Overcoming Obstacles

Lesson 5: Responding to a Job Offer



objectives

  • Students will practice gathering the information that will help them decide whether to accept a job offer.

  • Students will practice weighing their options and using a pro/con list.

  • Students will practice making a decision and acting on it.

  • Students will identify how to appropriately interact with an employer when they are offered a job.

materials

  • One copy of the “Job Offers” activity sheet for each student (Part I)

Starter (3 minutes)

Say to students, “Congratulations! I’d like to offer you a job as my assistant. Your hours are Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You’ll help me prepare for classes, make copies, and clean up the classroom each day. Your pay will be $8.00 per hour.”

Ask students if they would accept this job offer. Why or why not?

Explain to students that almost all job offers will have some trade-offs. For example, the pay may be higher than they expected, but there are fewer hours, so their total income is less than they wanted. They might also find a job with ideal hours and responsibilities but very low pay.

Point out to students that they will need to use their decision-making skills when deciding whether to accept a job.

Part I: Gathering Information (10 minutes)

Purpose: Students practice gathering the information that will help them decide whether to accept a job offer.

1. Students are reminded that the first step of the decision making process is gathering information.

Ask students, “What should you do first when trying to decide whether to accept a job?”

Remind them that when making any decision, the first thing to do is gather information. Explain that though they may have been given information about the job in the offer itself, they may need to find other information before taking the job.

2. Students identify the information that is important when making a decision about a job offer.

Distribute copies of the “Job Offers” activity sheet. Ask students to count off by threes so that each person has either a number one, two, or three.

Tell students, “Ones, you have been offered the first job on the activity sheet. Twos, you have been offered the second job. Threes, you have been offered the third job.”

Tell students to take out their “Ideal Job Equation” activity sheet from “Lesson 2: Exploring Job Possibilities” of Module Eight: A Game Plan for Work. Ask them to take a few minutes to compare the information on their “Ideal Job Equation” activity sheet with their new job offer.

Ask, “What do you need to know about the job before you can make a decision?” Write responses on the board.

3. Students learn how to get answers to their questions.

Ask students how they would get answers to these questions. Explain that they can get some answers by talking to people they know. If it is important enough, they can even call the company, particularly the person for whom they would be working, to ask the question. Remind students that gathering information is an important part of the decision making process.

Part II: Pro/Con (15 minutes)

Purpose: Students practice weighing their options and using a pro/con list.

1. Students make a pro/con list.

Ask students to identify the next step of the decision making process. Lead them to the understanding that the next step is to weigh their options. One way to do that is to use a pro/con list. Explain that by investigating jobs carefully, students will not put themselves in a position where they might not do their best because they don’t like what they’re doing.

Ask students to take a piece of paper and fold it in half lengthwise. Have students title one half “Pros” and the other half “Cons.” Explain to students that the positive reasons for taking the job go in the “Pros” column, and the reasons why the job may not be right for them go in the “Cons” column.

Instruct students to complete the pro/con list for their job number.

2. Students recognize the importance of using pro/con lists.

After students have completed the list, explain that they now have an idea of whether the job is likely to be a positive or negative opportunity. Organizing the information in this fashion makes it easier to decide whether to accept or turn down the job offer.

Point out to students that they probably won’t find a job that meets all of their criteria, so they should pursue a job that satisfies most of the criteria.

Part III: Choose and Act (20 minutes)

Purpose: Students recognize how to appropriately interact with an employer when they are offered a job and practice making a decision and acting on it.

1. Students identify how to respond professionally to a job offer.

Ask students to identify what they can do when they receive a job offer but need to take some time to weigh their options. What should they tell the prospective employer? Elicit student suggestions. Lead students to the understanding that it is important to thank the employer for the offer and tell them a specific date by which they will provide an answer.

Explain to students that they should always call a prospective employer back to tell them their decision. Point out that even if they do not take the job, they should thank the individual for the opportunity to have interviewed for the job and to have met them.

2. Students make a job choice.

Have students identify, by a show of hands, if they would take the job offered on the activity sheet. Instruct students to give a few reasons why they are or are not taking the job.

3. Students role-play calling a prospective employer to accept or decline a job offer.

Have pairs of students role-play calling employers to let them know when to expect a response to a job offer. Allow students a few minutes to practice. Then, ask students to role-play calling to accept or refuse the position.

Ask pairs that did an exceptional job to demonstrate the telephone calls for the class.

Conclusion (2 minutes)

Ask students to describe how to decide whether to accept a job offer. Ask students to describe the information they should gather before making a decision about a job offer. Elicit from students the following key points that were taught in this lesson:

  • Use the steps of the decision making process to decide whether to accept a job.
  • Choose a job that is right for you.
  • Always call the person who interviewed you with your decision and thank them for the interview.

Student Assessment

  1. What factors are important to you in deciding whether to accept a job?
  2. Describe how you would accept or reject a job offer in a professional manner.

Extensions for Lesson 5: Responding to a Job Offer

Using Quotations

Quote

“You are free to choose, but the choices you make today will determine what you will have, be, and do in the tomorrow of your life.” —Zig Ziglar

Activity

Have students explain why they agree or disagree with this statement. Discuss the idea that although current choices will have a big impact on their lives, not everyone knows their ultimate destination.

Addressing Multiple Learning Styles

Activity

Arrange for members of the class to visit parents, mentors, and community members in the workplace.

Have students make a list of the job activities observed, the skills needed for those jobs, and ways in which the jobs matched or did not match their needs and goals.

Writing in Your Journal

Activity

Have students write about their first day of work. If students have never held a job, have them write about what they anticipate their first day will be like.

Have students discuss the anxiety and expectations of their first day at a new job.

Additional Resources

Activity

Have students read The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Job Adventures by Michael Landes, which includes information about internships, seasonal jobs, volunteering, etc.

Have students report on the opportunity of their choice. If possible, have them write or call for more information, read brochures, interview people who’ve participated, etc.

Homework

Activity

Have students think of people who have presented them with opportunities or helped them in their job search. Then, have them mark two dates within the coming year to send updates to these people. Students should mail postcards or letters to these individuals on these dates. They should bring copies of these updates to class when they mail them.

Additional Resources

Activity

Have students invite members of the community to class to talk about jobs in their field. Be sure they include local businesses that might have job opportunities for teens.

Have students write summaries of the opportunities and job requirements covered during the day.


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