L6 Preparing For Work

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Aim: To explore career choices and to give practical experience in gaining a job. Taken from the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Life Skills Project L-6


Taster 1
• Flip chart, paper and pens
• Recruitment advertisements from a range of newspapers
• Pens and paper

Taster 2

Taster 3
• Laptop
• Internet access

Christian Faith
Flipchart & Pens

‘Sample Job Advertisement” template
“Sample Job Description” template
“Sample Person Specification” template
“Sample Application Form” template
“CV” template
“Sample Interview Questions” template
Pens and paper


Taster 1 - Choosing a Career

Aim: To consider the advice you have received to date and ideas you have for future careers.

Thinking about a career can seem daunting particularly if you don’t think you know what you want to do. In the past many people would often inherit or take up a single lifelong job, and the concept of an unfolding career encompassing different professions had little or no meaning. However increasingly people no longer have jobs for life, but have a career that covers many different professions over time. Don’t think about what you might want to do for the rest of your life, but what you want to do first! The labour market is currently far more flexible than ever before, people are often more able to retrain and undergo continuing professional development.

Think about:
• What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time?
• What career do you want to follow?
• What has shaped this idea e.g. parents, peers, interests, skills, teachers, money etc.?
• What careers advice have you received to date? How useful have you found it?
• Where can you go for careers advice?

What job to apply for?
Have a range of recruitment advertisements to look through. Individually read them through and select one you would be interested in applying for. Consider the following questions when making the decision:

• What is it in the advertisement that appeals to you?
• Why did you choose this particular career?
• Why do you think you would be suitable for this type of role?

Come back together as a group and ask each individual to say which job they would be interested in applying for and why, using the three questions as a basis for their answer.

• Bring a range of recruitment advertisements.
• Find out where locally careers advice can be obtained.

Tips / Advice:
• Facilitate the discussion, but let the group lead the debate themselves.
• Resist from commenting on the careers choices individuals suggest. Explain that only the individual can ultimately choose their career, but there is plenty of advice and support available.
• Remember that not everyone will want or need to go through a university education.

Taster 2 - Why That Career ?

Aim: To learn from others’ experiences how they made their career choices.

It’s always interesting to hear and learn from other people’s experiences, whether they are completely positive or not. Decide how you want to structure the evening, will it be a formal presentation or a cosy chat over tea and coffee? Get the guest to introduce themselves and outline their career. Then leave some time for questions.

Some possible questions could include:
• How did they decide on this career?
• What influenced them?
• What was the best opportunity they ever had?
• What mistakes did they make?
• What would they do differently if they were starting out today?
• What one top piece of advice would they give the group?

• Involve the group in planning the session.
• Where possible get the group involved in deciding who should be asked to come and speak, members of the group should be encouraged to invite the individuals and brief them on what should be covered in the talk. (10 minutes is probably long enough for each talk). They may have specific people or careers in mind that they would like to hear about.
• Invite someone from the group to facilitate the session, welcoming the guests, leading the questions session and thanking the guests at the close of the session.
• Ask the group to start thinking about the questions they may wish to ask.
• Ask the guests to explain a bit about their current role and then talk through how they got to do it.

Tips / Advice:
• Don’t feel that you need to think of hundreds of questions or that you have to stick to the questions you thought about previously. The best questions will take into account what has been previously said.
• Choose guests with a variety of careers, backgrounds and experiences.

Taster 3 - Career's Advice

Aim: To explore the different resources on the internet that provide careers’ guidance.

No website or computer programme can instantly identify the perfect career for you. However they can be a really useful resource to highlight possibilities, opportunities and provide factual information about necessary qualifications, pay, useful links etc.

Have a look at some of these sites for more useful information;
• www.learndirect-advice.co.uk
• www.connexions-direct.com
• www.jobs.guardian.co,uk/careers
• www.prospects.ac.uk
• www.monster.co.uk
• www.jobsgopublic.com
• www.indeed.co.uk

Have a look at some possible jobs and find out as much as you can about how you will get in to that career.

Think about:
• What qualifications do you need?
• Who might employ you?
• What are the benefits of that career?
• What are other people’s experiences?
• What will you get paid?

Tips / Advice:
• Remember that not everyone will want or need to go through a university education.

Christian Faith - The Apprentice

Aim: To think about what qualifications you need to be Jesus’ apprentice.

The Apprentice is a reality television show that is billed as “ The Ultimate Job Interview”. In the show a group of 15-18 business people compete in an elimination-style competition for a one-year, £100,000 job working for one of Alan Sugar’s companies.

Using a flipchart to record your ideas, think about:
• If you were Sir Alan Sugar who would you want to be your apprentice?
• What skills would they have?
• What would they be like?
• What sort of a background would they have?

The disciples were the apprentices of Jesus during his ministry. They followed him around and tried to live their lives like him. The disciples had a really important job that involved nurturing the early church.

Using a flipchart to record your ideas, think about:
• If you were on the Selection Committee to appoint disciples for Jesus, what qualities would you look for?
• What do they need to be able to do?

When we look at the people Jesus took on to be his apprentices many of them seem very unlikely disciples:
• Andrew a fisherman isn’t mentioned very much in the gospels other than he has a pretty famous brother Simon Peter. However he plays a really important role. Whenever we hear about him he is bringing someone else to Jesus. Read John t 35-40, 6:8; 12:22.

• Simon Peter was an unpredictable and unreliable man. Read Matthew 14:22-34, 26:69-75. However when Jesus first saw him he took one look and gave him a new name (John 1:4142). Simon becomes Cephas (
The Rock — not the wrestler or the boxer!). Peter appears as anything but a rock. He is impulsive, scared and unreliable. However Jesus builds his Church on him.

• Philip is an indecisive man, but Jesus seeks him out and calls him to follow him (John 1:43-44). He seems totally out of his depth. When faced with feeding 5000, his only thought is that even with a lot of money they couldn’t feed all these people. When the Greeks came to him asking to see Jesus he did not know what to do and consulted with Andrew before bringing them to Jesus (John 12:20-22). It was also Philip in the upper room who asked to be shown the Father (John 14:8-9). However Jesus chose this limited ordinary man to become his disciple.

• Matthew was a tax collector who Jesus called to be a disciple. Most people hated the tax collectors. The Romans farmed out the tax collection to local leaders who were personally responsible for delivering the sums. The tax collectors were allowed to le’ additional fees and pocket the extra money and so were despised for robbing their own people. When everyone else shunned tax collectors Jesus calls Matthew to join his inner circle.

It’s not easy to work out what Jesus is doing. Why would you start an organisation, movement or religion with those who have no experience, limited CVs, questionable backgrounds, are untrustworthy, and lack courage? All this reminds us that Jesus can see our potential. He looks at people who make many mistakes, and sees something that he can use. According to worldly thinking the men Jesus chose would definitely not be fit for the job, but Jesus knew they were right!

The problem is most of us find it hard to believe in ourselves. The Pharisees ridiculed Jesus when he encouraged Matthew. They have decided that no good can come from a tax collector. It’s not only Matthew who was discouraged but each of us has something that v4iispers in our ear saying, “You can’t really change. You have made too many mistakes. You are not able to start over. You need to be perfect in order to be any good at all. You can’t do this!”

• What things have people told you that you are no good at?
• Have you not done something because you thought you would fail?
• Do you believe in yourself?

Jesus knows our mistakes, choices, compromises and abilities, and despite this believes in you and me. God’s concern is not what we bring to the table, His concern is how much we will allow Him to make us into the people we can be. Remember Jesus started the Church with people like you and me at the wheel.

Thank God that he sees the potential in each one of us and not simply what we ourselves or others see. Pray that everyone will know God’s calling on their lives.

Project - My New Career

Aim: To help the group understand the stages involved in applying for a new job and to provide some tips in making a successful application.

Project Description:
When you apply for a job there are several stages to the process from writing a CV, completing an application form, and undertaking an interview.

Stage 1: Preparing a cv

Using the “CV” template prepare a CV. Think about the experiences they have had to date, and those that would sell themselves in the best possible light, e.g. work experience, 88 opportunities and achievements, qualifications, school achievements, other interests, hobbies.

Think about:
• What are your main strengths?
• What is your unique selling point?

Stage 2: Applying for a Job

Using the “Sample Job Advertisement”, Sample Job Description”, “Sample Person Specification”, and “Sample Application Form” template provided or an application pack for a locally advertised position that you might like to apply for. Complete an application form.

Firstly go through the documents with the group explaining what is included in each, asking the group to highlight what they think are the key phrases/points in each. Then ask the group to match their experiences to the criteria listed in the information pack in order to demonstrate that they would be a suitable candidate for the job. Refer back to the CV’s prepared in stage 1. Ask the group to each complete an application form.

Stage 3: Preparing for the Interview

On a flip chart think about all the questions that you may be asked in an interview. Some possible questions may include:
• Tell us something about your present job/work experience to date?
• What achievement are you most proud of?
• What are your main strengths?
• What do you think is your main area for development and why?
• What do you see yourself doing in 5 years time?
• II successful, what can you bring to this job that no one else can?
• Why should we give the job to you?

Think about:
• What makes a good answer?
• How would you answer these questions?

Get the group to think about other aspects of the interview — not just how you answer the questions:
• Tone of voice
• Structure of answers, if asked for a specific example a possible technique to use is the STAR technique.

S — What was the situation?
T — What was the task?
A — What action did you take?
R — What was the result?

• Body language
• Remember not to over talk or just give one word answers.

From the list of questions the group comes up with, in pairs ask The group to practise the interview. One person playing the part of the interviewer and one person playing the part of the interviewee. After 5-10 minutes swap roles.

Think about:
• What makes a good interview?
• What makes a poor interview?

Stage 4: The Interview
Prepare a separate room to conduct an informal interview, have a couple or chairs, water and glasses, set out so as not to appear too formal or daunting (e.g. not 2 chairs facing each other across a table). Ask someone with experience of conducting interviews to come and undertake these for you. You could ask them to use some of the questions that the group had thought of at stage 4 or use the “Sample Interview Questions” template. Ask the interviewer to conduct a short interview with each member of the group (10-15 minutes). Depending on the size of the group this may need to be done over 2 weeks. Ask the group to come dressed for an interview, and try to make the experience as realistic as possible.

Stage 5: Receiving Feedback
Ask the person that undertook the interviews to come and give some feedback, commenting generally on the completion of the application forms and the interviews. Ask the person, from their experience to give some tips for the future. Give the group the opportunity to ask any questions and to discuss how they felt about the interview, what went well, what they would do differently next time.

If appropriate ask the person to say who they would give the job to and why?

Tips / Advice:
• Recognise the differing skills and abilities of the group. Individuals may require different levels of support at each stage.
• Be flexible dependent on the experiences of the group.
• Ensure feedback is positive and constructive.
• Involve individuals with experience in recruitment and selection to input into preparation and in leading the session where appropriate.
• At the end of the project the group should have picked up some useful tips on applying successfully for a role and feel more confident about the selection process rather than more daunted by it!

For full details see the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Life Skills Project L-6


  • careers
  • challenge Plus
  • employment
  • Project
  • seniors

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