In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it. — Michelangelo
What do Jennifer Hocutt and history’s most famous sculptor Michelangelo have in common?
Michelangelo once said: I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
In her 15 years as an Operations Leader for various health care companies and organizations, Jennifer developed a gift for seeing the “angel inside” her team members, many of whom would come to her for advice on how to succeed in their current positions and progress in their career path to the places they wanted to be.
We caught up with Jennifer recently to get the lowdown on her new business venture, the J. Hocutt Group. Here’s what she told us:
Jennifer:: Over the course of my career I would get a lot of questions from the people I supervised about how to develop professionally, how to write a winning resume, how to interview for a new job , how to dress for success, how to run a business, and so on.
I was helping people out of the kindness of my heart because I genuinely wanted them to succeed and do well. Leadership and professional development coaching were the activities I enjoyed most in every job I ever held, and I heard many many success stories from the people I was coaching.
They kept telling me “You should really do this on your own! You are really great at this!” and that got me thinking that I really could — and maybe should — start my own business doing what I loved by providing these services to people on a larger scale.
Once I made the decision to go into business for myself, I started out by speaking about leadership development at different events on weekends while continuing to work at my regular corporate job. Then in July 2019 I decided I was ready to start doing this full-time.
I work primarily with women who already hold leadership positions or professional women wanting to move into leadership positions.
I understand the challenges women face in the workforce today. I’ve been there. The health care field is an industry that is dominated by women on the clinical side, but very much male-dominated on the business and operations side. It’s an industry where women have difficulty finding their voice, being taken seriously and getting a seat at the table.
Client Success Story
I recently worked with a client who finished her master’s degree about 5 years ago. She was working in the human resources department in her company along with being assigned to a specific region. She pursued her master’s degree because she believed it would open up opportunities for her to grow into more substantive HR leadership roles. Her goal was to move up to being a human resources manager, then human resources director and ultimately human resources VP.
She had managed to land a position as an HR manager but she had not yet crossed over the threshold to become a human resources director — even though she had the education and a wealth of knowledge and experience that clearly qualified her for the position she wanted.
In working with her we began by looking at her resume. We uncovered a lot of ways in which her resume was underselling and undervaluing her skills and capabilities. We revamped her resume and then moved on to developing her interviewing skills.
Since she had worked in human resources for some time one would assume that she would already know how to write an effective resume and how to interview successfully. But, ironically, she was not good at writing her own resume or presenting herself in interviews.
So together we walked through the interview process, we did mock interviews, we did some role playing and we made sure that she was highlighting her skill set and her value during her interviews.
Then we talked about the things she could capitalize on that demonstrated her readiness for a leadership position.
In her present position, she already fulfilled many of the responsibilities that would normally be assigned to an HR director, so we needed to make sure she highlighted that experience during her interviews.
Once I helped her see for herself that she was already doing work that qualified her as a director of HR, she gained the confidence she needed to interview successfully. After 3 months of working with her, she secured a director role in a different company.
She is very excited, and she is looking forward to moving into a VP role within her new company.
What seemed so obvious to me was not apparent to her. All it took was a deep dive into what she had already accomplished to help her recognize her value, and then learn how to portray her value during interviews to effectively sell herself and her capabilities.
Jennifer specializes in working with people who:
- are stuck in the “daily grind” and don’t know where to turn to get out of it
- have been in the same role for far too long or desire to move into a leadership position but lack the tools/support to take the next steps towards advancement
- are entrepreneurs who need to fill the leadership gap to effectively grow their own business and create highly productive teams.
Jennifer is also available for public speaking engagements, and for corporate training for teams that have struggled to work together effectively.
Connect With Jennifer