- Dane Holmes/Goldman Sachs
- After 18 years at Goldman Sachs, Dane Holmes is moving to California to become CEO of the new HR tech startup Eskalera.
- Eskalera, which launched in 2018, develops technology to help companies improve inclusion and diversity in hiring and company culture.
- Holmes walked Business Insider through the thought process he and his wife used as they considered the career move.
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Dane Holmes and his wife don’t really do New Year’s resolutions.
But they do, as best they can, try to predict the future.
That’s how, the Goldman Sachs’ HR chief tells Business Insider, he realized it was time to leave the legendary investment bank and instead move out west. After 18 years at Goldman, Holmes is moving to California’s Bay Area to become CEO of the new HR tech startup Eskalera.
It’s not as common to leave a job later in life as it is under the age of 30, but mid-life career changes are becoming more common as life-expectancy has extended. According the American Institute for Economic Research, 82% of workers later in their careers reported making a successful transition to a new career after age 45.
Holmes thought through this big career change by weighing every aspect of his life and how they could be affected both negatively and positively. His method could be helpful for anyone considering a mid-career move – or a major life change like relocating.
“You can’t determine your future, but there’s great happiness in being intentional” about planning your future, Holmes said. “Whatever it is that you’re doing.”
Eskalera, which launched in 2018, develops technology to help companies improve inclusion and diversity in hiring and company culture. The software uses AI, data science, and evidence-based findings to mitigate cognitive and systemic bias.
For Holmes, a lot of stars have to align to arrive at these types of decisions. Other than the practicality of the new job opportunity, he said there was “unbelievable overlap” between his personal life, professional life, and his own desire.
Holmes and his wife asked themselves a few questions before making their decision. First, were they staying committed to the things they’d intended to? By assessing their current lifestyle and goals, they could then figure out what might be missing or need improvement.
“So from a personal life perspective, and just wanting to grow and expand, it just was a good opportunity,” Holmes said.
Then, they looked at how their decision would affect them both professionally and personally. “I have an oldest daughter who’s in eighth grade, so if I were going to move or change, it makes more sense to do it now,” Holmes said.
Lastly, Holmes considered his decision over the length of his career. “I’ve got 10 or 15 years left in me. So if I was going to do something very, very new, I have enough time to not only do it but to learn, make mistakes, pick myself up, do it and still see myself through,” he said.
Holmes and his wife essentially conducted a premortem – a method creative teams use to identify the risks of a project before taking it on. The idea is that weighing possible negative outcomes will help a team foresee obstacles and improve what’s not yet broken, in hopes that it will prevent future failures. Imagine if you’re introducing a product in a new market, what would cause the launch to flop?
To solidify their decision, Holmes and his wife discussed the probability of regret. His wife told him it was highly unlikely they would be sitting on their porch in 20 years saying their decision to live in California and be in the tech world was stupid.
“As long as you’re going into it wanting to grow and learn and advance,” Holmes said, regret is unlikely.