Millennial-focused professional network Levo was founded to facilitate mentorships for young women, but after a $7 million angel investment last year, it has been growing its suite of resources to help graduates plan and navigate the first 10 to 15 years of their careers. Today, to coincide with the start of graduation season, Levo is launching several new products that founder Caroline Ghosn, one of Fast Company‘s Most Creative People 2013, says “helps you know yourself and have self-awareness of your strengths, and then tell the compelling story about who you are.”
The centerpiece of Levo’s new benefits is Thinking Talents, an iOS app that helps people evaluate their talents in four areas and compare results with other colleagues’. The idea is not only to identify strengths and areas that need improvement, but to help teams or collaborators strategize and better understand their working dynamics.
“The genesis of the Thinking Talent app came from wanting to create a way to scale self-discovery with a framework that we, personally, inside of the company, have used really successfully,” says Ghosn. The framework was created by career research collective Professional Thinking Partners, and takes users through a questionnaire to gauge their talents in each quadrant. Ghosn says the map mirrors a consultation with a career coach that uses the framework, scaled with technology because a one-on-one meeting isn’t accessible or financially viable for everyone.
“It becomes this lens of understanding that allows you to better contextualize why certain things energize you, why other things don’t, why you work well with a specific type of person, why you don’t work well with another,” says Ghosn. “It’s a really, really powerful lens that gives you more context on who you are, how you gain your energy, and then, by extrapolation, what you should be doing.”
The idea is to use the map just not for your own benefit, but with others you need to collaborate with to find gaps and overlap, and set a context for discussion about any issues. Ghosn says it can be interesting to compare results even with people in your personal life. “You and I could go through this together, you could go through it with your team at work, you could go through it with your significant other, with your siblings, with whomever, however many people you want, and then look at all of the talents and the gap in one place,” she says.
Levo is also offering a new platform for users to build professional profiles that are more visually dynamic and personalized than a linear resume or LinkedIn profile.
“Especially in the first 10-15 years, your regular resume is not an authentic representation of you—you don’t really have that many notches on your belt, so to speak,” says Ghosn. “In a super-competitive job environment, you need to be able to tell a multi-dimensional story about who you are as a person.”
The profile is modular, so the mobile version is a series of cards that can be swiped through as snapshots of various elements of a person’s background and interests. “On your phone, that disassembles really beautifully,” says Ghosn. “It’s easy to go through card by card, to better and more quickly understand who the person is.”
Finally, Levo is releasing “The Ultimate Toolkit to Kickstart Your Career,” consisting of self-paced online guides that will be targeted to recent graduates: Find Your Purpose, Tell Your Story, Ace the Interview, and Build an All-Star Network.
“One of the biggest questions that we hear from young graduates is, I’m not even sure where to start because I’m not quite sure who I want to be yet,” says Ghosn. “I just got spat out of the educational system, and my first question is now what? But you can’t even start to take action on that if you don’t know which direction you’re walking in.” Each course has up to 10 chapters, and includes videos, tutorials, worksheets, and even live collaborations with other people taking the class. Elements of the courses can be taken sequentially or as need or interest strikes.
“The 40,000-foot view on the new Levo is that we’re growing as a product suite so that our members can grow,” says Ghosn. “There’s no better time for us to grow than graduation, because of the onslaught of a whole new set of career challenges for millions of people in this country.”