This is a Pecha Kucha, which means it's supposed to be 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each. It's probably a little less per slide than that at the moment. The idea is that you should be able to see the whole thing in about 7 minutes. I'llput in these text bars what I would be saying if you were seeing me give this presentation. Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's begin and I'll pitch you... JOBQUEST!
So what is this Pecha Kucha about? It's about GAMIFYING JOB HUNTING BY MAKING A SEARCH LOG APP THAT WORKS LIKE A GAME. There's a few loaded concepts in that statement, so let's quickly break down what that means.
First of all: "Gamifying Job Hunting". By this I mean using the principles of gamification (a behavioral design technique used to stimulate engagement through awarding points, badges, etc.) on the process of looking for a job. There's all sorts of things job seekers have to do while looking for a job, by gamifying those actions we can add a rush of dopamine to the proceedings and an extra feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment to otherwise thankless chores.
Next, a "Search Log App". A search log is a document job seekers use to keep track of what they're doing to find a job. It documents who they've been in contact with, when they made contact, the position they were looking to fill, that sort of thing. Use of a form like this is mandatory if you want to claim unemployment in the state of New York, by the way. An app for that would just be a way to log it on your mobile phone in a clean, intuitive way.
And finally, "Works like a game". Here's how this game would work. All sorts of actions that job seekers have to do would be assigned a point value, and as job seekers logged which actions they completed, they would be given points, which would be tallied and track by the app. 50 points for researching places to work, 100 points for improving your résumé or website or marketing planor bio or what have you, 200 points for electronically reaching out to a contact, 300 points for a face to face meeting, etc.
To add some fun and some cool UX (user experience) to the game, whenever players get points they get to roll a set of virtual dice on a giant game board, where their avatars travel around picking up cards as they try to "level up" by completing set tasks designed to take them through the specific steps needed to successfully look for a job. This prevents people from trying to get ahead by randomly sending out a thousand résumés, for instance... certain kinds of points need to be earned at specific times along their journey.
The only way you lose points is by doing nothing. If you have a day where you log no points, you get a 100 point penalty, and that penalty doubles every day you make no forward momentum - 200 points off the next day, 400 points off the day after that, and so forth. The idea here is to give job seekers an impetus to keep themselves going and not to fall into inertia.
So why does a game like this make sense? Well, first of all there's just a lot of sucky things you have to do while looking for a job. Anything that we can do to make that process more enjoyable adds value. And this app would not only be able to infuse tasks with more satisfaction, but could also suggest things job seekers could be doing, which could help them maintain that forward momentum they need. And along the way, this app could assist players in creating documents they need for their job search.
But to answer the question of "why" a little bit differently, it should just be noted that gamification is PHENOMENALLY POPULAR. One study found a whopping 89% of respondents saying gamification increased their engagement with eLearning apps. That seems like an absurdly high figure until you think about it for a moment and realize, "well, yeah... of course people would prefer to play a game rather than just be fed information". Gaming has an unfair advantage. Playing games lets people complete tasks, and only by completing tasks can human brains release dopamine, one of the fundamental brain chemicals involved with the feeling of joy.
And if we zoom out even further, we can answer "why" by looking at the kind of audience a game like this could appeal to: Millennials. Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce at the moment, and most don't plan to stay in their jobs very long. They demand interactivity, which a game like this can provide for them. By making something that could engage with them, you could be making huge strides with a demographic that is about to become a tremendous factor in future employment markets.
Not to mention that this would be an innovative and new approach to job searching, and that's the kind of thing that produces and generates buzz. Any buzz you get is free advertising and feeds your social networking, elevating your brand. What we are proposing is a bold move to better position you for the world of the present and the future.
So now that we've talked about the WHAT and the WHY, let's move on to the WHO. Who is going to make this? Well, me, for one. I'm a microcontent pioneer who made huge multiplatform campaigns for millennial audiences at Comedy Central, and part of my multiplatform arsenal is making cool games to draw in audiences. I'm also a Lee Hecht Harrison alumnus who learned the methods of job searching from the best, and I have the creative chops to take that message and put it into an innovative package that can have broad appeal.
Of course, we'd want to be sure our career searching advice was sound, and that's why we'd be working with Carol Zimmerman. With almost 20 years in the career counseling game, Carol has the knowledge and experience to make sure the game is on-brand and helpful. Together Carol and I have been experimenting with the game mechanics, and the reception and results have been nothing short of extraordinary (and not only with younger job seekers!)
We'd also need to work with someone who knows gamification and game design backwards and forwards. That's why I'd like to work with DOPAMINE, a full-service behavioral design company who has worked with many major brands to deliver incredible gamified experiences. Their tried and true methods work time and again and produce amazing results. For example, a survey they gamified for LAX airport produced 17 times as many responses as a non-gamified version did.
And now we need to talk about HOW we're going to do this. The foundation for the game mechanics rests in the proprietary AIM method of job searching taught at Lee Hecht Harrison. The milestones identified in the method comprise our 10 phases of a journey which players can "level up" to progress on. By phrasing this method in a new way, we can take this IP and bring it into the future.
The most basic function of the app is a more intuitive and responsive way for users to log their progress in their job search. Players couldclaim their points by selecting from a list of applicable actions, and with a few quick clicks could make a record of who they contacted and when and for what. But the app could do so much more.
Since players have to log who they're talking to and when, the game could take the information they provide and use it to more effectively focus their search. It could remind them to send a thank you note and to re-establish contact if they hadn't heard back in a long enough time. It could build a contact list for them and access social networks to find other contacts they might want to look into. It could analyze what they've been doing and make suggestions to ensure their search is diversified enough to be successful.
And as players input data about themselves into the game, it could come up with ways to incorporate that information into professional résumés, marketing plans, bios, and other work documents. The players themselves would be creating these documents, of course, but the game would be leading them through that creation and giving helpful style and substance advice along the way.
And all this would be wrapped up in a slick UX where players use customizable avatars on a giant virtual game board. Each act they have towards their goal gets them another roll of the dice and another opportunity to interact with the board, where power-ups and cards wait for them. Through these cards and power-ups, we can deliver humor and joy, and give players something to use the points they acquire for (changing their customizable avatar in premium ways, for example - like giving it new clothes, a sweet car, changing it into a mythical creature... the possibilities are endless).
So WHERE would this game be available? Well, that's up to you. You could make it available in select outplacement center locations, or you could use it as a foundational system for an online outplacement program, or you could make it an app on Apple's app store... there's a wide variety of opportunities. But at every level, we can protect the game so that only paying members and/or clients can use the system in their job hunting.
And WHEN can we do this? How about right now? How about we strike while the iron is hot, and ride the wave of being the people who got there first? We can turn this around quickly, experiment with it a bit, and put it out there. But to get that done, we need to partner up and make it happen. Are you ready to make job searching more fun, easier, and more satisfying?