Figuring-out a Job-to-be-Done

My friend Alexa needs extra cash. So she’s looking for an evening job she can do after her full-time day job at Neiman Marcus. However, she’s having a hard time finding available jobs that meet her needs through the current methods.

Let’s look for potential market growth in ‘searching for evening jobs’ using the principles of disruption job-to-be-done questions:

  1. What are some things that you have most trouble trying to do at the moment?
  2. Why and when do you typically seek to do this?
  3. Where did you look for help? Describe the process you followed.
  4. What frustrated you most?
  5. Describe a perfect solution. What will it do?
  6. What are the emotions that the perfect solution would make you feel (“emotional hiring criteria”)?

These questions come from Blueprint for Transformation.

Currently, Alexa uses online search engines like and Craigslist to look for jobs. She searches for jobs at night. She’s unsatisfied with this process since the job ads lack lots of important details. For example, the information on the Applications does not say the exact hours for the evening job. An evening job for Neiman Marcus is 6pm-8pm, while an evening job at Wal-Mart is 12am-8am.

The current process is stressful, frustrating and depressing for Alexa. It requires her to do a lot of personal research since the job posting are vague and often inaccurate.

Alexa says she needs a better internet search engine that posts evening jobs. She wants jobs listed that are reliable with specific descriptions, specified work hours, contact persons. Alexa thinks the perfect solution would make her feel motivated to look for work not discouraged. The process should be relaxed and easy; one that’s aimed at facilitating the job application process, not complicating it.

Brief Answers:

  1. What are some things that you have most trouble trying to do at the moment?  Searching for Evening Jobs
  2. Why and when do you typically seek to do this? Need extra cash. Look for job at night since working during the day.
  3. Where did you look for help? Describe the process you followed., Craigslist, Classifieds
  4. What frustrated you most? Lack of detail in job ad like description work hours
  5. Describe a perfect solution. What will it do? A search engine that lists the jobs available along with the HR contact info, work hours, salary and a detailed description of the job.
  6. What are the emotions that the perfect solution would make you feel (“emotional hiring criteria”)? It should feel relaxed and easy.  Motivated to apply to more jobs not discourage from the process.


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4 Responses to Figuring-out a Job-to-be-Done

  1. Steve Buttry says:

    This is a good example of jobs-to-be-done research. It has identified an opportunity, if many people share Alexa’s needs and frustrations. Much work remains, of course: developing a solution for the Alexas (and the employers who need to reach her), reaching her and the employers with the product and figuring out the revenue stream. But it starts with identifying an opportunity, which you’ve done here.

  2. Yauthary Keo says:


    I concur with Jacky of the lack of a searchable web site for part-time jobs. You rightly pointed to a gap between expectations of job seekers and employers.

    The challenge of developing a searchable site for job seekers are numerous. First, to prepare an assignment to post on a web site is complicated as I had learned.

    A few years ago I tried to convince my former boss, unsuccessfully, to create part-time jobs. These positions were to coordinate the work of three departments that had been working together. It involved working with IT team and relevant hiring managers to build a web site that would address my former employer’s needs as well as creating standards to identify discreet tasks for part-time employees.

    The monetization of a web site was news to me, and there was no one knowledgeable at the time to introduce my employer to the value of SEO, google analytics and affiliated marketing.

    Before embarking on developing a SEO it would make sense to understand the challenges and needs of small to medium sized employers. It is these entities, who presumably would be the primarily employers for part-time jobs.

    Small to medium-sized employers will not use SEO if the cost exceeds the traditional of hiring part-time workers strategy. The challenge was to find a human resource officer (HR) to work with the IT team to maintain and update the company’s web site as it is being developed.

    SEO could increase the number of applicants to a web site, but the need for an automated programming—a procedure to identify qualified applicants for interview—has not been developed. Hence, HR do not wish to interview too many applicants.

    In summary, part-time positions, unless they are integrated into company’s regular operational plan, there is less incentive to invest in dedicating staff resource for “transition positions.”

    What Alexa and I found is that even with the best designed SEO for job ads, social network and search engine of local newspapers continue to match potential employees with employers.

    If there is a properly dedicated search engine that identify a rising demands for part-time jobs out there while increasing traffic to the companies’ web site, it would solve many problems for managers and HR and particularly, many qualified prospective employees.

  3. gijess says:

    Job websites are terrible, just terrible. has to be one of the worst. I have never in my life gotten a job off of Monster, or Hotjobs or similar sites. I have an impressive skillset and resume, and these are just databases that plug you in, and then you’re forgotten about with the masses. It is full of ads and pop-ups, so you get the impression that monetezation is their main objective — not helping the customer.

    It would be nice if there were a clean, clear site that listed jobs — credible ones at that. I have years of public relations and government experience, yet the only jobs the filter will send to me are $12 an hour telemarketing jobs. No thanks.

    One major hassle in the Washington D.C. market is the difficulty of getting a government job, in the federal government hub. Not due to lack of qualifications, but system that doesn’t select candidates based on their qualifications, rather, minimum wage workers looking only for “key words.” You could be a Harvard graudate and the best applicant in the world, but if you don’t list the words they’re looking for, you’re not even going to make the pile.

    Reforming the system would be idea, but this is after all, the government. Perhaps a website that teaches people how to apply for a government job. Maybe a message board to discuss things, or a mentor/mentee assignment. We all started somewhere, usually with the help of someone kind enough to show us the way.

    A comprehensive government job site would be an outstanding jobs-to-be-done in the nations capitol.

  4. Jaclyn Kurin says:

    From job-to-be-done To Monetizing Niche information

    Last time I talked about my friend having a job-to-be-done experience, this time, I talk about mine.

    Part of my graduate thesis involves producing several podcasts and posting them onto the internet. I am using GarageBand to produce these pieces. I am a Mac user and I consider myself pretty computer savvy so you can imagine I was getting extremely frustrated when I couldn’t get GarageBand to do what I assumed were basic functions. For example, allow me to edit one piece copy it and past it into another podcast. I was also having problems with compressing and uploading files, what I needed was help with the podcasting program for GarageBand.

    I went to theGarageBand website, but the tutorials and questions were mainly targeted at GarageBand’s other programs not its podcasting. I considered going to my local genius bar in Clarendon they deal with hardware problems more than software issues. Plus, I didn’t want to feel rushed learning how to do these processes since I would have to do them again on my own later. After all, this was for my thesis. Lately, everyone is a Mac user now, and my local Apple Store is unable to provide the kind of attention I want. Additionally, I wanted some more suggestions or general tips on how I can improve my podcasts and my typical go-to sources the GarageBand website and my genius bar could not meet my needs.

    So I had a clear job to be done: I needed a resource that could address my specific GarageBand issues and suggestions as it relates to podcasts, providing me all the time I needed.

    Eventually I found what I needed on the Voice Over Times website. Voice Over Times is an online news website that provides information about the arts and entertainment industry and covers voice acting news. I was navigated to the website because they have a great section specifically on editing podcast pices in GarageBand.

    The website was extremely helpful, but aside from two ads on the webpage is that comparable to information they’re giving away for free? Is Voice Over Times maximizing their monetary possibilities?

    Then I remember my Professor, Steve Buttery telling the class that as long as your providing quality information, by posting it on the internet for free it could benefit you in the long-run such as add to your name or brand recognition and serve as a tool to entice audience to buy the package deal.

    Sure enough, as I continued to scroll through website, I saw a number of other great links that I thought would help me produce my pieces. When I clicked on one of those links it brought me to a product site. Since I knew how great the other articles were I was sold on the eBook. Thus showing free on the internet is ok for the entrepreneurial journalist when coupled with a plan for monetization.

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