What Motivates People to Search?

Read about what drives entrepreneurs to go down the search fund path.

What Motivates People to Search?
Article by
GTE Staff Writer
Article Date
August 22, 2022

There are various reasons as to why people search, and if you find yourself in the middle of your career seeking more, this real world advice is for you.

For most searchers, key motivations are actually non-financial. Mid-career professionals have generally had a chance to acquire wealth and approach search with different objectives in mind. Many feel they can have more impact as an entrepreneur than working within a large company. They also seek greater autonomy and the ability to be their own boss after years of working within rigid corporate structures. Many believe that entrepreneurship will provide more opportunity for growth than remaining in their current position. Mid-career searchers have the advantage of experience and perspective – they know what they want and why they want it. With clear objectives, they can be better prepared to take advantage of opportunities and navigate challenges along the way. Mid-career professionals are looking for opportunities to have a greater impact and create more value than they feel they are able to in their current roles. They want to be able to directly see the results of their work and have more control over their own destiny.

One mid-career professional, Kevin Chaka at Cambium, considered the financial rewards when making the decision to search for a new opportunity. "I wanted the ability to feel like the hours I spent 'working' were bringing more value than just a paycheck," he said. Another individual, who was vested after three years as a consultant, noted that he wanted "to create a more direct link between my decisions and their financial outcomes."

For some searchers, the key is about finding an opportunity that allows them to focus on long-term wealth creation. After six years in a startup, one individual said that he "wanted to focus on long term wealth creation. Having worked 80+ hour weeks in finance and at startups, I wanted more ROI on my time."

Others are looking for the opportunity to lead a company as its CEO or gain M&A experience. Ashwin Grover, MD of Storal Learning in the UK, waited 3.5 years before making his move and said that he was "looking for the opportunity for financial upside, gain CEO/leadership experience and go through the full M&A cycle from raising funds to exit."

However, it's important to note that for many searchers, money is not the primary motivator. As one individual pointed out, "I don't think it was ever about the money, if it was, I would have stayed in finance! I still don't think it's the best path if you're optimizing for getting rich."

Ultimately, if you're considering a search mid-career, remember that you are not the only one. Some of the most successful searchers did not start until later in their career. The key is to figure out what motivates you and use that as your guidepost.