- After 18 years at Goldman Sachs, Dane Holmes is moving
to California to become CEO of the new HR tech startup
- Eskalera, which launched in 2018, develops technology
to help companies improve inclusion and diversity in hiring and
- Holmes walked Business Insider through the thought
process he and his wife used as they considered the career
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Dane Holmes and his wife don’t really do New Year’s
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
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
“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
“As long as you’re going into it wanting to grow and learn and
advance,” Holmes said, regret is unlikely.