jobbook.org: up and running

jobbook.org, a website to help students choose careers, is up. Aaron Swartz and I have been working on it for several months. We hope that it will eventually contain lots of first-hand information about jobs so that students (and anyone else) can learn what the jobs they are interested in are really like. Aaron has called it an “encyclopedia of jobs.”

To decide what to do, Aaron and I visited several schools around the Bay Area. At San Francisco State, a nursing student said, “I’m a nursing major, but I barely know what nurses do.” When I was in school, I could have said the same thing: By deciding to go to graduate school in experimental psychology I was choosing to become a “professor major” but I knew little about what professors did. Even as a graduate student I barely knew what they did. This reflects a truth about modern life: It is hard to learn what jobs are like. You can do an internship, but schools like UC Berkeley don’t make that easy. And internships take a lot of time. The goal of jobbook.org is to provide the same information much more easily.

jobbook.org is a wiki — a Wikipedia-llke website than anyone can edit. We hope that people on both sides — people with job knowledge and people who want job knowledge — will contribute.

If you have a job (any job!), we hope that you will offer to be interviewed about it. (To make that offer, just add your job, location, and contact info to the home page.) You don’t need to wait to be interviewed: You can simply describe an actual day of your job and add that description to the site.

If you are interested in learning about any job, we hope that you will request an interview. (To make that request, just add the job and your contact info to the home page.)

We hope that these offers and requests will produce interview transcripts that will be added to the site. If you know of a helpful link (such as a book or magazine article), we hope you will add it.

Last night, there was a meeting for interested students in the Channing-Bowditch (a Cal dorm) lounge. I expected no one to show up. Four people did. Next meeting: next Monday (Nov 5), same place, see home page for details.

Sabine Alam, Khoi Lam, and Michelle Nguyen are the Advisory Board who have been giving Aaron and me sage advice. Thanks to them.

4 Responses to “jobbook.org: up and running”

  1. Charlie Says:

    Hi Seth! This is why there was no point to us doing things stealth… because if you we have a good idea, chances are, there are some smart people who are thinking about it at the exact same time… .and… here you are! Someone just left a comment about what you’re up to on our blog… http:://blog.path101.com. We’re building a company around exactly what you’ve come to… that students, and really many other people, simply don’t know what’s out there to be done.

    Would love to chat sometime and see if there’s a way to work together.

  2. lasser11 Says:

    great idea. college students need to be more proactive in finding their career.

    But it is understandable why young people feel less urgent in finding a career now in comparison to 30 years ago. it has to do with the job market being more fluid and less receptive to college grads in their 20′s.

    All of this ties into the growing inequality debate. Businesses are finding it much easier to reward their more productive employees, which is likely to be baby boomers with mba’s and years of experience. businesses simply find it less financially rewarding to invest money into 25 year olds.

    so college students have less incentive to quickly find a career more now then 30 years ago. And this encourages college grads in their 20′s to experiment more in different job fields.

  3. lasser11 Says:

    I don’t know if I was clear. personally, I chose a career path right out of college. And to be honest, I don’t think I’m making too much more money than my friends who experimented in different job fields.

    bottom line: I can’t wait for the baby boomers to retire to open up some upper level positions.

  4. News » 2007 Review of Projects Says:

    [...] JobBook: Intermediate. An initial site is launched but I have not spent a lot of time on it nor is it progressing rapidly. Other people are pursuing it, though, so I feel less pressure. [...]