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We like to keep tabs on fellow laxers. Periodically, Lacrosse Playground features profiles and interviews with what lacrosse players are doing in the business world.
We caught up with Billy Glading, Washington Bayhawks midfielder, who just launched a career education Web site called CandidCareer.com.
What is the concept behind Candid Career?
The mission of Candid Career is to give young adults a glimpse of what the future might hold. Not by tirelessly reading descriptions of various careers, but by actually listening to the thoughts and experiences of those currently working in a given profession. It is a video-based tool for career exploration and discovery.
How did you come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea in the shower (where I do my best thinking). I was contemplating my own next career move and wishing I knew more about all the different things that people do to make a living. I was dreading the process of reading up on all these different careers and the time consuming process of sitting down with people in those careers to hear a little about them. I felt a lot of young people were probably in the same boat. I thought there could be a more efficient and enjoyable way to get information and advice quick about a lot of different careers. What better way than a video library filled with the people actually working in those jobs. In my opinion, the best advice can only come from people that have been where you may want to go.
What steps did you have to take to get the company off the ground? Has it been a long time coming?
This site has been a long time coming. We have been at it for about a year. We have 500 video interviews in our library which we will be releasing in January on the site. Conducting all those interviews ourselves is what took the majority of time. But we have interviews from California, Seattle, Florida, Chicago, etc. so we have traveled around and gotten some amazing footage.
How did you find the people for the videos?
Finding people for the videos can be tricky, but I was amazed at how many people believed in the mission and just wanted to help the cause. The hurdle can be that some people are very shy and don’t want to be on camera. It takes some selling. I started with family and friends and referrals, but have stood in the middle of train stations, beaches, and city streets and picked off complete strangers. That can be awkward, but necessary. My partner Neilye Garrity conducted a number of interviews as well.
How do you know your business partner?
My business partner (Garrity) is the wife of my teammate, Washington Bayhawks goalie Chris Garrity. Neilye has a computer software design background with IBM. I pitched her the idea and she loved it and was on board. Having a partner in a venture like this is imperative.
Was it hard to balance MLL, music, and this site? How did you find the time?
It was hard to balance the lacrosse, music, and Candid Career but I have a real passion for each and every one of those ventures so it never felt like a chore at all. The pro lacrosse was great because it allowed me to travel to different states all summer and I always had my camera handy for Candid Career interviews, so it led to some great interviews in different places i would have never been otherwise.
Many don’t understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur, especially in this economy. What was that like? How did you support yourself while building your website and company portfolio?
Starting your own business is so exciting but at times extremely terrifying and challenging as well. You have to be a risk-taker, knowing that some of the best ideas never pan out for any number of reasons. I have learned that the “idea” is only 10 percent of the puzzle while the “execution” of that idea is 90 percent. This difficult economy, in my opinion, lends itself to entrepreneurial activity. If you have an idea you are passionate about and a plan to execute it, you will be shocked at how hard you will will work to see that idea through. It is quite gratifying. I had spent four years working as an insurance broker and one in equity sales, coupled with the lacrosse playing and coaching, I am able to fund the early stages of this process.
Why would a person visit your site? How is it beneficial for a person in 2009?
Our site is about education. One would come to learn about a number of different careers to see which area might fit his/her interests, needs, and personality. What better way to learn about a career than to be given information and advice from someone actually doing the job? What easier way to gain that knowledge than to sit down at your computer and have a video interview library with all the careers you could possibly imagine at your disposal. That kind of access is not available on the web to the degree that we will be taking it.
Who is your audience/demographic?
Our target audience are teens and young adults. Our site is meant to be a first step in the career exploration process. Reaching out to schools and getting the teachers and students informed is key for us. With that said, there is no reason why our site would not be useful to those who are considering a career change later in life, or for those that find it entertaining to see and hear what people do and why they do it. There are some fascinating careers and stories contained within our interviews which would appeal to all.
Right now the site is in a pre-launch phase. What are the long-term goals of the site?
We are taking things one step at a time. As mentioned, we will launch CandidCareer.com with full features and 500 video interviews this coming January. We have produced a cutting edge and refreshingly honest compilation DVD entitled “Speaking The Truth”. It is on sale now at CandidCareer.com and I encourage everyone to check it out. The DVD is filled with interesting careers, true experiences, and useful advice. Our long-term goal is to continue to grow our database of videos and increase our features becoming THE place to come if you want to hear real people sharing real thoughts about their career.