March 9, 2013
Choosing a career (or making a career switch) requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness; you need to dig deep and find the intersection between what you like to do and the skills you possess.
Introspection is difficult, and typically not labeled as “fun.” Compass Lite aims to change that by making the process of personal discovery around career choice more dynamic.
Compass Lite is a free web app that asks users to choose between “Me?” or “Not Me?” by way of a visual slider that presents a set of character traits and/or tasks. This winnowing down leads users to an interactive display of career opportunities that match the user’s personality, organized by education level. Detailed information about careers, salary ranges, career outlook, and academic programs are offered as well.
This is a far cry from searching through lists of majors and careers, or making career decisions based on projected salary. It’s easy to lose track of time choosing between “Me?” or “Not Me?” and before you know it, you’re presented with an interactive dashboard tailored to your answers – with actionable recommendations.
Developed by Baltimore-based Woofound Technologies, Compass Lite integrates with Facebook, adding a social sharing element that elicits feedback on career interests from friends. In return, users see results of Facebook friends who’ve used Compass Lite, as well as who is matched with top schools and employers in different fields.
Compass Lite is a free, basic version of a larger piece of software (Compass) in use within colleges and universities to match students to specific majors, courses, on-campus activities and ultimately, career paths.
The “Me or Not Me” visual slider has become Woofound’s signature. The firm, founded in in April 2011 by lifelong friends Joshua Spears and Daniel Sines, utilizes this psychology in other applications in order to determine individual personalities and preferences in targeted areas.
Credit the concept for Woofound to the uncertainty associated with a blind date.
After hours spent on Yelp, Living Social and Google, Woofound’s Spears realized the disconnect in the way people discovered things to do, and how difficult it was to plan something not knowing the other person’s likes or dislikes.
It led to a next day phone call to Sines, where Spears suggested, “Why not build something that personalizes the way we experience the world around us?”
The two registered a domain, put a pitch together, and got a valuable piece of advice from Ken Holt, then recently retired from Morgan Stanley, now Woofound’s CFO: go after a bigger idea.
Sines and Spears broadened the initial concept and pitched Scott on the idea of personality technology; all saw the immense potential. Woofound, named after an old-fashioned term associated with dating (woo) plus discovery (found), has since then gone through two rounds of funding, developed a diverse team of 17 that spans experience level and professional background, has created a psychology advisory board, and has applied their core slider technology beyond the initial application (Explore) to Compass, and now Compass Lite.
Taking students through self-awareness and discovery early in their college career is where Compass and its companion version break from traditional personality testing. Career placement extends into workforce development as well; Woofound is working with Baltimore’s RG Steel on a program to assist 2,500 former steelworkers in the transition into new career paths.
In addition to the recent launch of Compass Lite, Woofound has an update of its Explore app planned this month. A partnership with Factual will increase the business/activity match in the Explore app from 12,000 to 50 million businesses.
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