Bibi – Success Study

Director of Special Projects

Client: Bibi was chief administrative officer for a large university, where she worked for 24 years.

Industry: Non-Profit Environmental

Challenge: Bibi wanted a change, but she didn’t know how to navigate the modern job market.

Process: After learning her professional value and best practices for a successful job search, Bibi had the confidence to try for her dream job.

Landing: Leveraging the unpublished market, Bibi’s dream employer offered her a position and invited her to write the job description herself.

Study: 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.”
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