What top recruiting leaders think about rejection, one new job req I'm working on, 3 new Chief of Staff jobs I'm following, and the most interesting stories I bookmarked on X last week
Hello, and welcome to the Right Hand Talent newsletter! I’m Zaharo, and I write about all things Chief of Staff.
Every week, you’ll get 3 new job opportunities that are on my radar, reqs I’m working on, my thoughts on growing in the CoS role and as a professional (plus some spiritual stuff sprinkled in), top stories I’m following on X, and more.
Also, I launched a podcast! You can check out the latest episode here.
🚿 3 quick shower thoughts before we dive in:
Fortune favors the bold. Shoot your shot with anyone and everyone.
Your intuition is an incredible guide for decision-making. Use it more.
Jim Carrey is one of the most enlightened celebrities out there.
💔 Being in the business of saying no
Rejection stings. I’ve had my fair share of it: not getting into med school was the first big one. At the time, I was in the proverbial fork in the road, facing either pursuing a post baccalaureate program and waiting 2 years before applying again, or deciding to go in a different direction.
That rejection was a blessing in disguise, because I realized that med school wasn’t really my dream. I think I said I wanted to be a doctor when I was a kid, my parents got excited, and it was always a topic of conversation when they sung my praises to friends and family.
The “dream” kind of took on a life of its own. I was too young to be able to discern whether it was really mine, theirs, or something else entirely. And so I glommed onto it.
And while I loved the idea of being a doctor and being in medicine, it took a hard cold rejection (actually multiple “no’s” from medical schools) to realize I didn’t want to pursue this path.
It was hard at the time, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I eventually went to business school, joined a venture firm, pursued my path of becoming a Chief of Staff, and the rest is history.
What you think your career path will look like vs what it actually looks like
Looking back and connecting the dots, I’ve actually been in a few roles where I was in the business of rejecting, seemingly: first as an investor saying “no” to most founders and now as a recruiter saying “no” to most candidates. It’s not fun. BUT what I've learned is that saying "no" is just part of steering both your own journey and helping others in finding their path, too.
We can’t see what life has planned for us — the broader blueprint if-you-will. So being on the receiving end of a “no” is an incredible opportunity to trust the blueprint, that things will work out, and of course, to reflect on what we could have done better or differently.
I try to be as helpful as possible to candidates who work with me and are in a process with my clients. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and the number one thing that candidates want is feedback. I always ask clients for it, but I’ve found that willingness to share feedback is on a spectrum, ranging from very tight-lipped to extremely forthcoming and frank.
If I don’t have specific feedback to share with the candidate that got rejected, then I share reasons why the client moved forward with others. I think it always comes down to making candidates feel heard, acknowledging their time and commitment to a process, and respecting their efforts along the way, even if they're not the right fit for the current role.
While these are my personal experiences and approaches in dealing with rejection, I wanted to share some insights from a few leaders in the recruiting industry in case it’s helpful for anyone reading this ⬇️
A “no” simply means “not now”. Every rejection is an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s an opportunity for you to better understand the gap between what they wanted and where you are. Every person chooses how they're going to respond to a “no”. And sometimes resistance is an opportunity to continue to pursue. In other words, sometimes the “no” isn't “no”. And you have to be wise enough to understand when those times are, to see that resistance as an opportunity to redirect, reframe, and go back again and pursue the very thing that you just were told no on.
— Jeff Kaye, Co-CEO Kaye/Bassman International (ranked among the Top 10 U.S. search firms by Executive Search Review)
Success rarely happens quickly and I can't tell you how many times over 15+ years in recruiting I've seen a candidate get rejected by one company only to end up in a better situation a few months later. Often times it's also an opportunity that better aligns with their personal and professional goals. Rejection can also free up space to evaluate your priorities and find situations that truly resonate with your long term goals.
— Brandon Glyck, CEO @ Quantum Search Partners (Inc 5000 '21, '22, '23, WBJ Best Places to Work '23)
When I graduated college, I was referred into a large software company to do sales. Although I was the top of my class according to their ratings system, they promoted 3 other people in the training program before me. So that's when I quit, became a recruiter, and the rest is history. A quick LinkedIn search shows me those 3 people aren't at the company anymore.
Before I took this software sales job, I kind of knew I wanted to be a recruiter because my brother was one in NYC. I figured if he could do it, so could I. I interviewed at probably at least 10 places in NYC and got rejected. All the big names - Randstad, Michael Page, Green Key Resources, Robert Half, Insight Global. I felt defeated because all my friends lived in NY or Hoboken and I was left out having to live at home in central NJ.
It turned out to be the best thing that's ever happened to me. Because when I did get the recruiting job, I ended up finding a few great mentors and getting close with the executive team. 9 years later, I've billed over $18M in profit for my company as their top recruiter. Doubt this would have happened had I been hired at one of the other guys.—
-- The Random Recruiter (agency recruiter who’s placed 700+ tech professionals at various Fortune 500s since 2014)
To anyone facing rejection: remember that it’s not a period. It’s a comma.
I’m excited to share a one-of-kind role for an Executive Assistant to a renowned post-exit, 4x founder and builder of a community of over 14 million.
He specializes in guiding entrepreneurs to step back from day-to-day operations, focusing on growth through engaging content and automation of core systems.
This is an incredible opportunity to partner with a visionary founder who is laser-focused on building an amazing community, remarkable content, and insanely valuable experiences for other founders.
This founder is hiring an EA to:
Support him with various day-to-day operational needs
Ensure consistent and transparent communication, collaborating on current and future strategic initiatives
Develop and implement a comprehensive onboarding program, ensuring the smooth integration of new hires into the company
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Additional key details:
💰 Up to $85k
📍 This role is remote (global)
If you're interested and want to learn more about the company, just apply here! I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Know someone who could be a fit for this role? Feel free to share this blog post!
Here’s a quick roundup of Chief of Staff jobs I came across last week & my thoughts:
🌱 FarmRaise - making finance accessible to farmers
Why I like it: Keith Rabois’ pinned post on X since 2017 has been “Formula for startup success: Find large highly fragmented industry w low NPS; vertically integrate a solution to simplify value product.” The ag industry is woefully underserved and it’s a MASSIVE market. FarmRaise is building the full-stack financial services platform for agriculture, empowering farmers to grow their farms into thriving and resilient operations.
Plus, the team is made up of farmers, farmers’ kids, and farmer-obsessed techies — very cool. (Side note: I know that Founders Fund’s portfolio company Seso is crushing, and I’m generally very bullish on agtech).
FarmRaise is hiring a Chief of Staff who will work with their CEO and COO on special projects, including spearheading special projects, like a major educational partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Ideal candidates will have at least 3 years of Chief of Staff, business development, or project management experience, preferably at smaller, early-stage companies.
💰 $110-130k base salary with a competitive equity package
📍 This role is remote.
🎬 Opus — the world’s #1 AI video clipping tool
Why I like it: First, it’s a product I’d use. If you’ve ever tried to repurpose long videos into shorts for platforms like YouTube or LinkedIn, you know how unreasonably painful the experience is. OpusClip is a generative AI video tool that does this in one click. And it looks like people are really loving it since they’ve grown to 3+ million users in just over 5 months after launching!
They’re looking for a Chief of Staff to act as a strategic advisor to the founders, oversee and manage special projects across the back-office, business, and product, and organize and lead executive meetings.
Ideal candidates will have at least 2 years of experience at startup, preferably within tech, content, or AI, and come to the table with analytical skills.
💰 $100-150k base salary + 0.01% – 0.5% equity
📍 This role is remote (though it looks like you have to live in California).
📱Aisle — in-store loyalty program, all within your texts
Why I like it: They created a product category. Customers of a brand’s products simply send a screenshot of their receipt to Aisle via text, and they’re rewarded within 24 hours. Aisle is currently working with CPG brands like SIMULATE, Vita Coco, Super Coffee, Sanzo, and more.
By the numbers:
🤝 400+ brands leveraging the platform
💰 4.5 million in cash back
🚀 >$2M in ARR and growing fast
They’re looking for a Chief of Staff to help manage their entire finance and legal function, current internal processes and workflows, and lead special projects.
Ideal candidates will 1) have investment banking experience, or 2) be a former founder or early employee at a startup, or 3) be a former project manager/operational wiz with later stage experience in a low/no infrastructure work environment.
💰 $130-180k base salary + equity
📍 This role is hybrid in NYC (in-office 1-2x/week)
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My bookmarks on X:
Balaji Srinivasan lists the reasons why intrapreneurship at BigCo’s fails
Great people leadership is akin to thinking like a farmer
A 21-year old made 9-figures on a game he built on Roblox
Some people think that X juiced Mr. Beast’s first video on the platform
Marc Andreessen all but confirms his man crush on Argentina’s president
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