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Goldman Sachs, the Social Impact Sector, and Job Searching with Executive Recruiter Crystal Combs

Talk Bravely

Release Date: 05/25/2020

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“Work has to be intellectually interesting to me as a person.  And has to be values aligned.”  ~ Crystal Combs

This episode of Talk Bravely covers executive recruiter Crystal Comb’s own career journey and how she went from Goldman Sachs, and a job that would provide what she thought was her goal of financial stability, to work in the social impact sector.  In the evolution of how Crystal thought about work, finances, and purpose driven work, ultimately she came to realize that, “in the balance, I cared more about the net positive social impact than I did about the actual dollar amount I was making.” 

Crystal now specializes in finding the perfect match for social impact organizations seeking to fill positions in their top executive roles, and particularly specializes in working with organizations that place an emphasis on race equity.  We talk about her own journey in finding a career path with meaning, what her experience with being “under-employed” taught her, and get her advice on transitioning to the mission-driven sector, working with a recruiter, job-hunting during COVID-19, and whether or not salary negotiation is a thing of the past.

I’ll also note that Crystal is the reason I took up yoga a number of years ago, which I can’t thank her for enough.  AND, once upon a time she effectively recruited me as a Vice President of a fantastic organization that absolutely changed my life for the better.

 

What we’re talking about:

  • What is the social impact sector and what does the future of hiring look like given COVID-19
  • Crystal’s career trajectory and how she went from an MBA in Barcelona to a temp job at Goldman-Sachs, to finally finding her purpose serving social impact organizations focused on race equity in their leadership teams.
  • Her relationship with money:  “I’m really driven by money.  I think it’s okay to say that. I began to realize in my early career just how much money mattered to me and how it factored into my sense of stability in the world.” Yet she realized financial stability, “as a standalone, that is not enough for me.  I can’t just pin my worklife to money.  Even though that’s why I went to business school.”
  • What exactly is an executive search firm and how they find the best applicants possible for a position - pro tip: that LinkedIn message may not be a scam after all!
  • Why she expects the next year to be, “a competitive moment to land a role,” and provides a clear reason why organizations across the country will be more conservative in their hiring decisions. 
  • Clear, concise advice on salary negotiation questions for the social impact sector.
  • Working with a financial planner:  “She looked at our financial picture and said, ‘here’s the thing: you either need to make more money collectively or you need to make different choices.’ We didn’t want to make different choices. We wanted to eat the food we wanted to eat and take the trips we wanted to take.”  So I sought out full time work.
  • The advice her financial advisor gave her that nearly made her weep - in a positive way.

 

Connect with Crystal:

On LinkedIn

At Axis Talent Partners