Activity 1:

Understanding Our Self and Our Interests for Future Jobs

These three activities will explore student’s reasoning for jobs and preferences for themes in their employment as they developed over time. Students will use these reflections to engage with the Job Explorer and the 100 Jobs of the Future.

Key Knowledge
  • If we understand what we like and what we are interested in, we can use this information when making decisions about our career options.
Learning Outcomes
  • Become familiar with the concept that career goals and interests evolve over time
  • Become familiar with the concept of common career themes
  • Identify factors that may influence their own career decisions
  • Pens and paper
  • Online access to 100 jobs of the Future – Job Explorer
  • Whiteboard or other method for showing a diagram to the class
  • 60 mins

Students are introduced to the concept of career development across their lifespan.

Introduction to Future Jobs

See: Key Findings – the report

Students are likely to hold multiple jobs and careers over the course of their lifetime. These jobs and careers may overlap and build upon each other or may be completely different. However, while our jobs and careers might change, there can sometimes be a common theme in the types of jobs and careers we enjoy.

By thinking about the careers that have interested us so far, we can gain an understanding of the careers that might interest us in the future.

Part A: What do you want to be when you grow up? (Individual Activity)

Teacher explanation: Draw the image below (Figure 1: Career mapping template) on the board and list a couple of jobs and the reasons for and against these jobs. You can use your own career interests as an example if you wish, or use the example below.

Eg: Teacher:

  • Reason for = hours work for young family, supporting young people’s lives and
  • Reason against = extra curricula commitments, marking at home

Instruct students to create their own map, and let students know that they will be sharing their timeline with a pair/small group, but not with the entire class.

Reasons for
Reasons against
Figure 1: Career mapping template

Student task: Students to create a job timeline where they identify the jobs they wanted to do (across a horizontal timeline) starting from the earliest job they can remember to what they are interested in right now. Students indicate the age they wanted to do each job if they remember. Students also list the reasons that they wanted to do those jobs and the reasons they decided against those jobs.

Part B: Common themes: (Pair or small group activity – max 4 students per group)

Teacher explanation: Now, we want to develop a sense of the reasons that drew us to particular careers and reasons we might decide against others, we can look for the reasons that are coming up more than once. We can then use this information to help us make decisions about future careers.

Present examples on the board, ask students to identify common themes.

Examples of common themes:

  • Interest or lack of interest in a subject area (e.g. love of music, dislike of physics).
  • Input from or observations of other people (e.g. aunt is an accountant and always complains about her job, cousin took me to his work at a bakery once and I really enjoyed it, mum says I should get a job as a teacher because I care for my younger brothers). Note that this theme may be indicative that the person likes to make decisions based on personal experience or information from the experience/input of others.
  • Desire for a particular type of environment or lifestyle (e.g. likes working with animals, doesn’t like working with kids, wants to work outdoors but not in an office, wants to be able to travel).
  • Desire to use a particular skillset or personal value (e.g. desire for financial stability, desire for novelty, want to use my creative skills, want to help people).

If we look at the themes in this example, we can see that the things that most of these options have in common are …

Sometimes we will have some very clear things in common across all of the jobs and careers we’ve wanted to do, and sometimes we won’t. Everyone’s reasons are different and no option is wrong.

Student task:

  1. Students to compare their lists of jobs and the reasons they wanted to do the various jobs on their lists and why they decided not to pursue those jobs later.
  2. Each student to explain to their pair/group their reasons for and against the jobs they listed.
  3. Students in each pair/group to look for commonalities/reoccurring themes in their lists and the lists of their partners/groups. Students to write down their own common themes on their career mapping template.

Part C: Using What We Know (in pairs or small groups)

Teacher explanation: If we know what our common themes are, what we are interested and not interested in, and what motivates us, then we’re looking at the jobs we might want to do in the future, we can use this information to help us decide what will be a good option for us.

Student task:

  1. Students draw two columns on a page and write their common themes on the left. A theme is an aspect of jobs that they appreciate. Students to browse through the [100 jobs list](/browse/) and when they see a job that they think might align with one of their themes, to write it in the right hand column.
    Job Theme Job of the future
    Working with animals
    Helping others
    Being able to travel
    Figure 2: Example themes and job column.
  2. Students share the jobs they found in their pairs or groups and to discuss why they think the jobs they have chosen align with their themes. Note: in instances where students did not generate many themes, they can use this exercise to explore what kinds of jobs interest them and then see if there are any themes in common in the jobs they expressed interest in.

Teachers can lead a whole class discussion that interrogates jobs and themes:

  • How happy do you think the person in the example will be working in a job that is (aligned with one of the common themes)?
  • How much do you think they’ll enjoy a job that is (opposite to one of the common themes)?
  • So the person in the example might be more satisfied in a job that (aligns with the common themes).

We can also see that the things we want to do change over time. You might find that as you grow older and try more things, you find things that you enjoy doing that aren’t on your Career Map yet.

Further Reading

100 Jobs of the Future

2015 Future Leaders Index - Infographic

The Foundation for Young Australians The New Work Smarts - Report

Overview | Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3