Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Friday, March 2, 2012

Exploring Occupations with a Theme

I am working with a client who likes to work with seniors. She's not sure what occupations or kinds of jobs would suit her, and one way of encouraging clients to identify the dimensions of their preferences and needs is to have them look at actual jobs. With some clients you can make a study of what is available an application of study skills.

Of course there are books that answer this need for some fields of interest. However, with the client's permission I wanted to use this opportunity to explore a more general solution.

In a nutshell here's what we're doing and how we got there (may look complicated but really isn't):

  1. The client is computer savvy; I've introduced her to Google Reader and showed her the basics of subscribing to and processing RSS feeds. (Took fully ten minutes, including my screw-ups.)
  2. Knowing that she's interested in seniors I did a preliminary search on and found that if I search for that I receive a lot of 'hits' with 'senior' in the titles. I made a mental note to exclude these; she doesn't need to see items like 'Senior Accountant.'
  3. To get started I thought of the following key words that might lead to relevant jobs: seniors, retirement, geriatrics. You're too polite to comment about this.
  4. used to offer RSS feeds for each search performed. I notice they no longer do. However, I know that RSS feeds still work. I therefore needed to determine how to construct the URLs that constitute RSS feeds. Although I have been unable to learn the full syntax of what will accept I know enough for our present purposes.

    To get an RSS feed for this client, for the key words mentioned, for Ontario I can use:

    (If I had only one key word I could just delete the unneeded key words and the '+or+' items connecting them.)
  5. Remember: I want to exclude jobs with 'senior' in the titles. But I don't know how to do that using an RSS feed. Again, as in some previous posts, I turn to Yahoo! Pipes. It's not difficult for cases like this! Be warned it won't work on the Chrome browser; it works on Internet Explorer. All you need to do is drag-and-drop a few thingys from the left-hand column into the tableau and connect them with pipes, then save with a suitable name and tell your users the URL of your creation. Here's the one for my client who's interested in seniors.
    • See how the 'Fetch Feed' thingy appears in the list of 'Sources' to the left?
    • The 'Filter' thingy appears in the list of 'Operators' to the left.
    • The URL for the RSS feed discussed above is keyed into the edit box just under the word 'URL' in the 'Fetch Feed' thingy.
    • See how the 'Filter' looks at the item.title and, if it Contains Senior then the item of which it is a part is Block'ed.
  6. Having saved this and followed the link 'Back to My Pipes' (elsewhere on the page shown) I simply click on the 'Google' button to add the feed to Google Reader. To supply my client with the page containing this button I give her the page's URL, as you might in any other situation (except that these URLs are extremely ugly). Better to send in an email.