Ask the Recruiter: Making a Career Pivot

14 DEC 2021

Jorge, recruiter on our Diversity Recruiting team in New York, and Shweta, former program participant and current recruiter on our Diversity Recruiting team in Bengaluru, share advice on making a career transition and how the Career Pivot Series can help you on your journey.

Tell me about your career, has it always been a straight path?

Far from it! I graduated with a degree in accounting and finance and started my career as a Risk Auditor at a “big 4” firm in the financial services industry and today I am a Diversity Recruiter within our Human Capital Management Division. I was fortunate enough to find people along the way that guided me in my career transition and supported me in finding a role that was truly aligned with my interests and long term goals. However, it was challenging to find relevant information in a consolidated way, something that Goldman Sachs’ Career Pivot Series does throughout the five modules of the program.

Shweta: Before transitioning to my career at Goldman Sachs, I was in Engineering and working with a non-profit in India. I remember prior to the series when I had applied to a campus role, I had a very limited background in finance and, today I am here. I am so grateful for this program and to the firm for making it a reality. The Career Pivot Series provided me with the relevant resources, platform to identify and understand opportunities of my interest at the firm and get all my questions addressed.

How would you describe the program in your own words?

Jorge: I would describe the Career Pivot Series as the program I wish I had early on in my professional career, even if I wasn’t looking to transition at that moment. The program is designed to support professionals, whether you are just starting your career or have a significant amount of work experience, by providing the tools and skills needed to accomplish a successful career transition. The program is made up of five modules that each run for one week and allow participants to complete the sessions at their own pace over the course of the week. The modules go through topics that are valuable for any professional, from communicating impact through your resume to acing your interviews, all through the lens of our recruiters and leaders who have deep insights on the process as a whole.

Shweta: The way they have designed the program to deliver knowledge, skills and mindset to the candidates is stellar.

  • Knowledge: These modules helped me know more about the firm, it’s work, it’s people and the different roles and verticals.
  • Skills: It provided me with skills like communicating impact through my resume, tips for acing interviews, networking, etc.
  • Mindset: The program helped me shape my perspective. We all have a choice, to see ourselves as empowered or helpless or to see things as challenges and opportunities. While attending the program, I saw that shift in myself and I started believing that I too can be here. It’s not impossible. This series also gave me a required push. I was hesitant and had doubts. But this series pushed me to ask myself, “Why not me? What are the barriers that are stopping me right now? What more can I do to be my best self?” and what’s important to note is that the people from Goldman Sachs were there to help me move forward.

You participated in the Career Pivot Series. What was your experience like?

It was an incredibly amazing experience. Those five weeks inspired me, made me self-reflect, and sit on a little bit of an existential stump. This is what the series made me understand. It helped me take a leap from “Oh! I want to join Goldman Sachs because it’s a cool place to be at” (which is true) to clearly defining the what, why and how of my interest in joining the firm and working towards it diligently. It also equipped me with the skills and tools that one can use throughout their entire career like networking, framework for acing interviews, structuring responses, building your resume, etc.

How did you learn about the program and why did sound like a good opportunity to you?

Shweta: I saw a Goldman Sachs employee’s post about the series on LinkedIn. This program was a fairly new concept to me and I was intrigued. I mean, how many times do you actually get to directly learn from the industry leaders? I saw this as a great opportunity to network with and learn from people around the globe.

Any thoughts on making the career transition a bit better? How can I overcome the feeling of imposter syndrome?

Jorge: The thought of a career transition is both exciting and scary, you will need to put yourself in a situation where things are brand new and really uncomfortable and you may not want to do that. The last module in the series is all about Getting to Know Goldman, this module can really help demystify what we do here at the firm and can give you a solid footing in the start of your career. Do a lot of research until you feel comfortable talking about the prospective role and make sure to ask a lot of questions!

It’s important to give yourself grace about the things you don’t know, and the time it can take to be well versed in them. Don’t try to figure out everything on your own, seek advice and knowledge from your peers and mentors.  Even I had the feeling of imposter syndrome when I was first switching career paths.

What would you recommend to someone that is looking to make a change in their career?

Jorge: Get to know the role, and if you can, try and shadow someone who is currently in the role, this can give you a real sense of what the responsibilities are and what your day to day would look like. Talk to your trusted peers and share the things that excite you about the role and why you think it would be good for you long term. Lastly, build an effective network! Go to events (virtual or in person), connect with likeminded people you meet on LinkedIn, and look for programs like the Career Pivot Series that can help you in acing your interviews when the moment comes. Applications are now open and close January 16, 2022.

What was the rest of your recruitment journey like once you completed the Career Pivot Series?

Shweta: I went through one round of screening with a recruiter, followed by five rounds of interviews with the senior leaders. It is one of the most interesting selection processes I’ve been a part of. My points of contact were constantly in touch with me ensuring I was all set for the interviews. Everyone on the panel had their unique ways of interviewing, yet one thing was common – they all were looking for reasons to hire me. The conversations centered around how I can make things possible by being in this role, what I bring to the table and what support I can expect.

Applications are now open for our global Career Pivot Series and close on February 5, 2023.