Our working lives are hugely important to us. We spend a significant amount of time working, so what career path we follow is pivotal to our emotional and mental wellbeing. Therefore, deciding to change our working life requires careful and measured consideration. During a pandemic, the reasons and motivation behind the change are put into even more of a sharp focus.
The desire to find another position or possibly work for yourself is a positive step but in these uncertain times, both financially and health wise, why do some people have the committed belief that this really is the right time and opportunity for them to create a new working phase in their life.
Two such people are Jessica Alderson, 30, and her sister Louella, 27. They both live in London.
Jessica worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley for five years and then at a startup. Louella worked in real estate. The sisters decided to create a dating app during a time when social interaction is extremely difficult yet conversely, we have never needed human connection as much. Jessica states ‘We created So Syncd because we wanted to make dating more fun, meaningful and successful. It just didn’t make sense to us that most dating apps were still based solely on looks when personality is so important for long-term compatibility’.
The idea for So Syncd was born when Jessica broke up with a long-term partner and wanted to understand what went wrong. After working at Morgan Stanley for five years, she decided to take a year out to travel and learn about personality type compatibility.
As Jessica explains, ‘After I returned from my trip, I was explaining the idea of finding love through personality matching over a few drinks in a London bar with my sister. We realized that there was undoubtedly a better way to find love online’.
Jessica’s sister Lou was sceptical at first, but she became convinced of how accurate and successful the personality-matching concept was when they applied the unique algorithm to their friends and Lou’s own successful relationship. ‘She had been in a long-term relationship with her perfect So Syncd personality match without realising’, says Jessica.
During Jessica’s time in banking, she spent a lot of time analyzing companies in great detail. This would include meeting with senior management teams to discuss their long-term strategy. Understanding why they made certain decisions has definitely been beneficial for running So Syncd. Jessica used to forecast companies’ earnings, as well as work out how much they were worth and she has been able to apply these skills to their company.
Lou has amazing experience at scaling a company. She joined a startup as an early employee and worked directly with the CEO to scale the company from a valuation of £80m to over £1bn. There are few companies that have grown at that rate and it was a unique experience to be part of that. Lou has taken these learnings and applied them to the growth strategy at So Syncd.
The app works by asking you to take a five-minute online test to work out your personality type. Then the algorithm will match compatible partners based on many different elements and gives a percentage chance of a great connection.
‘We match people who have just the right amount of similarities to form a strong connection’, explains Jessica ‘and just the right amount of differences to create that spark. We’ve been studying personality type compatibility for three years now and that’s what we’ve found works best’.
The sisters believe that dating apps are more important now than ever before. They have helped people connect with others during lockdown when people have been feeling lonely and in need of support. There is nothing they love more than talking to the couples they meet on their app and sharing their joy, especially during this challenging time.
Dating during the pandemic has its challenges but there are clear benefits too. Covid-19 has encouraged slower dating. People are taking the time to get to know each other on a deeper level. There is more of a focus on long-term compatibility rather than physical attraction.
For Jessica and Lou, launching So Syncd during a global pandemic was a bit of a shock. ‘We were initially apprehensive but it has been an amazing experience to help people connect during this challenging time’, states Jessica ‘We’ve had hundreds of couples find love through our app. The desire for connection is a core human need and the pandemic hasn’t changed that. It has been quite emotional for us – we talk to people who use our app every day and it has been incredible to share their happiness. We had a couple who met on So Syncd get married just before Christmas and we’ve had many people move countries to be together. We have loved working together as sisters – we laugh a lot! We spent the first UK lockdown living together which was helpful in terms of work’.
They both loved their previous jobs and had amazing bosses but it was clear that for Jessica and Lou, it was the right moment to focus on So Syncd full-time. The business was really taking off and they felt it just wasn’t sustainable doing both anymore. Their bosses were extremely understanding and supportive, which made a huge difference to them.
The sisters are delighted that the business is progressing ‘better than we could have ever imagined, particularly given the pandemic. Working for ourselves has definitely been different to working for someone else but we’re both enjoying it’.
There has been such strong demand for their app during lockdown, it has meant Jessica and Lou have been even more focussed on improving their product and making it an even better experience for their members. ‘We have spent the past few months building a new version from scratch’, confirms Jessica ‘and it was released on 6th February (2021) which we are all very excited about’.
Find out more: www.sosyncd.com