Tonight, I made a chicken casserole that was actually quite good. I didn’t plan ahead, so I went online to allrecipes.com and used their “Ingredients Search” feature. I entered: chicken breast, cream of chicken soup, and carrots, and then I hit “Go”. The website came up with several recipes including one that required a few other things that I had in my kitchen such as egg noodles, milk, frozen vegetables, and chili powder, and so that is the one I chose.
This is a process I use quite often because I rarely plan my meals in advance. I usually wait until I’m hungry and then wonder what I can make for dinner. Often, that entails grazing on hummus and crackers or making cheese on toast, but on a fairly regular basis I go to allrecipes.com and ask for their help. It works out quite well.
As I was enjoying my dinner tonight, it occurred to me that many of us could use a program like this to decide what to do with our lives. You could be eighteen years old and completely bewildered about a choice of career. My imaginary alllives.com could have an ingredients search feature so that your young self could enter “good health, athletic, math skills, likes socializing” and ask the program what program to register in at college.
Equally, you could be fifty-five and ready for a change. You could enter “single, artistic, degree in chemistry, and gardener,” and the algorithm would suggest two, or five, or ten possible new avenues for you to walk down. This would save so much time and frustration, I wonder that no-one has thought of this before. Maybe they have and I don’t know about it.
More likely, though, some career guidance person has created a website that is much too serious, complicated, and pedantic. It needs to be easy to use and easy to apply. Like the food recipe site, the life recipe site should come up with a few suggestions, each with an enticing illustration. The suggestions may require a few ingredients you hadn’t thought of, but that’s ok too. You may actually have those items in your life cupboard, or you might be able to come up with reasonable substitutions.
The initial suggestions should have a name, a picture, and a one-sentence description. After that, you have to click on it to get more detailed information. Obviously, there’s no point in knowing how to make chicken wild rice soup if you don’t have any wild rice. No, it’s best to stick with what you’ve got. Similarly, there’s no point in finding out about being a big rig operator if you don’t have a driver’s license.
I really think I’m on to something here. If I were a coder I’d get on this right away and create a life recipe site that would make me a million dollars. However, since I don’t have coding ability in my skillset pantry, I’ll just have to pass this idea on to the universe and hope someone takes the idea and runs with it. It might just be the spark they need to embark on a new career. You never know.