Hey I found something cool! Ok full disclosure, I had a chat on Skype with a nice fella named Matt who built something cool. It’s called Paddle and by the end of our 30 minute chat, I was convinced it could be huge.
I have no idea what I want to do with my career, and I feel like I’m not the only one. Paddle is basically a careers counsellor for today’s young people. It learns about you, figures out which aspects of a career you could find the most valuable and then gives you what you need to start learning about potential career pathways.
When you first fire up and login to Paddle, one of the first things it will do is ask you a bunch of questions. There’s a pretty straightforward quiz that Paddle calls a Motivations Assessment. You run through an A versus B test 60 times (think: cat versus dog), and then Paddle builds up a profile of your values.
What do you prefer: Money or social change? Large scale influence or honing your craft? To be seen as a leader or help your local community? These are the kinds of questions Paddle asks to figure out what drives you.
So, mostly for my own curiosity, I completed the quiz. I’m currently working full time, I love my job (making things for the internet) and after working in a non-profit, I can’t really see myself going back to the for-profit world any time soon. But my results beg to differ. My number one motivator is, apparently, doing well and creating wealth for myself. Not really something I would have predicted but hey, maybe the quiz knows me better than I know myself and I actually am driven by acquiring fat stacks of cash more than I realise.
Paddle told me I should work in a large business (snooze), construction and trades (extra snooze) or the gig economy (I just died from snoozing too hard.) Luckily, even if you don’t feel like you totally align with the career paths Paddle assigns to you, you can explore career recommendations and resources for any of them. I explored what it had to show me around the recommended options, but I ended up spending much more time exploring arts and culture non-profits or media career pathways.
Once you’re exploring a line of work, the information the platform offers you is actually kind of spectacular. It provides lists of role models and interviews with similar career goals to you (I got Beyoncé), articles around trends in industries you’re interested in, as well as current active job listings.
The way Paddle presents this stuff is pretty clever. It shows you the door, but you have the walk through it. You still have to put in the work, show the initiative and actually read the articles, investigate the role models and if you’re up for it — apply for the gigs.
Paddle is strangely essential. In my experience, so few people have any real idea as to what they “want to do with their lives.” My partner, my closest friends and even my parents, are all included in a seemingly endless group that career wise, are kind of stumbling blindly into whatever feels right at the time. But who can blame them? Finding a career path is an intimidating activity, but it’s important, and we should treat it careful and dedicate time to thinking about how we value our careers.
No one knows what they want to do, Paddle isn’t in itself an answer to that, but it’s actually a pretty smart step to get you thinking about the possibilities that exist out there in the world of work.
If you’re interested in giving it a go, there’s a link right here for your clicking hands or tapping fingers. And it’s free.