After nearly eight years as the chief technology officer of a fast-growing mobile marketing company, Brian Crook was ready for a sabbatical. He helped lead the company through a successful acquisition, then planned his exit, finally leaving in March for some well-earned time off.
Then, the coronavirus crisis happened.
“I had planned on taking six months off, because I’d been doing the entrepreneurial thing for a long time,” Brian said. “But the minute we went into lockdown, I thought, what am I going to do? I had been planning on surfing and playing golf and just being outside—and the first month was just pure lockdown.”
So Brian decided to look into a new position earlier than planned. As part of his exit package at his previous company, Brian had received outplacement benefits from Intoo, career transition services that help professionals make the next step in their career. Brian activated the service and was matched with Intoo career coach Jyl, who is highly experienced in working with senior executives.
“Jyl was great. We hit it off pretty instantly, and it was very comfortable, with good rapport. She helped me a lot with the basics of my resume, which was more like a CV, because I’ve done a lot of academic work. She really helped me around branding—thinking about the persona that I want to put out there and how to create the material for that persona, the resume being a first component.”
But the resume was just the tip of the iceberg. Brian and Jyl started meeting on the phone a couple times a week, spending the bulk of their time on higher-level, longer-term career strategy and goal setting.
“Part of my decision process was, do I want to continue with what I’ve been doing? Where do I want to go? How do I step into the next phase of my career? Jyl definitely helped me through that thought process a ton, as well as a lot of the other questions that correlate to that. For example, I’ve sat on a number of boards over the years, but I haven’t held paid seats. So Jyl helped me think about how to expand that. She was great with stepping back, getting me out of the technical mindset to think instead about the branding and marketing, the story and the narrative that I wanted to tell, not just for the next job opportunity, but for this part of my career.”
Because Brian was a well-respected figure in his industry, he had many companies reach out to him before he had even left his previous company. One of these companies was Google.
“I’m a career CTO, so considering working at Google was a new thought process and a little bit the inverse of what most people do in technology. A lot of people get their career started at Google, and then they go and do startups. So considering going to Google at this stage was interesting.”
Jyl supported Brian as he explored a number of different career possibilities, continuing to tweak his resume for different positions. Then Brian went through what he described as “a good five, six weeks of pretty intense video calls,” interviewing at various companies.
In the end, Brian chose Google. He started his new position as the head of cloud engineering in June 2020.
“As I built my personal brand, I decided Google was a really good fit and made sense, as opposed to some of the other CTO opportunities that I was looking at that were the same thing I was doing before. I think there’s real opportunity to build my network and bring value to Google. The segment that I’ll be working with is the whole west coast of Google’s portfolio of businesses, so I’m going to meet hundreds of CEOs in Southern California.”
With multiple companies actively recruiting him even through the coronavirus crisis, Brian knew he likely could have received more inbound job opportunities and landed a new position without additional help. Still, he found Jyl’s support invaluable through his career transition in evaluating and maximizing each opportunity that was put before him to ensure he landed the right job.
“Everyone needs help, whether or not they think they need help. It doesn’t matter how successful you look from afar. There still is value in having a dialogue and a partner that can help craft a plan. What was refreshing about working with Jyl was having a sounding board to really think about grounding everything that I’ve done into a storyline, having an end game and pivoting toward that. I probably should have worked with a career coach a decade ago, just to think about where I want to go and how to focus my narrative.”
Brian credits Jyl not just with helping with this particular job search, but with helping him pin down and move towards his big picture goals for his career as a whole.
“Jyl was very proactive. She was always there when I needed something. She pushed me to move forward and explore opportunities. She gave me deadlines and tasks, which was awesome. And the content of what she helped me with was great. Her recommendations were spot on and I accepted most of what she suggested. I was very surprised at how helpful Intoo’s outplacement solution was, mostly just because I had no experience with career coaching in the past. Resume help—that’s what I expected to get out of it initially. But I got so much more than that.”
Intoo helps employers protect their employer brand and do right by their workforce by transitioning employees to land their next job nearly 2.5 times faster than the national average time it takes to find employment—all without leaving their homes. Designed for employees of all levels, industries, and backgrounds, Intoo’s coaching-first, award-winning online platform accelerates career transition by connecting candidates with career coaches faster and by providing personalized guidance for each individual.