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More Than a Paycheck: Q&A with Good.Co

We had the chance to speak with Samar Birwadker, the CEO and co-founder of Good.Co, a career insights platform that aims to provide Millennials with self-discovery towards uncovering their ideal careers paths and arm them with personalized, insider knowledge to navigate today’s workforce. Recent grads are stepping into the world with many questions, both about their careers and themselves, and need help navigating the murky waters of the corporate world.

Ypulse: What are the overarching trends surrounding Millennials in the workplace today?
Good.Co: We are seeing a huge macro-trend of the nature of the workplace shifting, primarily driven by a different set of needs, motivations, and attitudes from Generation Y. This is an audience that has grown up on the internet and is open about thoughts and ideas, operating with a high level of transparency. Their expectations of workplaces have evolved significantly, but workplaces really haven’t kept up. The fault for unemployment does not lie with Millennials and their approach to seeking work, but instead lies with employers in evolving their workplaces, which is not happening fast enough.

YP: How do you view Millennials and their attitudes towards work?
GC: Millennials have a much better understanding of the world around them than they are given credit for. They look for meaning in the things that they do, and don’t just consider work as a place to go 8 hours a day to collect a paycheck. Millennials share our sentiments that we spend a third of our lives at work; don’t we owe it to ourselves to make it the best it can be?
YP: What was the inspiration for Good.Co’s career platform?
GC: We are really motivated by the idea of social good, helping people articulate who they are, how they fit in the framework of an organization, and get them started on this journey of becoming the best they can be. We felt like we needed to create a bottom-up tool to help people identify what their strengths and personalities are and discover what they could be doing really well with their inherent skills. People stay longer, are happier and more productive at work when their goals and interests are aligned with their employer. The idea of decoding and identifying strengths and finding your true calling is something that we found really resonates with the Millennial audience.
YP: Do Millennials today have the necessary tools in terms of career guidance?
GC: In college, there are a decent amount of career services that a university advertises, but we felt like there was a huge gap in what colleges were actually providing in terms of career planning. There isn’t an ongoing level of support following graduation, which leads to one out of two employees hired today, particularly Millennials, not lasting more than 18 months at a job, specifically due to culture fit. Exploration into a career path becomes much clearer for Millennials when they have a better understanding of themselves.

YP: In what ways are you connecting Millennials to their future careers?
GC: We try and get to the core DNA of a company by creating an open source culture graph based on insider reviews. Our initial focus is towards recent graduates looking for companies and careers in design, marketing, advertising, and technology.  We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, but we added components to traditional measurement models like attitudes, motivations, and work styles, to create a more contemporary and more relevant framework in measuring Millennials to help them evaluate their fit in the workplace today.
YP: What is the key differentiator in Good.Co’s offerings to Millennials?
DC: A good way to think about Good.Co is that it’s a “love channel” between LinkedIn and E-Harmony for jobs. It is a professional networking site that is not just transactional but based on self-discovery and the discovery of those around you. Users can check their fit score with others like their manager and other companies and add co-workers and friends to their culture graph. Traditional strengths assessments are outdated and don’t offer a guiding light for what Millennials could be doing next. We are focusing on the “So what?” if my personality is this way, how can I utilize it and grow significantly for the future.

You can contribute to Good.Co on the ground level by logging in with the passcode goodcoypulse.