We had the good fortune of connecting with Briar Dougherty and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Briar, is there something you believe many others might not?
I believe that candidates looking at companies for culture fits when thinking about making a move in their career, are going about the culture fit crusade backward. Most professionals will do deep research on company culture, but forget where culture exists.
A company can be known for being purposeful, but it depends on its managers and teams to uphold that status. This is where things can go a little askew.
All it takes to tank culture is one individual.So I’d rather suggest to candidates to interview broadly and ask questions against their portrayed culture to see what that team is really like.
What does it value, how do they communicate, and how are people noticed and incentivized to perform well? From there, you will know whether you align or not to that team vs. the company as a whole.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Career Organic is a company specializing in career navigation and career growth services including 1×1 coaching for interview prep, comp package negotiations, career transition strategy, as well as professional branding including resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and bios among other group and individualized career services and workshops.
What sets us apart starts with our approach and philosophy. Before we even begin working with someone we make sure we:
First, have a service that will support their needs.
Second, we prioritize their immediate needs, and
Third, we suggest a service that will create immediate impact and traction. Simply put, this means we will not suggest full resume rewrites to people who just need an update. We won’t encourage someone to purchase coaching because they got fired and feel they need to self-reflect first if they won’t be able to pay the bills without getting a new job. We sincerely care about helping people make change and giving them the tools to succeed.
My early career taught me a lot about running a business. I had worked my way up the corporate ladder early. I was a General Manager of a 40K square foot, health and fitness club in Manhattan at 20 yrs old, while still in college.
By 25 I was working with a salon and spa company inside Saks Fifth Avenue across the North East and managing a $15M P&L. I owned the relationship with Saks and handled operations, sales, marketing, and HR.
This set me up for the challenges that come with owning my own business. But in 2014, a year after leaving Corporate America, I was diagnosed with Stage III Thyroid Cancer and had emergency surgery within a month. I had a vocal cord paralyzed during surgery and lost my voice. It was a complete reality check for me.
Through grit and determination, my voice came back and I became hyper-focused on what I wanted in life. I had my one year older son at the time and knew I wanted to maintain a balance for having kids, working, and managing my health.
This gave me the determination when scaling Career Organic, to find like-minded ‘owners’ who wanted to work hard but valued their personal lives. Who wanted to bring the best of their skills to work, no matter how many hours they had the capacity to work, some could offer 5, while others could offer 30. This was the hardest part. Finding the stronghold.
The people who would hold themselves accountable to their needs and communicate that transparently. So, not only do we teach life balance to our clients, our entire team models it. This is something I really pride myself on. I get to empower clients, leaders, professional groups, and fellowships, but I also get to see the growth and impact of the amazing people who make Career Organic a reality.
Additionally, I’m proud that I was able to create and launch our Career Cram Course, an on-demand digital product with how-to videos and guides across all stages of a job search. And best of all, it’s a super inexpensive way to get career help. I realized years ago that not everyone can afford our services but I had people asking if there was any way I could discount or work with them because they loved our approach.
This was heart-wrenching, there had to be a way to still help and support those professionals and students. So I brained dumped everything that I teach to clients and at seminars and workshops and made a course. A DIY way to uplevel, without the big price tag, and with a free support community on LinkedIn where we answer questions along their journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I’m a bit of an introvert in this regard. I don’t tend to frequent places or crave being in social places often. A week-long itinerary would be showing them different hiking trails and creeks, some picturesque waterfalls and rock formations, and maybe even some of the massive old trees with huge trunks ( I have some favorites).
Making a picnic and bringing out the hammocks to relax by the rushing water, GA has so much outdoor beauty to offer.
Having my kids make some arts and crafts for them to enjoy as a souvenir.
A spin around the lake the next day in our canoe, with some amazing conversations about philosophy, psychology, and kids.
Most nights I’d cook dinner, having them sit and chit chat at the counter as I prepare the meal. Maybe one night even going to the little dive restaurant in the next town for some amazing Carnitas.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love, and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I love that I get a chance to recognize my husband. He was instrumental in giving me the ability to launch my own business and leave Corporate America. He was there through cancer, kids, and launching a startup out of the trust of his wife! He also focused on growing within his organization to take over financial responsibility as a sole contributor in our family during those times. This afforded me time to dedicate efforts in launching and scaling Career Organic, caring for our children, and taking on more partnership engagements globally.