Purpose: Students identify their career aspirations and recognize how education can help them achieve these goals.
1. Students visualize their goals for the future.
Ask students to close their eyes for a few seconds. Say, “Imagine yourself 15 years from now. What are you doing with your life? Remember the lesson about identifying goals from earlier in this course. Have you achieved those goals? How are you making a living?”
Ask students to open their eyes. Allow them about five minutes to write in their journals or on notebook paper what they were thinking as you spoke. Ask them to include new ideas about the careers they hope to have in the future.
2. Students share their career goals.
When students have finished writing, ask volunteers to share what they wrote in their journals. As students share their goals, write their responses on the board.
Explain to students that no matter what their goals are, they will need to work to achieve them.
3. Students distinguish between jobs and careers.
Explain to students that the journal writing they just did was about their career goals. Ask students if they know the difference between the words “job” and “career.” If necessary, have two volunteers look up the words in a dictionary and read the definitions out loud. Lead students to the understanding that “job” refers to working and getting paid. Explain that jobs are often short term. Tell students that “career” indicates something long term that people plan for and strive to advance in.
Explain that people change jobs often, especially while they are young. Tell students that it is also becoming more common for people to change their career paths. (Provide an example of this, preferably one from personal experience or knowledge.) Share with students how statistics indicate that they are likely to change careers several times during their lives and that they will have many jobs in each career. Point out that this makes mastering the skills of looking for a job important.
Explain to students that you had them begin by thinking about their long-term career goals because they will ideally choose short-term jobs that fit with those goals.
4. Students analyze the requirements and compensations for several jobs.
Distribute the “Classifieds” activity sheet. Explain to students that they are going to compare and contrast different jobs.
Have a volunteer read the mover advertisement out loud to the class. Ask students what skills an applicant for this job needs. Have students write their responses on the activity sheet in the box labeled “Skills.” Students should note that the job does not require experience.
Ask students if a high school diploma is needed for the job. Instruct students to fill in the “School” box appropriately.
Next, have students identify the job’s pay and benefits. (If students do not understand what benefits are, explain health care coverage, vacation time, tuition reimbursement, etc.) Have students add the appropriate information to the activity sheet; then, inquire if there is opportunity for advancement.
Explain to students that this job does not require a high school diploma, but it does not offer opportunities for advancement of the security of salary, permanent employment, or benefits. Ask students to consider whether this job is something that they would consider for a career, not just for a short-term job. Have them fill in this information in the final column.
5. Students recognize that education can help them achieve their career goals.
Discuss each of the other three jobs advertised. Have students fill in the boxes.
When they are finished, ask students which job they would choose and why. After students have responded, challenge them to find the relationship between education, salary, benefits, and advancement. Students should notice that more education brings better salaries, better benefits, and greater opportunities for advancement.
Explain that a good education can help people secure competitive jobs and achieve career goals in almost any field.