When I told my friends and family I was leaving Apple, the reactions were everything you’d expect. Some questioned my sanity; others were simply stunned that I would leave my dream company after only 18 months. I’m an unabashed Apple geek - in fact, I was up at 2:01am CT during our recent recruiting trip to Rice so that I could preorder the iPhone 6. The Apple Store Leader Program in which I was participating featured graduates from Harvard, Stanford, and Duke, among others. While I wasn’t in Cupertino (but instead rotating through several Apple Stores throughout New Jersey), I was developing leadership skills at one of the world’s most admired companies. Still, as I considered my career ambitions and the skills I was looking to develop, I knew I needed something different.

My goal, like many of my current colleagues, was (and still is) to start a business of my own. To do so, I knew I needed more - a chance to learn from true visionaries about how a business was built and to take ownership of my development along with that of the firm. My sights turned to the startup community of New York City, and as I poured over companies on AngelList, StartupHire, and countless other resources, I kept coming across a position with a rapidly growing knowledge broker offering what seemed like the perfect opportunity. I didn’t know it then, but I’d stumbled upon my “dream job”.

I began my AlphaCareer as a member of our consulting team, quickly doubling as a member of our two-person IT squad - sometimes it felt like I packed up my iconic royal blue t-shirt a little too soon. As I found success in Client Service, I began collaborating with teammates on ways to improve efficiency through technology and process development. We started prototyping new products, and within a few months our team morphed into ICE (Innovate, Collaborate, Execute), a small team focused entirely on generating and implementing new ideas firm-wide. ICE focused on quick, iterative design and deployment - aligning ourselves with the agile methodology of our Software Engineering team - and in just one quarter we rolled out 7 new products and process improvements. As ICE members took new roles over the next few months, I continued to work on new products, liaising between our Software Engineering and Client Service teams, while supporting delivery efforts across our various business segments. Four months ago, I completed my most recent move, taking over Talent Acquisition as a member of our then nascent People Operations (POPs) team. Our now seven-person POPs team is currently seeking to double the size of the AlphaSights NY team in just one year while hiring for positions AlphaSights has previously only outsourced to agencies with years of targeted experience.

Your dream job, like all other dreams, will evolve over time. It’s often impossible to know you’ve found it until you’re living the role each day. Since joining AlphaSights in March 2013, I’ve had four “official” roles - three of which didn’t even exist when I joined the company - while wearing countless other hats. If you’re wondering whether you’re in your dream job, ask yourself, “is there a job that could better accelerate my ultimate career and personal goals?” For me, the answer is a resounding “no!” and the day that answer changes, I’ll know it’s time to search for my next career adventure. However, given AlphaSights’ remarkable growth and the uniquely talented individuals I work alongside each day, that day couldn't seem further away.