David Rurak - Senior Operations and Supply Chain Executive

David Rurak - Senior Operations and Supply Chain Executive

Client: David Rurak was senior director of operations for one of the business arms of a multinational chemical company.

Industry: Manufacturing, Chemical

Function: Operations, Strategy, Procurement, Logistics, Supply Chain, Quality

Challenge: After 34 years with the same employer, David felt that he did not have the skillset to undertake an executive job search when he was laid off.

Process: David learned how to leverage all job search channels so well that he ended up with multiple job opportunities to pursue.

Landing: David landed a role at a private, multinational manufacturer of technology-driven products and solutions, where he performed three different roles over his seven-year tenure there.*


*David Rurak’s story is unique because it has TWO great endings. The first is David’s outstanding success in working The Barrett Group® (TBG) Program to land an attractive position at a prominent company, where he sustained a rewarding career. The second involves David’s return to TBG seven years later for support following a corporate restructuring, during which he received help in negotiating a much-improved separation agreement. 

David Rurak spent 34 years at an American multinational chemical company where he rose to the level of senior director of operations of one of the company’s business divisions. In that role, David oversaw everything that involved the planning, making, and delivering of the $3 billion division’s products and services. It was a big role, and he enjoyed his career there. 

A new CEO ushered in major changes, however, including the elimination of David’s position. He was offered an attractive opportunity to leave the company, and he took it. David began looking for a job immediately, but he was clear-eyed about the challenges he faced. He hadn’t conducted a job search in over 30 years and never at the executive level. Without that skillset, he would need professional help.

As it turned out, David ended up with two firms assisting him with his career change.

“My company offered an outplacement service that was not tailored to executives, and I wanted to go with The Barrett Group. As they weren’t willing to pay for the service of my choice, I signed with The Barrett Group and used the outplacement service they provided, concurrently. As a result, I could really see the difference between the two companies first-hand,” said David.

David worked closely with his executive career consultant at the time, Price Mason, who educated him about the multiple routes of landing a job and how to handle each of them.

“There was a huge difference between what was happening with me and what was happening with other people using the company’s outplacement service. One example involved recruiters. Most people using the techniques of the outplacement service never heard back from recruiters. I knew so many people who were filling up the ‘dead letter box,’ whereas my communications regularly triggered responses from recruiters. Price taught me how to frame my messages in a way that promised a win-win relationship with them. He told me how to convey the sentiment ‘How can I help you?’ versus ‘I’m just looking for a job.’ That approach was a night-and-day difference from how my colleagues at the outplacement service were coached – and it worked. I routinely got interviews.”

David appreciated many other aspects of TBG’s service, too.

“The resume prep was incredibly helpful, as was the research TBG provided me on companies I was interested in. As a senior director I was used to having admin support, and TBG provided all of that, which was very helpful. Looking for a job is a full-time job and having TBG’s support freed me up to focus on other aspects of my job search. That level of service wasn’t offered by the outplacement company, nor was the level of interview prep I received. Price had me write down my answers to typical interview questions and rehearse them until I was fully comfortable with my responses. That one-on-one coaching was so helpful.”

By the time he landed, David was anticipating offers from every one of the market access channels his consultant had coached him about. The winning opportunity came via a mixture of LinkedIn and his social network. David accepted a leadership role at a private, multinational manufacturer of technology-driven products and solutions in areas ranging from electronics to fabrics to medical products. There, David assumed several roles over the years, of which the last was head of strategic growth, scaling & supply chain.

An important lesson David took away from TBG was to be always prepared for a career change – planned or not. That meant having TBG update his resume each year or so, entertaining the interest of recruiters who sought him out, and staying aware of opportunities as well as turbulence that might arise. So, when a new CEO at his company decided to make changes and David’s role was eliminated a second time, David was unfazed.

“I wasn’t totally surprised or upset. I just reached back out to The Barrett Group,” said David. “Price has retired, but I’ve worked with Dan Resendes ever since. My discussions with Dan have been outstanding! When I contacted him about my resume update, we started talking about my severance package, which was not as substantial as I expected it to be. Dan told me how to go about negotiating a better one. I can’t discuss the details, but let’s just say that Dan helped me negotiate much more than I would have otherwise. And there were other smaller benefits, too. My company agreed to let me use my own outplacement service, for example, and gave me money to apply towards a company of my own choice. Dan made a big difference, for sure!”

David hasn’t committed to any next steps yet, but, thanks to his interactions – past and present – with The Barrett Group, he feels well positioned to assess his options calmly and thoughtfully. 

“I’ve been really happy with The Barrett Group. I recommend it to people all the time. I have a couple of opportunities in progress at the moment, so I may not need career help. If I do engage TBG, I will build off of what I did the last time. What I would like to say about TBG, however, is that the process isn’t transactional like other career management services; it’s very much relationship-based. And it’s a win-win relationship that doesn’t just end when you get that one job.” 

Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Photo: 123rf.com

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