More About Preparing Teens for the Contemporary Workforce


Preparing Teens For The Contemporary Workforce
Reproducible Masters For Teaching Life Skills and
Career Development

Table of Contents


How to Use This Book

Job Finding Skills

Finding a Job That's Just Right for You

Ensuring Successful Interviews

Writing a Winning Resume

Job Keeping Skills

Developing and Maintaining a Positive Attitude

Taking Charge of Your Appearance

Being There: The First Requirement

Becoming a Skillful Communicator

Following Directions with Care

Managing Time and Being Productive

Respecting Expertise, Experience and Authority

Proving Your Dependability

Working Cooperatively with Others

Valuing the Contributions of Coworkers

Giving Great Customer Service

Making Effective Decisions

Taking Assignments All the Way

Doing What Needs To Be Done: Initiative

Solving Problems Creatively

Welcoming Criticism and Compliments

Assertively Conveying Personal Needs

Effectively Managing Work-related Conflicts

Becoming a Trusted Employee



The world today is complex and rapidly changing. With significant changes in social, political, economic, and technological aspects of society, the vast majority of young people are ill prepared for the real world, particularly the world of work. They will experience difficulty in making the transition from school to work and then will continue experiencing challenges transitioning from one job to another throughout life. These students, fresh from sequestered rows of desks with passing “basic skills” aren’t prepared for the rapidly changing workplace. With little guidance, direction, or support, they move from job to job. A fortunate few eventually stumble upon a career path, find a direction, and are able to achieve success. The rest are still struggling to navigate and survive in the real world.

Our young people need to be taught to be adaptable, flexible, and resourceful in the face of changing trends, which include:
• The increase in computer technology
• The increase in part time, temporary, and seasonal positions
• The increase in the number of women and minorities in the work force
• The increase in low-paying positions, unemployment and under-employment
• The increase in the number of job changes expected during a lifetime
• The shift from the production/manufacturing sector, to the service sector, and now into the information and technology age

Career development should be viewed as a life-long process of acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that encourage success in life as well as the ability to transition from school to the world of work. Young people need to be directly and purposefully taught the skills and knowledge necessary for life success. Its acquisition is not an instinctive process but rather one of repeated exposure and practice.

Career development in the form of career education and career guidance, has been in existence for some time, but it is typically not a part of the core curriculum in schools today. Critical job-finding and job-keeping skills should be integral to educational curriculum and taught in a deliberate fashion. Today’s career development programs should aim to provide skills, attitudes and knowledge students need in order to succeed in the world of the 21st century.

Let’s Clarify Terms

The word career refers to more than a person's current job or occupation. A career is a sequence of occupations and other life roles that combine to express one's commitment to work within the total pattern of self-development. The terms career development, career guidance and career counseling are often used interchangeably. While they are closely related, there are critical differences among them.

• Career development is an evolutionary process that begins in childhood and extends through adulthood. It is the process by which one develops and refines self- and career-identity, work maturity and the ability to plan. It represents all the career-related choices and outcomes through which every person must pass. Indeed career development is generally conceived as a lifelong process through which individuals come to understand themselves as they relate to the world of work and their role
in it.

• Career guidance is an intervention. Intended to assist individuals to manage their career development, career guidance is a program of counselor-coordinated information, experiences, and support services to help students gain understanding of their social, intellectual, and emotional development; become knowledgeable about educational, occupational, and social opportunities; learn decision-making and planning skills; and combine these insights into personal plans of action.

• Career counseling in schools is based on the continuous development of theories, processes, and practice in career development. It involves communication that takes place between counseling professionals and students concerning issues of preferences, competency, achievement, self-esteem and the array of factors that facilitate personal career planning.

• Career education (a term used more in the 1970s than it is today) is conceptually very much like comprehensive career guidance, although career education programs tend to place greater emphasis on the teaching/learning process as presented by classroom teachers whereas, in career guidance, the school counselor is the key delivery person.

Counselor Driven

Career development, in its most inclusive sense, involves everyone, and successfully preparing young people for work is an attitude that pervades the home, school, business and social community. Teachers, students, parents, employers, career specialists, school administrators, and community leaders all have important roles to play. However, in this book we view the monumental task of initiating and sustaining a school-to-work concept through the uniquely calibrated lens of the school counselor.

The Design of This Book

Preparing Teens for the Contemporary Workforce has been designed to assist counselors and career specialist in their efforts to prepare today’s students for success in a dynamic workplace that demands ever increasing and changing skills. These skills are divided into two primary areas.

Job Finding Skills

The student worksheets in this section are designed to help students acquire three of the most obvious yet frequently neglected sets of job-finding skills. They prepare students to:
• Conduct focused, thorough, creative job searches
• Write and maintain effective resumes
• Prepare for and successfully manage job interviews.
Job search skills, resume writing, and interviewing are three skills that need to be addressed as a component of a comprehensive career development program. All high-school students, regardless of their individual career goals, will benefit from developing a beginning resume and becoming accustomed to the practice of maintaining this printed reflection of their accomplishments , experiences, and occupational objectives. All students need to know that a successful job search involves much more than simply scanning the classified ads or doing an online job search. Students will be facing a future with multiple career-related interviews and this book will assist them in this process.

Job Keeping Skills

The student worksheets in this section address some of the skills and attributes desired most by employers:
• Attitude
• Appearance
• Attendance
• Communication
• Following directions
• Productivity and time management
• Respecting authority
• Teamwork and cooperation
• Appreciation for coworkers
• Customer service
• Decision- making
• Completing assignments
• Initiative
• Problem solving
• Handling criticism
• Assertiveness
• Conflict-Resolution
• Trustworthiness
• Independence

The knowledge and skills learned through these worksheets and your instruction will benefit students in their school life and will literally be carried later to their work place where the learnings will be applied. Students will be acquiring highly desirable workplace competencies, which are proven strategies for job and life success.



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Primary Subject Area – Social Skills  

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