Choosing a career path isn’t easy for everyone. Sometimes a student’s passion for a subject clearly sets them down the road to becoming a doctor or a teacher for example, but for some identifying what type of work they ultimately want to do is an ambiguous task.
The following activity from Winning Futures’ “Achieving Success” workbook was just performed by students at Detroit’s University Prep High School to stimulate discussion on determining what they want in a career. Try it with your students or mentees:
Tell the students that they are going to take a survey about options in a career. Let them know that to answer the questions in the survey, they will stand up if they like the first option or stay seated if they prefer the second option. Tell the students that they should choose the answer that most reflects who they are. Encourage them not to let their decisions be influenced by their peers.
Would you rather…
1. Be the president of the student council (stand up) or be a member of it (sit down)?
2. Have the same two or three tasks every day (stand up) or have different tasks everyday (sit down)?
3. Attend a concert or put on a concert?
4. Work inside an office or work outside at a job site?
5. Manage a group of people or only be responsible for yourself?
6. Discover the cure for a disease or be the doctor who uses the cure?
7. Be a senator and make laws or be a police officer who enforces them?
8. Work with a large group of people or work by yourself?
9. Read a report or make a presentation?
10. Start your own business or work for someone else?
11. Sing, dance, or play an instrument or be in the audience?
12. Create your own web site or explore other people’s site?
13. Make important discoveries or teach about discoveries that others have made?
14. Work with machines or work with people?
Following the activity, discuss with the group what this game has taught them about themselves. Questions that may motivate discussion are: How can knowing these answers help you make a career decision? If the job you pick makes you a great deal of money, but is the opposite of your work preferences, how could that affect you? What are the things you definitely would NOT want in a job? What are the things you definitely WANT in a job? Understanding what your preferences are will help your students decide on a career.
Many lessons like these that you can implement in your own classrooms and youth programs are outlined in Winning Futures’ “Achieving Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.