Michelle Sarhis, CommonBond's Director of Talent Acquisition, has years of experience as an executive recruiter in the New York startup space. We sat down with her to understand what roles are exciting millennials and how young professionals can make the leap to their dream careers. Read on for her advice on finding new opportunities. (And did we mention? We're hiring.)
First, what does a "dream job" mean to young professionals? What are they looking for?
Michelle: The definition of a dream job is one that's driven by personal beliefs or passions about what the job or company represents. The more success we see startups having, the more encouraged millennials become in turning their passions into successful careers.
People who have the most job satisfaction feel they are actually making a significant difference. Often small businesses or growing startups are the perfect platforms â€“ employees can see the immediate results of their efforts. Wanting to "build something from the ground up" is an increasingly recurring phrase from candidates.
Everyone loves the idea of being "strategic," but not in a way that removes them from really being in the trenches.
A dream job allows for successfully building or implementing something of importance that wasn't there before. The job usually has to do with a hybrid of high-level strategy and "roll up your sleeves" execution work. Everyone loves the idea of being "strategic," but not in a way that removes them from really being in the trenches.
What's your advice for people trying to find their dream jobs?
Michelle: First, and most importantly, join a company whose mission you believe in! Be thoughtful in your approach and target companies that you can stand behind. There, even the most junior level role can suddenly become your dream job.
Be realistic in terms of the level of role you're targeting, but don't let the idea of "reality" stunt your dreams. In some cases, recruitment agencies are good options if they have a specific, relevant open role. Don't rely heavily on them to find you a job, though—remember, most recruitment agencies aren't working for every candidate who comes their way.
Never underestimate the power of networking. Take advantage of the resources and access that your university provides to top companies. Take the extra step! Keep track of relevant events, job postings, career fairs, and all opportunities that will put you directly in front of the right companies. The job seekers who take the time to differentiate and get in front of the right people—those are the ones who are most successful in getting exactly what they are looking for.
Finally, if you're looking for advice on how to find your dream job, ask someone who has that job. What did they do previously? How did they wind up in the role? Once again, it all comes back to networking!
What are the best resources for young professionals who want to take the next step?
Michelle: LinkedIn is great for targeted searches in any industry, whether you're looking at specific jobs, companies, or people. Do your research and use it as platform to reach out to people you want to get in front of.
For those interested in startups specifically, read TechCrunch and CrunchBase to keep up with industry news and further understand your target startups. CrunchBase especially provides great snapshots of capital raising, overview of companies, founders, etc. By monitoring when companies raise a round of funding, you may be able to target companies that are about to go into, or are in the process of, a round of hiring. Ventureloop, AngelList, and The Muse are also all good sites to find those job postings, too. At the end of the day, often times it will still come back to networking. For example, here at CommonBond we have hired some amazing team members through internal referrals.
Remember we live in a digital world where access to the right people is much more readily available, so take advantage! Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
Have any other questions? Leave a comment—we'd love to hear from you!