SearchSmarter is a periodic series that showcases emerging tools designed to make managing your job search (or career) easier, smarter and/or a lot less overwhelming. This week, Karen Friesen explores Wisewords.co, a fast-growing resource for those who want to talk with experts in their current or future career fields.
Been around the career block a few times, have you? Or maybe you could really use the sage advice of someone who has?
(Because everyone knows sage advice is the best kind and should never be turned down, right?)
(Ahem. That right there was sage advice. Our pleasure.)
Enter Wisewords.co (not “com”). Sort of like a “Match.com” of the career seekers world, Wisewords brings experts and newbies from countless industries together for one-on-one information exchanges, mentoring and career counsel.
Launched in September, 2013, Wisewords is the Toronto-based creation of Dawson Whitfield, who currently operates the service alongside marketing VP Dan Morse. Already, the team has attracted a field of over 5,000 career “advisors,” who sign on as professional experts, prepared to assist others via a phone call for a flat fee.
The service operates by providing job seekers opportunity to connect with someone already working in their dream field. Clients sign up (for free) on Wisewords then browse through the profiles of thousands of potential mentors (quickly narrowed in scope based on specific career preferences). Once they have identified someone with whom they'd like to speak, a compatible time is scheduled, mutual access to a Wisewords-provided phone number is given, and off they go.
Whitfield says the inspiration for Wisewords was born from his own experience with career change.
“In the fall of 2012, I was faced with a major career transition,” including a relocation, he explains. “I felt lost, anxious and frightened. I saw my friends feeling the same anxiety as they graduated university, and had the ‘aha’ moment for Wisewords.”
Says Morse: “We provide a unique method of career development: a chance to talk with somebody working their dream job. Job seekers can piggyback off of an industry expert’s life experiences by scheduling a 30-minute, one-on-one call. They can ask for feedback and tips on navigating their career (such as) finding the right job, preparing their application, networking, skill development and encouragement.”
Proof of the idea’s success comes from both customers and advisors.
After connecting with a professional via Wisewords, Jeremy Hill says he found the path to his current design job. His mentor “introduced me to people, told me what people really looked for…things I wouldn’t even know to ask.” About three weeks after his consult, he turned in his Starbucks barista apron after landing an agency job.
At the other end of the transaction, consultant and author Alicia Ripley has found Wisewords to be a “simple and safe way to earn extra money,” but also “a rewarding way to share knowledge with people of any age looking to advance in that same field. The answers and tips an advisor can provide are more ‘outside the box’ and time-tested than what can be learned in a seminar.”
Morse says Wisewords’ roster of professionals includes those who have built careers in everything from marketing to dog walking to music publishing. Some have experienced tremendous success (“started a $3 million design agency,” “was rated in the top 1% of realtors nationally”) or offer more general career advice.
Both Whitfield and Morse are “wildly passionate about helping people reach their full potential,” says Morse. “We’ve had amazing advisors over the years – people who have given us insight into how industries work and tailored career advice.”
Now, they’re committed to helping people “get jobs, excel in them, and make caring connections along the way.”
Sound intriguing? Take a peek at Wisewords.co to get the full scoop on what they're up to, and how this interesting new-ish tool might help you as you explore career opportunities.