Getting Ahead in the World

Jean O’Brien helps clients enhance their careers through leadership, etiquette, and business performance training

If you are walking down Main Street on any given weekday morning, you might just run into Jean O’Brien, who will almost certainly meet you with a smile. O’Brien, who is a new resident of Warrenton as of last February, spent years falling in love with Warrenton as she passed through on her way to visit her daughter in Amissville before finally finding the perfect place in the historic district to call home. “I walk downtown all the time and people smile and talk to you when you walk by,” O’Brien said. “The restaurants, the business owners, and every place I’ve gone has been very engaging, open, and receptive to me as a newcomer.” 

After years working in HR in Northern Virginia, she decided to start her own company in 2001. Her company focuses on a wide range of services focused on enhancing clients’ careers, including etiquette classes, career transition coaching, public speaking and presentation training and assistance, executive leadership, and more. “My background is very people-oriented,” O’Brien said. “I learn about peoples’ personalities and am able to coach them on how to interact within teams and organizations in order to enhance their careers.”

O’Brien has used her unique combination of executive experience, leadership energy, and comprehensive hands-on human resources expertise to found the O’Brien Group. Her highly acclaimed Executive Presence Program is a result of over 25 years of organizational experience in cultivating skills that promote enhanced business performance and productivity. Over the years, she has worked closely with hundreds of professionals to nurture career growth and avoid career-limiting situations.

Throughout her career O’Brien has worked with people at all levels within companies, government agencies, educational institutions, and renowned career consulting organizations. She is well regarded for her ability to quickly and thoroughly evaluate organizational objectives, needs and expectations, and then integrate new behaviors that best realize individual potential and organizational goals.

O’Brien is extremely passionate about being involved in and bringing value to the community she now calls home. Last spring, she joined the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce and has found tremendous value in being part of it. “I enjoy networking in Warrenton and hope to bring value to the community,” she said. She is also interested in utilizing her skills as a volunteer for people who may not have the opportunity to access them otherwise.

She believes she has found exactly what she was looking for in a community that will fully support her in furthering her career. “I was really looking for a very different lifestyle than I had in Northern Virginia,” O’Brien said. “I was ready for doing other things and coming to a smaller community — a place where I can walk around and meet people and I can continue my career.”

One of the areas that O’Brien has been interested in for a long time is how generational differences affect workplace dynamics. “I’ve had so many experiences with different generations,” she said. “Even the way offices are laid out has changed drastically — the corner office with the view versus nowadays you have an open office layout.” 

O’Brien believes the sooner young people develop executive presence verbal and non-verbal skills the more confident they will feel and interact in a classroom setting or social events.

O’Brien receives strong, positive feedback from parents who have seen significant changes in their children’s behavior after coaching from her. It appears beneficial to have skills reinforced by someone other than a parent, within a positive setting amongst peers. “We work on manners and etiquette, as well, “O’Brien said. “I enjoy working with all ages. I have worked with teens all the way up through C-level executives.”

Over the years, O’Brien has shifted focus, but remains focused on people skills, assisting people through their career transitions, with a large focus on etiquette. “I bring a fun and humorous approach to teaching etiquette,” O’Brien said. “Everything from holding utensils and which fork is for what, to being in sync with the table and feeling like you’ve connected with and felt comfortable getting to know the other people. 

Other areas involve presentation skills, including how to stand in front of an audience and feel comfortable as well as being engaging. “I also work with voice and vocabulary,” O’Brien said. “Some people speak too fast, too slow, too loudly, or too softly. I can help them with finding a happy medium.”

Overall, what O’Brien wants to bring to the table is simple. She hopes to enhance confidence and knowledge, accelerate clients’ ability to build business relationships, and to assist them in developing ongoing career skills so they can excel in their careers. “I love providing people with the tools they need to succeed,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing.”

For more information on O’Brien’s services, visit or call her at 540.878.5933


Hannah Samlall
About Hannah Samlall 27 Articles
Hannah Samlall is a graduate of Virginia Tech. In 2017, she moved home from The Big Apple to partner with her sister to launch Waterloo Street, a digital marketing agency that offers social media management and content writing for small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she's not working, you can find her exploring outdoors, whipping up a delicious meal or snuggling with her kitten, Dunks.

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