Member Spotlight | Laura Truncellito
Laura Truncellito built Enployable during the pandemic, a time when layoffs became a reality for many. During that period, as she watched her friends get laid off left and right, she was awarded a fellowship from the WomenTech Network and the Founder Institute Silicon Valley. The intersection of these two experiences led her to start Enployable, a site where people can navigate a career path that matches their personality, values, and interests. She not only helps people find a job, but helps people find a role that they will stay in for the long term and fulfills them. Because of her experience as a machine learning engineer, she was able to use artificial intelligence to find the chemistry between a job seeker and their potential employer. “There is so much beyond a job title...People are more than their job title.”
How Would You Describe Enployable?
“Enployable helps job candidates and hiring managers find the right match, so that candidates find a job that they truly love and enjoy long-term career growth while employers benefit from increased retention rates. We are putting humanity in job searches.”
Because 1 in 4 Americans are going to switch jobs after the pandemic, Enployable is designed to help people navigate through that change and act as a fundamentally new type of resource for job seekers during their transition. This includes an artificially intelligent career coach named Mat. Mat asks users surprisingly deep questions based on their job field and will provide recommendations based on the user’s answers.
What was your main goal for Enployable?
“We spend so much time working that it's important to love what you do.”
Because two thirds of Americans are looking for jobs at any time, Laura explained that she wants people to find satisfaction in their role so that they can feel pride in what they do. So far, Enployable has hit the ground running as the startup was recently accepted to NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center’s prestigious 12-week Milestone Circles program. It was also recently showcased at the virtual DC Minority Innovation Weekend on July 17, 2021.
What was a challenge that you experienced during your entrepreneurial journey?
“Stereotypes create issues for female founders… female founders have special challenges.”
In her conversations with other female founders, she discovered that funding seems to be a major issue for women entrepreneurs. Laura also experienced sexist stereotypes herself. Thanks to the Founder Institute, she was able to obtain guidance and support from her advisors regarding this issue. “People would ask me if I did Enployable for fun so I can raise kids with a part-time job.” Despite hearing such comments, Laura does not think too much about it or let it deter her; instead, she focuses on how she can help people throughout their job transition.
What is your proudest moment throughout your startup journey?
“The very first customer we helped.”
When she first started Enployable, their first customer, approaching retirement, was extremely unhappy with his current job and needed to figure out what to do instead. After 20 years, he finally had enough and was willing to give up his retirement pension. The Enployable team helped him devise a plan so that he would not have to give up his retirement fund. Her team began to go through their database to see what types of companies would be a good fit for him and paired him with a volunteer project as well as a paid consulting project. They watched him go from being in an unsatisfied career dilemma to living a life abundant in projects that he was passionate about. He was even able to keep his retirement pension. Because of his appreciation for Enployable and what it had done for him, he became one of their first investors.
One is one piece of advice you would give to other founders?
“When you are in the seat, people will tell you a lot of things but at the end of the day, you are the decision maker. Think of every piece of advice you receive as a valuable question, never as an answer. Ultimately you have to believe in yourself and what you do.”
She explained that women are more likely to doubt themselves, and the first step to overcoming this is recognizing it.
Ultimately, Laura wants people not only to be able to find a job, but to find a career that aligns well with who they are. One does not need to be a machine learning engineer to understand that humans are not machines. As Laura mentioned, humanity must be brought back to the job search. She hopes that people will begin to recognize that it is possible to have a career that can make one feel fulfilled and engaged, and Enployable offers the right approach to make that happen.
“People should be happy with their jobs. Work does not have to be something you do just for a paycheck – it is also an identity, a sense of self-worth, and a source of pride.”