Your network is your net worth, as they say, but who teaches you how to network in order to get a job? With Whomi, a self-guided career development platform, you can draft a resume, plan for the future, and—of course—network.
On average people work 90,000 hours in their lifetimes, which means time spent at your job is second only to the amount of time you spend sleeping. John Gordon, the Founder and CEO of Morrisville-based Whomi, hopes that the site’s users will be “intentional” and “proactive” about their job planning so they can build rewarding careers.
“Lots of people are helping you start your career,” said Gordon, “but Whomi is helping you to continue to think about what’s next.”
While LinkedIn is a useful platform to showcase what you have done in past jobs, he said, Whomi is where you can plan for your future career.
Gordon worked as an upper-level executive at companies like Lenovo and IBM, where he often mentored employees in career advancement. He is now taking what he learned as a mentor and turning it into a platform to reach more people.
“We hope to try to help support (the Triangle) ecosystem of entrepreneurs and innovation,” as well as others, he said.
Whomi is primarily a B2C startup, but also works with universities, companies and associations. On the B2C side the company is currently using a pay-what-you-can model because “some of the people who have the most need of Whomi’s services are people who may have just lost their jobs,” Gordon said.
“Our goal is impact,” he said, “not just trying to make more money.”
Gordon started working on Whomi full-time in July of 2022. He spent the months between July and December of last year redeveloping the platform and making adjustments based on user research. Whomi re-launched in March because of what was learned from users beta-testing the platform.
According to a Harvard study, 3% of Harvard Business School graduates who wrote their goals down made 10 times as much money a decade after graduating compared to their fellow MBAs who did not write down clear goals. This dramatic statistic is one of the reasons why Whomi is so needed, Gordon said.
The platform is similar to a multiple-choice test, Gordon shared. There are several options you can choose as a career rather than having many options like an open-ended essay question, where you have to come up with the correct answer by yourself, he said. Whomi teaches job applicants to not only write out their job experience, but also how to communicate and network with hiring managers for advice in a particular field.
The Whomi team often works with people who have recently been laid off because it is typically essential for these individuals to start their job search right away to cover expenses like rent.
Whomi also helps universities provide value to alumni’s lives, even after they graduate. The University of Notre Dame, Texas A&M University, College of the Holy Cross, and the Quantic School of Business and Technology are all using the platform’s services. Schools have the option of paying to become a partner with Whomi, which includes a school-branded, Whomi-powered website that is designed specifically for their graduates looking to launch the next step in their careers.
“We take our university partnerships very seriously and have already evolved the product a lot based on their feedback,” he said.
Whomi was named the “Career Development Solution of the Year” by the 2023 EdTech Breakthrough Awards Program, out of 2,400 companies that applied.
Gordon is currently bootstrapping Whomi’s development and said he looks forward to partnering with other organizations that share Whomi’s mission of helping people to grow their lives through career planning.