August 22, 2013 4:54 PM   Subscribe
Inspired by the responses to the AskMeFi question "What is your job like, really?", I have created a website called RealJobDescription where people can post a description of what they really do at work.

I just launched it. Feel free to contribute.

For more information about the purpose and value of the site, I've copied and pasted the content of the About section below.

From what I can determine, there is currently no significant resource on the web like this, and I think it would be highly useful to have.

------- provides a platform for job-holders to inform other people, including students trying to decide on an academic major and/or a career direction, new entrants to the workforce, and people who are interested in changing careers, about what their jobs are actually like.

Job opening descriptions from human resources departments often are stiff and impersonal, and may not accurately reflect what people actually do in their jobs.

We believe that information about what real people actually do in their jobs, including what their daily work routines are like, and how they feel about their jobs, is as useful and important information as official job descriptions.

Users of the site are encouraged to post their own job descriptions in the spirit of sharing information with and helping other users.

Our goal is for the site to become a large and high quality database of real job descriptions that serves as an indispensable tool for people who are thinking about career choices or actively seeking jobs.
Role: Creator
posted by Dansaman (14 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Oh my gosh! Thanks Dansaman, this is so awesome.

Also, serendipitous, seeing as how I'm looking for a job.
posted by tooloudinhere at 5:14 PM on August 22, 2013

Great idea, and potentially very helpful. It will be interesting to see if this becomes unwieldy with hundreds or thousands of entries....
posted by baseballpajamas at 7:55 AM on August 23, 2013

Re unwieldy:

Here's how that is and will be addressed:

1. Job titles that are the same will not display multiple times in Browse, rather there will be a number next to the job title indicating how many listings there are for that same title, and if you click on the title then it will display, in abbreviated format (i.e., title and preview of description), the multiple job descriptions that are posted for that title, and then you can click on any (one at a time) that you want to read in full.

2. We will likely use alphabetical sections once that Browse list grows big (so just for example you can go right to job titles that start with "S").

3. There will be multiple pages (for example, 20 listings per page in Browse and Search - that can't be seen right at this moment because there are less than 20 listings at this very early stage).

4. By having three types of Search (in the drop-down menu on the Search tab), users will be able to fine tune what they are looking for.

5. Having the "Favorite" functionality provides a way for users to organize information for future reference.

6. Having the "Share" functionality allows users to easily share individual job descriptions, including to themselves.

Having thousands of listings will be a good problem to have and we'll be careful to find good ways to make it manageable. It's indeed very important.
posted by Dansaman at 8:44 AM on August 23, 2013

Site looks awesome. Would be cool if contributors were encouraged to write about how they got their jobs, too.
posted by John Raskolnikov Gilson at 9:09 AM on August 24, 2013

Good idea, thanks!
posted by Dansaman at 11:02 AM on August 24, 2013

I wonder if it would be helpful to get people to add some kind of keywords? For example, my speech therapy job would be unambiguously under health, maybe also clinical, maybe also psychology (since that was my route in). A secretary in my department would also be under health, but maybe also admin. It might also be helpful to get people to tag what country they work in, since my job is called something different in the US.

The questions you ask are quite a mixed bag. I wonder about two boxes for input - one describing a typical day, since that is the original premise (and the unique bit) and another about larger issues like career path.

What a great idea - I hope it turns out well!
posted by kadia_a at 12:36 AM on August 25, 2013

I really would like people to write whatever they feel is important and interesting for other people to know about their job. The placeholder text in the description form offers some suggestions of possible topics to address, but I don't really care what topics they do or don't discuss. It's really up to each person. I want it to be natural and totally their own expression. I think that optimizes the usefulness of the site. The reason I put the Search tab first is because ultimately I think it may end up being a more useful way for people to use this resource than the Browse tab. After all, it's really hard to categorize job titles in a way that consistently and accurately includes all potentially useful information (such as function, specialization, and industry).
posted by Dansaman at 3:55 PM on August 26, 2013

I like the content, but formatting is pretty tough for reading. Small(ish) font and no line/ paragraph breaks. Not sure if latter is due to people just writing style or if that is something you can fix at your end.
posted by zeikka at 7:06 AM on August 28, 2013

Thanks for pointing that out zeikka. That formatting problem must have just occurred yesterday after a change was made to the formatting system for new postings. I didn't realize that affected prior postings. We'll fix it. Thanks again for informing me of the problem.
posted by Dansaman at 3:54 PM on August 28, 2013

Great idea Dansaman! One thought - would it be helpful to indicate along with each job description entry the size of the company it's written for? For instance, as I read the 'Director of Information Technology' entry, it seems to be written for a fairly small company or start up, and does not correspond at all to what would be the same description for an IT Director at say, a large Fortune 500 company.
posted by drewski at 7:27 AM on August 29, 2013

drewski, thanks for the suggestion. I definitely agree that organization size is useful information, and it's something that I'll add to the placeholder text. I hesitate to have it as a separate field because it's another thing that is subject to interpretation - some people might take it to mean an entire corporation, some a division, some a particular office location, etc. So I think it's best left to being included in the descriptive information.
posted by Dansaman at 10:06 PM on August 29, 2013

When I try to register with my email address, I get this.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:20 AM on September 5, 2013

Thanks for the report oceanjesse. Checking into that now and will revert back shortly.
posted by Dansaman at 10:41 AM on September 5, 2013

I forgot to mention here the above mentioned problem has been resolved.
posted by Dansaman at 10:54 PM on September 23, 2013

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