I know, I know, a job posting on my blog?! I’m just casting my net as wide as I can. Read on and see if you’re the one or you know someone who is. Thanks in advance.
Calling all programmers expert in algorithms!
Looking for someone expert in algorithms to help me program a version of Google (only half kidding… : ) for job hunters and kids just starting out trying to figure out career directions. I’m looking into creating a career aptitude and job matching site that would be able to filter personality test results through career requirements in a new and progressive way. Yes, I know there are a ton of these kinds of sites already, but not in the way I want to do it. I’d be happy to explain further by email to see if it would be worth your time to meet.
In my mentoring work, a perennial problem not only for teens and twenties, but for all ages now, is “What/who do I want to do/be when I grow up?” With the “new world economy,” this is only going to intensify as more industries continue to be outsourced and jobs in this country continue to disappear. So, while there are many sites geared to helping one answer these kinds of questions, I haven’t found one that would work as extensively and “intuitively” as the site I’d like to create.
A very simple example: starting at age 14, every time there has been a “career day” at school, my daughter comes home in tears because she feels the school is pressuring her to know what college AND career she would be selecting! Aside from the insanity of that, what confounds my daughter is that she has seemingly opposite strengths and interests. She can’t imagine how she can find a career that would speak to both her need to use her interest in science and her love of acting. As is common for most people of most ages, she feels she has to choose one direction or the other. When I suggested that she could easily combine those interests and more into one career, she couldn’t imagine how until I suggested becoming a meteorologist, or working for National Geographic, or filming her own scientific documentaries, or… Anyway, you see where I’m going.
What current psychological testing and existing web sites don’t do well enough in my opinion is to ask enough of the right kinds of questions to be able to collect and then synthesize important information, including information that may be contradictory. And they don’t have an extensive enough data base of possible career/job suggestions to offer the kinds of mixing/matching that people need today.
So even though sites like careerplanner.com are impressive as far as they go, I believe if this whole concept were somehow able to be taken to the next level, then instead of just suggesting several rather generic careers based on standard psychological and aptitude tests, a site could be created where, yes, based on some standard testing, but more based on a new way of asking questions, you could be matched with a rich selection of truly tailored options.
What I’m thinking I want to do is to start with a list of extensive, straight-forward “modern day” questions that would decipher needs, interests, likes and dislikes, contradictions, etc. — unlike tests like Meyers-Briggs which speak primarily to conditioned patterns of behavior, and therefore make them only partially useful for this type of application. (Actually the whole testing field needs to be seriously overhauled and updated, but that’s another matter.) The answers to these questions would essentially become one set of keywords. Another database would have information on what I would like to be the largest list of current “new world” career/job descriptions in existence. These job descriptions would be coded with another set of keywords. Then I’d like to gather data on what traits people have who are successful and happy in these jobs, and, conversely, people who are miserable in these jobs. These would be additional sets of keywords. Then, like Google, based on percentage of specific keywords, a list of best-fitting careers with description and analysis would be generated.
I’d write the questions that would speak to today’s kids in particular. Keywords from the answers would be pulled based on my “rules” for pattern matching.
If you are a whiz at algorithms or you now someone who is, please contact me.
For my regular readers, next week we’ll be returning to our regularly scheduled programming. : )