Oct 24, 2019·4 min read
Continuing with our feature series on the members of TiE Boston, we spoke with TiE Boston Charter Member, Erica Seidel, Executive Recruiter and Founder of The Connective Good on her journey and what led her to TiE.
Erica Seidel: Executive Recruiter and Founder of The Connective Good
How did you get your start?
I grew up in Connecticut and Cape Cod. I found a love for studying abroad when I lived in Belgium as a high school exchange student. After high school, I attended Brown University for my undergraduate degree in International Relations. During my time at Brown, I was able to study abroad in France and become the school mascot. That was my favorite role ever! My early career was in tech — software development and UI/UX design at Sony, IBM, and what was then Sun Microsystems. Then I went to Wharton for my MBA. After business school, I had a dream job at Forrester, where I led and built a peer-to-peer networking platform for chief marketing executives. I got to see CMOs on their best days and their worst days. It was a great dress rehearsal for running my executive search business now. I founded my executive search practice, The Connective Good, to help CEOs land great marketing leaders.
What was it like to launch your executive search firm?
Scary! And fulfilling. I considered joining a large executive search firm, but I had an entrepreneurial bug. What clinched it was when a friend of mine said, “Erica, how hard can it be? You have a network the size of Montana, you know marketers, you can sell and run a business. Just go out on your own. You can do this.” It was really helpful to have supportive voices like that to normalize the entrepreneurial journey and continue pushing me down the path. Using my network, I was able to find new clients and continue growing. I definitely made my fair share of mistakes.
How did you find TiE Boston?
I was introduced to TiE Boston via my friend Rishi Bhalerao, who is one of the most connected people that I know. He helped me with an executive search project, and we stayed in touch and became friends. I think this is how networking should be: you meet professionally, and then connect personally. One day he invited me to a TiE Boston event. The rest is history.
Why did you become a member of TiE Boston?
Did you read the book ‘Give and Take’ by Adam Grant? He basically divides the world into givers, takers, and matchers. TiE Boston, at its heart, is by and forgivers and matchers, more so than takers. The community as a whole is dedicated to learning and is populated by very accomplished people with a global outlook who want to share their knowledge.
From my very first event, I was able to make connections very quickly and felt welcomed. By contrast, at other networking events, there can be a lot of awkwardness. Furthermore, I have been involved with the TiE Boston Women's initiative and it has been amazing. I am, with some others, spearheading this year’s TiE Boston Women Program. It’s fantastic to get to know some of the women in TiE and the greater Boston business community. I am passionate about building communities that empower and connect women. Overall, I’m excited about the potential for TiE Boston.
What advice do you have for someone entering the professional world?
Realize that a career should be a gradual alignment between who you are and what you do. Starting a career is a bit like turning on a metronome. You turn it on and it starts clicking, and you start playing, and you adjust so that the playing matches the beat of the metronome. You’ll start in a job and it will be a certain “percent fit” with who you are as a person. And you, of course, will still be figuring out who you are as a person! Your goal, over time, is to steadily increase that “percent fit” between who you are and what you do. When looking for a job always consider the culture — and especially the pace of the organization — because those have a much more significant impact on your success than you might think. Your 20’s are a time to try new things and I encourage everyone to dip their fingers into as many metaphorical pots as possible. You never know what you might find.
What’s next for you and The Connective Good?
I have never wanted to become the biggest executive search firm for marketing leaders, but I do strive to be the best one. The world of marketing has changed a lot, so I spend a lot of time talking with marketers, understanding and chronicling the changes in marketing, and applying that to my searches so that my clients get the best possible outcomes. On a more personal note, I am looking to get a dog because I feel like it will be a great addition to our home. We’re thinking of a cavachon!
Thank you to Erica Seidel for sharing her story and to Hugh Rossi for capturing it. To learn more about TiE Boston and how to get involved, check out boston.tie.org or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.