Career Digging to Students’ Strengths Charlene Davis
In “Tapping into Strengths,” I wrote about students’ career interests. To impress the significance and importance of goal-setting,
and of getting prepared for the future, the following activity might be of interest to you. It is important to note that students’ interests may change as they learn more about careers,
and about their own gifts.
Give each student no more than three index cards. Ask them to write their names on the back of each card and a career that interests them on the front.
Have students work in groups to sort their cards into general career categories such as creative arts, communications, construction and design, law/legal profession, health care, sciences, mathematics,
and so on.
Have the groups discuss each category and career according to its importance and relevance in the world. See where they might go with this. After their discussion, have them do a quick jot in their journals.
The following questions offer more clarity:
Value: Is this profession important/needed today? Why/why not?
Synergy: Do any of these careers “need,” or depend on any of the others? Which ones? How?
Partner or group students according to their interests and have them research their selected careers. Internet access will be an important benefit here!
What’s the job description?
How does one enter this profession? Preparation needed? Discipline needed? Attitude needed?
Who is served by this profession?
Have students plan their presentations in a way that best suits their profession of choice, as they see it. Let them use an artistic tri-board, write and perform a skit, musical, or news cast, or produce
a PowerPoint presentation. Allow them to be creative; originality and creativity lend an element of excitement and surprise that will keep everyone involved interested!
Students should be involved in rating one another. Presentation rubrics abound on the Internet: find one to be used as a baseline for reference, but create the rubric with your students.
Have speakers in these professions visit when the presentations are given. Parents are a great resource for referrals, or can do the legwork in contacting prospects. Local college career departments
are also a resource. Seasoned college students can also be tapped to be speakers—they’re currently in the process of getting to that career. Local union offices and career education centers
are also an option. Space the presentations out to make this do-able. Be sure to invite your supervisors! Post the index cards as each career is represented!
This activity is a confidence-builder that opens up a path of self-discovery for students. They will feel validated and more informed at the completion of this venture…
… the journey.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me.
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