Innovative career exploration app builds on the power of the community.

A refreshing initiative to connect young people with professionals and experienced job holders.

A critical part of making up your mind about the direction of your career, is by having the opportunity to connect with other people who’ve seen and done it all. Learning by way of the stories and experiences of others, helps one better understand how to move forward on a chosen career path.

As part of this career path process, students should have some form of work-based learning and networking. They need to get a good sense of what a job, or career is really all about. Unfortunately, and far too often, people don’t have this opportunity. It is to learn about the skills and knowledge of professions they are interested in. So, what goes into it, the education needed etc. As a result, people make poor choices or find themselves in jobs and/or majors which ultimately don’t meet their needs.

This is why we care a lot about young people and creating opportunities for them to make better choices for their future. We do this through having them meet with experienced professionals, job holders or college students as part of their career exploration.

The Career Exploration Initiative (CEI)

In summer of 2020, FindMino launched the Career Exploration Initiative (CEI), together with the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island and Bainbridge Youth Services. The initiative builds on FindMino’s revolutionary career web app, and unique database which offers a friendly and modern self assessment of skills, personal competencies and preferences, and an effective deep dive into careers. The database places an emphasis on careers of the future.

In addition, the Career Exploration Initiative connects local employers and professionals with students in Kitsap County, Washington.

The CEI launch on Bainbridge Island is a first. No other career exploration service, or job database has partnered with a community to tap the power of the career wisdom found in the community in order to empower young people and link generations together. FindMino is preparing further launches in other communities. This includes geographic communities and organizational groups in the area of young people, as well as other groups who are preparing themselves for an entry or return into the labor market.

We learned that existing systems to support people in career advice are often experienced as ineffective.“, says Rogier Rijnja, Co-Founder of “They are professionally set up, but lack inspiration. It’s often more of a must-do than a ‘like-to’. We like to offer something that makes career-browsing a natural part of online ‘play’ of people. So we created a social media style web app that’s a pleasure to work with.”

Jeff Leinaweaver, Co-Founder of continues: “We developed a unique self assessment quiz which builds upon the Holland career test found in most high schools in North America.  Our unique career quiz highlights someone’s competencies, and immediately offers career suggestions based on these competencies.  Moreover, we built an assessment which invites curiosity, instead of making people feel like they are lacking. From this, we created a career database focused on the future of work, and incorporating tons of jobs, trades and majors, with carefully selected online material to offer people deep dives into careers.”

The Career Exploration Initiative now adds a connection to students, job holders or professionals.

The Initiative now offers the option for students to connect with job holders, professionals or students who are a few years ahead of them.

The Initiative offers three types of programs people can sign up to.

Coffee & Careers.

Coffee & Careers are online or (when Covid restrictions loosen up) off line sessions of 30-60 minutes during which a job holder or retired professional shares their career story with a student. (Ex: how they got there, what routes students can take, what would make them successful). 

Job Shadows

Job Shadows are typically 3-6 sessions for students to meet with job holders/ companies. The goal is for the student to gain a multifaceted overview of a career field. So, not is more elaborate than a Coffee & Careers session. And it typically includes more people from the same host organization, and possibly more students as participants.


Internships are longer term programs that make the student part of a team. And both parties benefit. The student participates in the work, gathering real work experience and learning a lot about the job area. And the host is offered either an extra pair of hands or brainpower to tackle their challenges. Internships can be paid or unpaid.

FindMino developed a special program called Innovative Internship. This is a program set up to actually offer help to an organization with a broader or even strategic challenge they face. A group of students is trained by FindMino in Human Centered Design, and coached along the project.

Interested? Send us an email at [email protected] and we can discuss possibilities for your organization.

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