It took me the better part of a decade to figure out what I wanted to ” be.” I tried my hand at a myriad of positions in equally as many industries but all along, felt like Goldilocks. The jobs were either too hard (no work life balance, toxic culture) or too soft (boring, lack of challenge, no room for growth). For years, I felt myself meandering professionally with no real destination in mind. I would often ask myself in my early professional years, “How can I know what I want to be if I don’t even know who I am yet ?” The external pressures around a burgeoning professional are of no help either. Family, friends, mentors, bosses—they all have expectations that we are expected to meet, which just adds to the confusion.
When I finally found my calling four years ago, I realized that it was doing something I loved to do as a mitzvah of sorts but had never thought monetizing it was a real option. Throughout my entire life, I have always been a connector. I have a healthy roster of contacts from my days as the poster child for Soho House’s first private members club in NYC, which I helped develop and launch. My days were filled with meeting and taking care of NYC’s entertainment and media elite, and so they became my contacts. Knowing this, my friends would often reach out to me for help with their job searches to see if I could introduce them to people I knew in the industries they were looking to get a break in (lucky them … they actually had a destination in mind). I always obliged, collecting good karma at every turn and watching as my peers’ careers blossomed. As a typical “cobbler with no shoes,” I remained in career purgatory paralyzed by my own aimlessness.
It was not until a very wise and very successful boss of mine decided to seal my fate for me, assigning me the role of Chief Talent Officer for his company, which has about $12B in assets under management. Needless to say, I was very apprehensive, I had no training or experience in talent acquisition, and the stakes were incredibly high. I was literally “too small not to fail,” but “no” was not an option. And so, as with every other job that came before it, I said my prayers and dove in head-first. This move could have gone terribly wrong, but instead, it was 100 percent right. It felt like a natural fit; here I was getting paid to do what I love, helping other people find their passion and rise to the next level in their career. For once this was not just another job, it was my calling.
That is when I realized how identifying who I wanted to be had a lot to do with how I defined success. Figure out how to turn what makes your soul blossom into a career path. I f you can identify that you will never “work” another day in your life. I have since started my own Talent Strategy & Solutions company, MKubed, but I make it a point to still pay my dues. Even when I don’t have an open mandate for someone’s skill set and they need help, I always make sure to connect them with others who may have a need with no other form of remuneration than their gratitude. It is important never to stop giving back.
When I reflect back and start to question why I never pursued this career sooner, I am reminded and humbled by the fact that the only reason I am capable of being a recruiter is because I worked so many seemingly random and ill-fitting jobs before; without those experiences I would have never discovered the path of least resistance.
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