofit, Government Contracting, Technology
Operations, Security, Management, Training, Compliance
After spending more than 30 years in the federal government, most of it overseas, Vincent wanted to be a full-time husband and father to his young family, which required leaving government for the private sector.
Vincent learned how to brand himself, then a resume and LinkedIn profile overhaul and a lot of work to develop his network helped him garner abundant recruiter attention.
Vincent landed an exciting position as security program manager for a large government contractor at a compensation level that exceeded his expectations.
Vincent Capodicci had a long, rich, and exciting career in the U.S. government. After 10 years of military service, he spent the better part of two decades in the U.S. State Department where he worked as a foreign service officer in high-risk posts. He rose to the level of director of operations and security in the U.S. embassies and consulates of Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Over that time, Vincent became an expert in the greater Middle East region and in security and protective operations – and he loved it.
As a foreign service officer, however, Vincent moved to a different country every three to four years, which is hard on a family. To maintain stability for his children, his family remained in Connecticut where Vincent would visit them every few months. Ultimately, Vincent wanted to find a balance that enabled him to pursue work about which he was passionate while living full-time with his family.
“I’ve always been overseas for months and visiting home for a couple of weeks at time. I missed my family, and they missed me. About a year ago I decided that I wanted to be closer to them, and that meant leaving the State Department for the private sector,” said Vincent.
Soon after, Vincent resigned from full-time employment with the State Department. But he was able to line up a consulting contract with their Foreign Affairs Security Training Center, which enabled him to keep his security clearance and draw a paycheck as he looked for work. Then he dusted off his resume and began job seeking.
“I hired a resume writing service to redo my resume and help me create a LinkedIn profile. I began sending resumes through a service recommended to me, but I wasn’t getting the jobs leads I wanted,” said Vincent.
Fortunately, Vincent had time on his side. He began researching career management services and found The Barrett Group [TBG]. On the recommendation of a friend, he hired them and, before long, was meeting with David Black, a coach in TBG’s Clarity Program.
“I really liked Clarity and I enjoyed working with David. I didn’t feel pressure to hurry, so I went through the program at my own pace,” said Vincent.
Vincent learned a lot about his work and leadership styles thanks to the activities he did in the Clarity program, and he was able to easily identify his goals.
“You benefit the most from the personality assessments if you are honest and truthful. When I got the results, it was scary how spot on they were! They gave me specifics about my personality and work ethic that helped me design my LinkedIn profile and my approach to networking.”
Vincent determined that he wanted to stay within the world of security because he liked the challenges. He also wanted to work for a company that enabled him to maintain his sense of service to the bigger picture.
“Clarity helped me think beyond ground-level, physical security, which had been my focus before, to a higher-level, more overall, management of security. It broadened my horizon under the security umbrella.”
Just as Vincent began working with his career consultant, Larry DiBoni, next, he scored an interview for a great role with a renowned defense contractor. He told Larry that he wanted to pivot.
“Before I even got my first updated resume from the TBG team, I got an interview for a director position. Larry was essentially introducing himself and I told him, ‘We need to change the plan and focus on that!’ So, he juggled things around to help me prep for it.”
That hiring process took two months. Vincent was disappointed when he was turned down for the job, but he chalked it up to bad timing.
“I learned a lot from Larry and The Barrett Group program that I applied later in my job search, but I didn’t know how to sell myself well yet at that stage. If that opportunity had come later, I think I would have gotten the position.”
Undeterred, Vincent re-focused on job searching. He and the TBG writing team restructured his resume, stripping out unnecessary details and making important elements eye-catching. At Larry’s suggestion, he highlighted skills that are in greater demand in the private sector, like cyber and tech security, which opened a new range of opportunities to him. He learned from Larry about the power of social capital and how to use LinkedIn to develop it, and, within a month, he had lined up more interviews.
“I used the unpublished market in my prior line of work, but the foreign service community is tight knit. The private sector is a much larger scale. So, Larry taught me how to set up lines with people and follow up with them – he helped me map out a networking strategy. Because I knew few people in the private sector, the key was to get referrals from someone who knew someone who knew my reputation. That required a lot more research and connecting, which took time.”
Vincent was happy to find organizations that wanted to recruit veterans or former federal workers for the experience they bring to the table. But he also faced skepticism by some hiring managers that he could adapt to a private sector environment.
“I struggled with that attitude, but Larry and I worked on developing a good counterpoint response.”
After taking his time to find the right job, Vincent was thrilled to land a role as the security program manager for a large government contractor in what he describes as a “textbook” case of unpublished market success.
“Several months ago, I got an email from a person who was searching for a candidate with my skillset for a role at a major government contractor. He saw that I was connected on LinkedIn to someone they had recently hired that had previously worked at the State Department and he wanted to schedule a time to talk about the position.”
After several weeks of interviewing, Vincent was offered the position, in which he would oversee all security aspects of the organization’s government defense contracts. The compensation package was everything he had wanted and more.
Three weeks into his new job, Vincent couldn’t be happier – and he gives large credit for his success to his career consultant.
“The most valuable aspect of the TBG program for me was the interaction I had with my coach. Larry and I got along really well. Even after talking business, we’d talk about hobbies. I felt that he was personally invested in me, and that helped him guide me in the right direction.”
Thanks to that guidance, Vincent anticipates an exciting, new career in the private sector.
“The way TBG broke everything down was phenomenal – not just Larry, but the whole support team behind him. They show you how to find the cracks and back doors into an organization by leveraging the thousands of people that are connected to you in some way. And if you have any problems with recruiters, TBG can give you the point of contact for the position you want so you can follow up with the hiring manager directly. That opened a lot of doors!” said Vincent. “And even though I’m no longer looking for a job, I’m still networking with people. My network has exploded in multiple directions. These are opportunities that will continue to grow.”
Laura - Success Study
Global Director of Finance
Laura was a long-time employee of a financial institution in Silicon Valley. By any measure, her tenure was a success. She appreciated her company, and her company appreciated her.
When her superior left, she asked for a promotion to his open position. She was told something vague and discouraging, like, “You’re not quite ready.”
Laura made improvements to how she presented herself to the marketplace, particularly LinkedIn, and became a dedicated and effective networker.
Laura became a director and then a global director. Her new employer allowed her to grow and, to this day, encourages her to grow.
In some cases, our focus is on protecting already maximized value, like when The Barrett Group helps a c-level client who has been downsized as part of a merger find a similarly lucrative and powerful role with another company. In other cases, our focus is on helping a client unlock their value, like when The Barrett Group helps a client who is a high-level manager move from a company that undervalues her to a company that recognizes her potential and true value. This is such a story, told at the client’s request without names to protect employer and employee alike.
Our client was a long-time employee of a financial institution in Silicon Valley. By any measure, her tenure was a success. She appreciated her company, and her company appreciated her. She received raises and promotions through the years. Beginning as a project manager, she was promoted to a full management position overseeing the project managers and then promoted again, this time to a senior manager position.
After becoming a senior manager, she did as she had always done—she sought out added responsibilities, something her employer no longer encouraged. And when her superior left, she asked for a promotion to his open position. She was told something vague and discouraging, like, “You’re not quite ready.” or “You’re not there quite yet.” She decided that she needed to find somewhere else to work if she was to grow, somewhere with more light and less shade. What good is the potential for growth in a place without the room or resources to grow?
Initially, our client tried to find a new position entirely on her own. It didn’t work. She decided she might need some help. Like most clients of The Barrett Group, she did not simply rush to us for help. She looked around, talking to a number of firms, and she shopped around. And only then did she decide that The Barrett Group would be the best bet for helping her unlock her value.
The Barrett Group does not sell magic. It sells a process that works. That process, especially the beginning of that process, can be difficult, as The Barrett Group and clients work, as partners, to build the foundation of a successful search. In this case, the beginning of the process was helped by something worthy of relief and elation. Our client discovered that she was not alone in her valuation of herself. In finding The Barrett Group, she found not only an ally, but a team of allies, who, unlike her current employer, agreed with her valuation and were determined to get the marketplace to recognize that valuation.
Our client went to work to prove the truth of her valuation, and The Barrett Group to prove that their encouragement of her valuation was not bluster. Together, they revised her resume and her LinkedIn profile, The Barrett Group persuading her that her LinkedIn image shouldn’t be an online version of her resume—that the two serve different purposes. And they convinced her that she had even undervalued herself in a few specific ways. For example, when accounting for her implementation experience, she should count not only her years in charge of implementation projects, but also her years working as part of implementation teams. And so, she began making subtle improvements to the way she presented herself to the marketplace.
Perhaps most importantly, The Barrett Group convinced her to become a dedicated and effective networker. They explained to her that they would be willing to network on her behalf—but only as a last resort, that for her job search to be the very best job search she needed to try networking herself. And she did. Because she engaged The Barrett Group, she networked in ways she would not have networked without them and with a previously unimaginable level of dedication, in part inspired by the financial commitment she had made to her search.
In the process, she not only became an effective networker, but a zealous convert. When she reached out to former colleagues, with the encouragement of The Barrett Group, she was pleasantly surprised. And when she contacted a former supervisor, who she hadn’t talked to in 15 years, she was also pleasantly surprised. She discovered that people were not only willing to help her, but that they were happy to help her. She had a nice lunch with her former supervisor. And, with the help of and a little bit of pushing by The Barrett Group, she discovered that networking isn’t so bad.
During her job search, her employer, perhaps sensing something, offered further evidence that it did value her, as she was offered a retention bonus. She accepted, as the bonus required her to stay with her employer until a specified date but in no way prohibited her continuing her search for a better place to grow. And she continued to search as before, with energy, intelligence, and the help of The Barrett Group.
Soon, she had a number of interviews and multiple offers. When a hoped-for offer didn’t materialize, The Barrett Group supported her. When a good offer materialized and she decided she should decline, The Barrett Group supported her—fully, as The Barrett Group recognizes that the goal of a job search is not job offers, but the right job for their client. Despite her present situation, working for an employer who did not recognize her true value, she remained patient.
And then, something—something so fortuitous that a reasonable person would not even dare to wish for it—happened. An offer began to materialize as the date for her retention bonus approached. One day, she received her retention bonus, having fully honored its terms. The next day, she left.
In the end, she had not only a retention bonus, but a better salary, a better title, a better employer, and, bottom line, a better job. And so, what began as a story of one manager believing in her valuation of herself, continued as a story of her finding someone else who believed in and supported that valuation. And it ended as a story of a third party, her new employer, recognizing both her present value as an executive and her growth potential. Together, the three of them, the client, The Barrett Group, and the client’s new employer, succeeded in unlocking her value.
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Kia Banisadre - Success Study
Vice President of Sales and Business Development
Kia Banisadre served as an acute care consultant for a large healthcare platform based in Dallas that develops value-based healthcare payment programs.
Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Hospitals, Veterinary
Optimization, Operations, Consulting, Sales & Marketing, Business Development
After getting laid off for the third time, Kia wanted to learn how to gain more control over his career.
During the exercise of “paying it forward” to people in his network, one professional contact proposed an unusual opportunity to Kia that was a great match for his skillset – and one he never imagined doing.
Kia was invited to develop a new division, as VP of sales and business development, for an accounting firm that had identified a lucrative new market in the veterinary services world.
As an acute care consultant for a large healthcare platform based in Dallas, Kia Banisadre consulted with hospital groups and post-acute care facilities on how to get better patient outcomes while saving money. During a reorganization, which involved a mass layoff, however, Kia found himself out of a job.
“This is the third time in a row for me to get laid off,” said Kia. “I decided then that I needed to have more control over my career.”
For Kia, there was a silver lining to getting laid off. He’d come to realize that many of the responsibilities he had been tasked to do didn’t play to his strengths. He’d spent most of his career doing sales and business development or running entire sales divisions, and he resolved to get back to his roots.
To Kia’s surprise, it didn’t go well.
“It was interesting. I couldn’t land a sales job in pharma. All the hiring managers told me that I was up against people with 10-15 years of experience. By comparison, I had four years running entire sales divisions and a decade of selling deals worth millions of dollars in the healthcare field. That kind of work involves selling products to doctors that cost a lot of money and present a far greater risk to them than asking them to try a new medication for their patients. Yet, despite my success in far more challenging sales environments with the same customer base, the hiring managers couldn’t seem to appreciate that and never considered me a serious candidate for pharma sales. It was really frustrating to be considered under-qualified for jobs that I was more than qualified to do.”
Four months into his job search, Kia still didn’t have a job. Initially, he hadn’t been interested in pursuing executive jobs because he had gotten burned out by them earlier in his career. However, when a few recruiters began reaching out to him about executive opportunities, he had a change of heart.
“That is what led me to The Barrett Group [TBG]. Once I realized I still have a passion for leading a team and shaping business strategy, I decided to partner with someone who would look out for me and my interests in my job search,” said Kia.
Kia started his TBG experience with the Clarity Program and enjoyed it enormously.
“Clarity was incredibly eye-opening to me. I loved it! My coach, Lisa Levesque, had very positive energy and was so helpful. I had never taken the time to do a deep dive into myself and explore what I am really looking for. Things are so much easier after that,” said Kia. “The Clarity exercises focused me. Before I started the program, I was considering numerous things that I might do. By the time I finished, it was really clear to me what I wanted to do.”
Kia’s focus was to get an executive role in sales or business development, one that allowed him to be in a hybrid working environment, and one that allowed him to talk to people versus being behind a screen all day. Within two weeks, he was ready to begin work toward that goal with his career consultant, George Schulz.
“George has been wonderful. He really gets to know you and what you’re looking for, and he is always responsive.”
With George, Kia worked a lot on interviewing skills.
“Working with George was super helpful. I gave answers to sample interview questions and George gave great feedback, saying whether they were too short or long, good or bad, and how best to respond to tricky questions.”
The two also covered a lot of information about LinkedIn.
“My opinion of LinkedIn has changed so much after doing these Barrett Group exercises. I didn’t used to think much of LinkedIn, but now I think that if you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re not serious!”
When it came to social capital building exercises, Kia initially had doubts. Not only was it more work than he expected, but also, he questioned their value.
“One exercise was to call people I know and trust and offer my expertise to them. I asked George, ‘Is this a mistake?’ Everyone I know well already knows what I do, and they know that I’m always willing to help them. So why would I call them to tell them something they already know?”
Kia did what he was asked, though, and he soon learned two important lessons. First, his assumptions about his friends were not necessarily correct. Second, the point of the exercise was as much to trigger fresh conversations with his friends as it was to offer them help.
“I was surprised to find that my friends didn’t really know what my expertise is. I assumed they knew what I do, but they didn’t!” said Kia. “We ended up having some really good conversations.”
One discussion with a close friend turned out to be Kia’s ticket to a brand-new career in an industry he never imagined working in.
“My friend told me he wanted to expand his business and needed accounting help. So, I told him I would refer him to a former colleague who runs an accounting firm. When I reached out to the colleague, he and I started catching up. Then he told me about some interesting market trends in the veterinary industry that his firm had benefited from. He had gotten several referrals for some high-margin business deals and wanted my advice about whether hiring a salesperson might help him to get more.”
Kia offered his perspective and, before long, Kia’s colleague asked whether Kia would consider helping him build out a sales program for his firm and, eventually, a department to capitalize on this attractive new market opportunity. Ultimately, Kia was hired as VP of sales and business development.
“I didn’t think of my conversation with my accounting friend as an interview, but that is the power of being well prepared. An interview feels like a conversation. Next thing you know, I have a job that I love that plays to my strengths! I have a leadership and administrative role, building out a department and processes, and I also get to be in the field, talking to people. I could not have asked for a better fit! The only difference is that I am in veterinary healthcare, not human healthcare. I’m really enjoying it!”
After landing, Kia thought that his TBG program was finished, but he was pleasantly surprised to find otherwise.
“Even though I’ve landed, it hasn’t been the end of my TBG services. George has been great about suggesting ways that TBG can be helpful even now that I have a job. I feel like I still have someone in my corner.”
Because Kia is in sales, George offered to provide him with a TBG-generated lead list of veterinary practices.
“Within three days, The Barrett Group provided me with a list of veterinary practices with owner names and phone numbers throughout all the states that I requested. It was amazing! I’m soon going to have a client meeting with a guy in Florida that I never would have reached out to without these lists. Having that information is creating so much efficiency for me. I can’t emphasize enough how important that is for someone who is brand new to an executive leadership role.”
Within two months of joining TBG, Kia had landed a brand-new career, and he couldn’t be happier.
“Engaging The Barrett Group has been well worth it. I wanted to find the exact job I wanted but I didn’t even know what the exact job might be. I certainly never considered that it would be in a completely different industry!” said Kia. “How much you put behind your slogan ‘We are here to help’ is not just lip service – the value you give back to clients is probably more than clients anticipate they will get.”
Justin Kinney - Success Study
Director of Industrial Controls
Justin Kinney was senior manager of robotics at an American multinational that provides equipment, technologies, and expertise to oil and gas industry customers.
Energy, Industrial, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Manufacturing, Robotics, Supply Chain, Distribution
Robotics, Software, Industrial Controls, Management
Justin felt that his team was neither supported nor valued as much as it deserved by management, and he wanted a more fulfilling career.
Learning how to align his resume and his interviewing skills perfectly to each opportunity was critical in helping Justin land his new role.
Justin not only landed a higher-level role, but also in a new industry – and at a higher compensation level.
Justin Kinney was senior manager of robotics at an American multinational that provides equipment, technology, and expertise to oil & gas industry customers. For four and a half years, he grew and led a team that invented and developed robotics for oil & gas applications, becoming a leader in that space. He was proud of the work, but he felt as though management was not providing the professional development, support, nor rewards that the team merited. So, Justin took measures to advance his career into his own hands.
“I thought my career wasn’t going anywhere. So, I decided to take the next step, myself,” said Justin.
Justin launched a covert job search while he continued working. Although he had spent the bulk of his career in the oil & gas industry, he wanted to get out of it.
“Most robotics development is in the manufacturing and distribution industries, so that was my focus. But it was hard to break out of oil & gas. I have spent so much of my career there that hiring managers in other industries didn’t see how I could do any other kind of work. That was my biggest hurdle,” said Justin.
For three months, Justin job searched, using LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed, but he had little success. He got a few interviews, but none of them resulted in an offer. On one occasion, he made it all the way to the final round of interviews for a director-level position only to be informed that he didn’t get the job.
Four days later, he hired The Barrett Group.
“When I lost that opportunity, I decided I needed help. Robotics is a competitive market, and my oil & gas experience was hurting me,” said Justin.
When he began the Clarity Program, Justin tried to learn everything he could.
“I started by having weekly meetings with Stacy Ballinger, my Clarity coach, for a few weeks. I liked working with Stacy. She was always available, and we had good conversations,” said Justin. “Clarity confirmed that I was headed in the right direction, and it highlighted things I needed to work on.”
Clarity also helped Justin think through parameters of his job search, such as salary, and geography.
In the next part of the program, Justin worked through elements as quickly as possible, starting with the social capital building exercises.
“I struggled with the social capital component at first, but I knew I needed to make all those calls. My network was really weak in my target industry. My contacts were mostly in oil & gas. In the end, I did expand my network to a lot of people in robotics and automation and grew it in a way that I wanted to grow it,” said Justin. “I really see the value in it, and I enjoy those conversations. I plan to continue reaching out to people going forward.”
Justin found his career consultant, Joan Sebring, to be responsive to his questions and needs as she took him through the program, but also firm.
“Joan was good, but she didn’t coddle me. I can be hard-headed and sometimes I didn’t want to do what she asked me to do. She would sometimes tell me to stop doing something and do something else. I had to keep telling myself, ‘I need to just listen to what TBG is telling me to do, even if I think I know better, because what I was doing before didn’t work for me!’” said Justin.
Justin determined to have faith in his career coach and everything that she requested of him. Some of the tasks she assigned him, Justin found easy. Others were challenging.
“I did not have a good resume, and updating it was hard because the resume writing team asked me to give metrics for everything on it. That information is hard to track down! But the writing team and I went back and forth on it, which was helpful because now I know how to manage my resume for the future. “Now,” Justin added, “My resume is really good!”
Justin learned a lot of good interviewing skills, too.
“I didn’t interview well, but I thought I did! That was a problem I had to work on as I went through the program. At one company I had three interviews. The hiring manager narrowed the candidates down to me and another guy – and then chose the other guy.”
Accepting that there was a lot he could learn about job seeking – and making a concerted effort to improve in those areas – made all the difference in Justin’s job search journey. Although he still faced some rejections, Justin found that with his new resume and his interview skills, he got much farther along in the hiring process.
“Before, I would apply to jobs and get few responses. After working with The Barrett Group, though, I made sure to align my resume with the job description and consistently got past the screening interview. That became almost automatic.”
In the end, Justin credits his improvements in exactly the areas where he was weakest with his eventual landing. He saw a job posting on LinkedIn for a director-level position that, ironically, was at the same company where he had been an unsuccessful finalist just prior to engaging The Barrett Group. The company, a developer of innovative robotics and software for the supply chain, offered Justin fantastic career growth.
“I kept following this company because I knew they would grow. Six months after failing to get a job there, they posted another job that lined up with my experience and was an even better role than the one I didn’t get. I applied through LinkedIn – this time, with a better resume, because I aligned it perfectly with the role.”
Justin sailed past all the normal obstacles.
“The hiring manager was the same person as before! Then I met with managers I hadn’t met before, including the CTO. I nailed the interviews because I went into them understanding what they needed for the role. For every question they asked, I aligned my answers with the position. I didn’t make anything up – I just focused on things that were important to the role.
When the job offer came in, Justin got everything he wanted and more.
“I didn’t even try to negotiate because I thought the offer was so good. They even gave me a sign-on bonus!”
Justin is delighted to have transitioned not only to a director position, but also to an exciting new industry.
“The job I got positions me well for future career growth. It was hard to both move up and into another industry, where I didn’t know anyone, simultaneously. But practicing how to frame my experiences properly helped me. For me, the best value of The Barrett Group program was in the resume writing and interview coaching. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Aligning yourself perfectly with the role – it all comes down to that.”
Heather - Success Study
Senior Construction Management - Executive Scheduler
Heather worked 15 years overseeing multi-billion-dollar projects as a construction scheduler for a major developer of resorts in Las Vegas.
Heather wanted a change of both corporate environment and geography, but her job search efforts failed to gain traction.
Plumbing her LinkedIn profile revealed valuable connections to an ideal job at a major construction firm in the unpublished market.
Before she even completed the TBG program, Heather was offered, at a whirlwind pace, a position as scheduling executive in Seattle.
As the director of corporate scheduling at a world-class developer of resorts in Las Vegas, Heather successfully managed upwards of 50 construction projects at a time, spanning multiple locations, each worth millions or even billions of dollars. She loved being a scheduler, but after 15 years with the same company she started to feel that her values were no longer aligned with the values of the company. She craved a change.
Heather started her job search by using Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and many other job search tools. But her search went nowhere. She just knew there had to be a firm out there that could help skilled, experienced executives transition to new positions, and she scoured the internet looking for it. Finally, she found The Barrett Group (TBG).
“It was obvious that I would not be able to find a new position doing what I wanted to do without help. I had never heard of The Barrett Group before, and I was so happy that I found it,” said Heather. “The Barrett Group process is incredible.”
Heather derived a lot of benefit from the Clarity program at the outset, not least of which was a realization that she wanted to move someplace with trees.
“The personality testing was wonderful. It was amazing to see how I’m perceived by others, and it has helped me be more cognizant of my strengths and weaknesses,” said Heather. “It was clear to me that the TBG team was using the information they gleaned from the test to tailor the program to me.”
A steps-driven person, Heather valued the very logical methodology of the TBG program. She appreciated that it was flexible enough to enable her to work through it at a pace that suited her. She learned a lot about how to manage LinkedIn, and spent much of her time working with it. And she was delighted by her resume makeover.
“The TBG team did an incredible job with my resume. My new resume makes me look like a million bucks!” said Heather.
Before Heather had even finished Phase 1 of the program, an opportunity popped up on LinkedIn that she thought would be ideal for her. To her delight, Heather found that 10 of her close connections had direct connections to the company in question. She started making phone calls and, though the Covid pandemic was in full swing, found herself, within a day, interviewing for the position. Within two weeks the hiring manager asked her how soon she could start.
Heather credits The Barrett Group for channeling the special kismet that produced such a rapid, successful career transition.
“It was thanks to the coaching I got that made this job opportunity come to fruition,” said Heather. “Before I hired The Barrett Group I would have seen the job ad, applied, not gotten it, and moved on instead of first reaching out to my network, asking them to talk to their connections, and have them put me in touch with the right people. That’s what The Barrett Group did for me.”
Some identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Dave - Success Study
Software Architect / Engineer
Dave was a senior software engineer for a small, private technology startup.
Information Technology, Consumer Electronics
Technology, Software Engineering
Dave had a history of getting jobs and not liking them, including the job where he was at the time, so he enlisted professional help to break the pattern.
In-depth conversations with his TBG coaches helped Dave understand what he truly wants from his career and exercise the discipline necessary to pursue it.
Within three months of starting his job search, Dave eschewed tantalizing opportunities at startups and accepted a role as software architect for a traditional, multinational consumer electronics company.
Dave was senior software engineer for a small, private, technology company based in Silicon Valley. When he took the job, he thought he would develop software and write code but, as often happens at small startups, he ended up wearing other hats. Within a few months, it was clear to Dave that the company was not a good fit.
“It wasn’t work I liked or what I wanted to be doing with my life. I felt unsuccessful at my job and that I wasn’t moving my career forward,” said Dave.
Dave started thinking about leaving his job. As a software developer (a title very much in demand in today’s job market) with 30 years of experience, he was accustomed to getting four to five queries from headhunters each day. So, he kept an eye out for interesting prospects. But one day, a digital ad for career management services at The Barrett Group (TBG) popped up on his screen and caught his attention.
“I clicked on the link and looked at the company’s website. It got me thinking. I have a history of getting jobs and not liking them. What is it about me and the jobs that I take that don’t work out? I wanted to understand, so I booked a call,” said Dave.
Dave recognized that throughout his long career, he’d never stayed longer than four years at any company – often he lasted only one or two years. He wanted a job that was different. He was also intrigued by the executive focus of TBG’s career management program.
“Because I’ve worked mostly at startups, I’ve always been a manager or director in practice, but not in title, because I’m the most senior person in the room. I would attend all the money meetings and the client meetings. I acted as the CTO but never had that title. I thought that The Barrett Group could help me get to the next level.”
Before long, Dave was meeting with TBG Clarity Coach Natalie Bybee.
“Natalie was excellent! She was personable, smart, a good listener, and really helpful at clarifying things for me. Best of all, she called me out on my bull. Working with her, it finally dawned on me that, despite spending a lot of my career working at startups, I don’t actually like startups. I was going from startup to startup wondering why I was unhappy. At my age, you’d think that I would have figured that out by now,” said Dave. “That was a huge ‘Aha’ moment for me. That alone was worth the price of The Barrett Group Program.”
Dave admits that he finds startups to be exciting, interesting places, with lots of energy, youth, and money. That’s what always attracted him to them. But, once there, the pace of work and the expectation of long hours doing urgent tasks across multiple job functions is exhausting.
“I’ve had about 20 jobs in my career, but I’ve had a clear job description in only three of them,” said Dave. “I’ve spent a lot of time maturing companies but what I realized, working with Natalie, is that I don’t like doing that. I don’t want to be the one to mature the company. I just want to work in a mature company with guidelines and processes where there are clear boundaries and where people stay in their lanes. That’s what I crave at this point in my life.”
In his final Clarity session, Natalie coached Dave to think about what it is that he really wanted to do, keep perspective, have patience, and to try to see his goals through.
“That sounds simple and obvious, but when you have lots of people calling you every day to invite you to work for them, it’s hard not to jump at all those opportunities,” said Dave.
Dave discussed these issues further with his executive career consultant, Barbara Limmer, in the next part of TBG’s program.
“Barbara was great, too. I really liked her. She really seemed to care about my doing well and finding what I was looking for,” said Dave. “Barbara helped me break my job search pattern by reminding me of the goals that I had established for myself in the Clarity Program – that I wanted a more established company. That I didn’t want a startup. That I wanted a management position. If I told her about a position that interested me, she pushed back and asked me how it fit into my goals. I always felt that she had my best interests in mind.”
It was well-timed advice because Dave garnered recruiter attention as soon as he and the TBG team changed his LinkedIn profile.
“If you change a space on your LinkedIn profile it triggers recruiters to look at it. That was great, but I valued reworking my resume and LinkedIn profile more for the process than the product because it gave me the opportunity to talk about myself and my experience in a way that I would not have done otherwise.”
At first, Dave held back on engaging with recruiters until he was further along in the program, but Barbara coached him to respond to all the queries he received because timing is crucial in a job search. In these conversations, he found himself getting more interested in software architect positions and less excited about management positions.
“I started getting interviews immediately – for software people it’s crazy! In a week I’d have six or seven first calls and one or two first interviews. Barbara was awesome. She stayed on top of all my opportunities and gave me a plan for each one. She accelerated the course to keep up with me and customized it to meet my needs.”
Dave heard from recruiters from numerous startups, but one message came in from a large, well-established, multinational consumer electronics company looking for a software architect. Dave sent his resume. Within a week he had an interview. He interviewed a second time the following week. The day after that interview, he got a job offer.
“What’s funny is that I tried to stall to buy time for a second interview at another company – which was a startup! Despite an offer in hand from an established company with a clear role that ticked all my boxes, I was tempted to follow my old pattern. I was given only 24 hours to make up my mind, however, and I accepted the offer. Barbara helped me navigate that emotionally.”
Dave is excited to explore this new path in his career.
“My new team seems like the team that I’ve been craving,” said Dave. “I really valued the in-depth conversations I had with Natalie and Barbara about my career because they kept me from repeating the same mistakes.”
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com
Ashley Turner - Success Study
Corporate Director of Hotel Operations
Ashley Turner was regional director of operations for an Indiana-based, health care company providing autism therapy.
Hospitality & Leisure, Healthcare, Hospitals
After working 11 years in her family business, Ashley left for a job that was a poor fit, but she lacked the job seeking skills and confidence in her business credentials to find a more suitable one.
After identifying her goals, Ashley built her confidence by reaching out to her network and learned how to parry awkward interview questions about her reasons for leaving her family business.
Ashley accepted a job as corporate director of hotel operations for an international firm that offered her more money, flexibility on her home base, and a great team of colleagues.
Ashley Turner was regional director of operations for a health care company providing autism therapy to children. She came to the job less than a year earlier after deciding to step away from her father’s hotel management and development business in Indiana where she had worked for 11 years – her entire post-college career. Working for her father, Ashley developed great experience in every position, from sales to vice president. So, when her father expressed an interest in stepping back from his business, Ashley was ready and began assuming his responsibilities. But then Ashley’s father changed his mind.
It got challenging to have two people with two different visions leading the company, and Ashley concluded that it was time for her to leave. She took a director position overseeing autism centers, thinking that it might stimulate other professional interests, but it was not a good fit.
“I thought I’d love working with kids with disabilities, but I didn’t like the business structure of the new organization. It wasn’t a financially-driven model, and it didn’t play to my strengths,” said Ashley.
Ashley’s strengths, she knew, were overall business perspective and creating a guest experience – namely, hotel management. She was dissatisfied in her new job but felt that returning to hotel management was not an option. The hotel world in Indiana is small, and Ashley didn’t think her dad’s competitors would ever hire her. At the same time, getting a job outside the state didn’t seem feasible either because family commitments tied her to Indiana.
Feeling directionless, Ashley hired The Barrett Group.
“I had never thought about looking for another job until I left my father’s company. I hadn’t written a resume since I was 22,” said Ashley. “I needed professional guidance to get my head straight, and I needed help job searching.”
For the next four to six weeks, Ashley worked with her Clarity coach to think through the industry and job function she wanted to pursue, the size of company she preferred, and to understand the value that she offered employers.
“I had a great experience with Clarity. I was feeling insecure about whether I was truly good at things or just thought I was because my dad had made work easy for me. But here was an unbiased person telling me what she saw as my strengths based on various assessments and our personal interactions. It was great validation to me.”
After Clarity, Ashley began working with Julie Mathern, her career consultant, which she valued very much.
“It was really good working with Julie. Not only was she a great sounding board, she gave me accountability. We had a call every week, and I would make sure to do the things she asked me to do before the call. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t want to disappoint her. She kept me on track more than I would have done on my own.”
The first thing Ashley tackled was her resume and cover letter. Next, she updated her LinkedIn profile.
“Julie showed me how to find first-, second-, and third-degree LinkedIn connections and properly use them. Then I set up references,” said Ashley.
Setting up references required Ashley to reach out to her network, a task she found uniquely uncomfortable.
“It was very hard to contact people because everyone knows my dad and we have always been a package deal. I knew it would be difficult to talk to them about us splitting up,” said Ashley.
To her surprise, Ashley found that her contacts were quite receptive to her and had a high regard for her as a businesswoman. Many were quite happy to provide a good reference for her. The more people she spoke to, the more comfortable she became, and the exercise proved to be a valuable means of building confidence.
Looking for a job in hotel management was particularly hard during Covid – the industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Ashley had reasonable expectations, though.
“The folks at TBG said it normally takes six to twelve months to find a job, and during Covid it might be longer. In the beginning, the hotel industry was dead. My job search produced no interviews in January or February of 2021. In March, however, I saw a job post for corporate director of hotel operations in my inbox. I was pumped because it was a lot faster than I had anticipated!”
The position appealed to Ashley because it was similar to the role she’d had at her father’s company, but this time for a global company with different levels of luxury than she was used to. She’d be visiting properties around the country. Best of all, it was a remote job, so Indiana could be her home base.
“I was very excited because my experience with hotels is mostly in the Midwest,” said Ashley.
Ashley started with a phone screening and ended with flying to Atlanta for two days of in-person interviews. Within 30 days, she had the job. She credits her career consultant with many aspects of her successful search.
“Julie’s help on the back end is a huge part of why I got this job. She set me up with a great resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, and she is the one who showed me how to navigate Indeed and set up the alerts. If she hadn’t, I would never have seen that job posting.”
Ashley also thanks Julie for the excellent interview prep she received.
“Julie coached me to discuss leaving my family’s business. I didn’t want to overexplain. Her help was important because it was one of the first questions I got. My boss told me later that I’d answered that question really well.”
When the offer was in hand, Julie also coached Ashley to negotiate a higher compensation, resulting in $10,000 more in base salary.
“I was nervous to ask for more money, but I knew Julie would be disappointed if I didn’t try. My boss just said, “Sure!”
Ashley loves her new job, and she couldn’t be happier with her TBG experience.
“Your mental state is so important when you’re looking for a job because you’re putting yourself out there. Julie gave me the tools I needed to reflect who I am and what I can do and the confidence to go out and get the job I deserve.”
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. Photo: 123rf.com
Vijay Sardeshpande - Success Study
Director of Process Excellence
Vijay Sardeshpande was director of global IT business excellence for a large, private provider of healthcare for patients with cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Hospitals, Healthcare, Medical, Software, SaaS, Property Management
Process excellence, Operations, Quality assurance, Information Technology
Vijay was a contract employee and when he began job seeking near the end of his contract, his efforts yielded frustratingly slow progress.
Vijay enhanced his appeal with hiring managers by polishing his brand – from resume to LinkedIn – and improving his overall job search skills.
A referral from a former colleague helped Vijay land a role as director of process excellence with a multinational company that provides property management software, and new negotiation techniques boosted his initial offer by $20K.
Vijay Sardeshpande was director of global IT business excellence for a large, private health care provider that specializes in treating patients with cancer and cardiovascular disease. In his role, Vijay developed global business processes for large transformation implementations and led a group of business analysts in launching new software system initiatives.
Vijay was a contractor and came to his position thanks to the referral of a former colleague who ended up becoming his manager. He enjoyed his role and hoped it would go full-time. Due to budget concerns, however, that didn’t happen, and Vijay began job seeking a few months before his contract was to end.
He updated his LinkedIn profile, talked to people in his network, and started submitting job applications for interesting job openings. He targeted director-level roles similar to those he had had in the past: business excellence, process excellence, supply chain, and operations. He was indifferent to industry and company size. His search was purposely broad. Nevertheless, progress was sluggish.
“I sent 40-50 applications per week. I got a couple of interviews, but the feedback loop was slow. I got an interview at the end of April for one job that I applied to in early February. I was getting frustrated,” said Vijay. “I actually appreciated the rejection letters I got because at least I knew where my application stood, rather than floating around in the ether.”
Vijay started to consider professional help in his job search. When a close friend recommended The Barrett Group (TBG), he made the jump.
“I started with the Clarity Program, which was good. My coach, Julie Holifield, had me do the DISC profile. I have taken a lot of personal assessment tests before, but I’ve never taken one like that. I learned a different side of myself,” said Vijay. “What was interesting is that it shows how you adjust your natural behavior depending on whether you are at home or at work. I found the results surprising at first, but my wife helped me see how they made sense.”
Vijay also found his Clarity experience eye-opening because it demonstrated to him how his values and priorities had evolved from 10 years earlier. But it also confirmed that he was pursuing the right job function and that he was right to be targeting a variety of companies and industries. After two weeks, he moved to the next phase of the TBG program.
“I really liked working with Barbara Limmer, my career consultant. She coached me through the whole job search process from beginning to end,” said Vijay.
The first thing they tackled was Vijay’s resume.
“The resume change was very helpful. It reads much better, and it’s easier to adjust to whatever role I’m applying,” said Vijay. “Even though I had paid someone to redo my resume before I hired TBG, I like this one better. The team made it look like an executive’s resume. I have even gotten compliments on it!”
Next, Vijay learned how to write a good cover letter and when to follow up after applying for a role or doing an interview. He found the lessons on how to use LinkedIn effectively and how to handle third-party recruiters super helpful. He also worked on bettering his interview skills.
“When I told Barbara that I don’t much care about geographic location or industry, she cautioned me against playing that up in interviews. Employers care about their industries and might be turned off if they think I am not committed to their industry, too. I think that may have hindered my job search previously.”
Vijay’s biggest challenge in the TBG program was the exercise Barbara gave him to expand his social capital. But Barbara talked him through how to make it easier.
“I felt awkward reaching out to people. I’m not the greatest at expressing myself through words. But Barbara assured me that is normal and that I will get more comfortable and confident with practice. She coached me on what to say, what not to say, and to focus on how we can mutually benefit each other. It’s a much better approach. I really needed help with that, and I did get better at it. Barbara helped a lot.”
Overall, Vijay found great value in everything the program covered.
“Barbara helped me tweak all the ways that I could make my job search better. She was a great sounding board. She walked the path with me and had my best interests at heart. She worked on everything. That is exactly what I needed. That is what coaching is all about – to make yourself better.”
Vijay saw his job search results improve while working with Barbara. He got more interviews, better feedback from those interviews, and more feedback from third-party recruiters. Within two months, Vijay was offered a position as director of process excellence at a multinational company that provides property management software for various real estate applications. He credits a referral from the same former colleague as before for opening the door to the opportunity and facilitating the hiring process.
“My former colleague knew the hiring manager at the new company and advocated for me. She put me in touch with the hiring manager directly, which actually enabled me to skip a few steps in the typical hiring process. The same day that I met with the senior VP, they made me an offer.”
When it came to negotiating that offer, Vijay surprised himself with how easily his TBG training paid for itself – and then some.
“I have flubbed compensation negotiations in the past, but this time I was prepared! Barbara told me about several different ways to approach them. She said, ‘If they say this, you can say that.’ Just by following what Barbara coached me to say, I got an additional $20K!”
Vijay is excited to have joined a great company with a great team doing what he enjoys most.
“What TBG offered me was great,” said Vijay. “It was money well spent and I’m definitely happy.”
Chris Burger - Success Study
Head of Revenue Technology & Operations
Chris Burger was global director of sales and order fulfillment for a large company at which he had worked for 20 years.
Software Development & Design
When new leadership proved to be a poor fit, Chris decided to pursue alternative opportunities. But after 20 years in the same job, he didn’t know where to start.
An overhauled LinkedIn profile quickly yielded multiple leads, and professional preparation for interviews and salary negotiations proved invaluable.
Chris is excited that his “final gig” before retirement is at a diverse startup with intelligent, young people who value the experience he brings.
As a global executive, Chris Burger had enjoyed a long career of managing people from around the world and from different cultures. He was happy in his position until a change in leadership prompted him to wonder whether his company would remain a good fit for him.
“The company wasn’t going in the direction I thought it should,” said Chris. “When the initial support I was promised did not materialize for a key project I was leading, I knew it was time for me to move on. I’m not that young anymore and I want to control my own destiny.”
Chris wasn’t ready to retire – he figured he had one more gig left in him, and he wanted the last gig to be a good one. However, he recognized that a lot had changed in the 20 years since he had last looked for a job, especially at the executive level. He decided to work with an advisor.
Chris ultimately hired The Barrett Group because its methodology addressed the exact areas where he needed help. As a global executive he had always customized his management style to the culture and personalities of the individuals he managed, and he appreciated that The Barrett Group, likewise, customizes its services to each client.
“The Barrett Group’s process is very complete. They began by assessing my personality, my communication style, and my goals. Then they tailored their process to my needs,” said Chris.
Chris also recognized that The Barrett Group consultants are experts where he is not – job search.
“What you don’t do often, you don’t do well. For me, that was job seeking,” said Chris. “I’d made only three or four career changes in entire life, but The Barrett Group does this for a living. They know all the tricks in the book.”
Developing his LinkedIn profile alone turned out to be hugely valuable. It prompted calls from numerous recruiters who wanted to know what he had to offer. TBG helped him field these calls by readying full company reports before every conversation.
TBG coaches fully trained him to effectively respond to recruiter questions, including using results-oriented language and good examples of his experience, and how to handle questions about compensation most effectively. They even followed up on his references to ensure they were good enough.
“That in-depth preparation instilled confidence in me during my conversations and interviews,” said Chris. “That is crucial to a successful job search – being confident about who you are and what you can do.”
TBG’s expert coaching didn’t end when Chris was offered a position by his current employer, a San Francisco startup. “The initial offer was a little below what I was expecting, so I told them I’d think about it. Then I called my consultant to discuss. In the end, the company raised the offer to a number I was glad to accept.”
With the help of The Barrett Group, Chris has embarked on the final chapter of his career – and it’s a great gig!