Making the most of your choices
The Road to Success
Today is about helping the students to understand their journey into the future: where they are going; where they are now and the choices they are likely to face along the way. The map at the beginning of the student workbook signifies the many different routes that can be taken to achieve a single outcome. This map will become a regular reference point during the day. It is a metaphor for the journey ahead of the students, and the choices involved in shaping their future. Some junctions are simple two-way options (yes / no); others are more complex with many options available. Your support will help the students to plan effectively for the challenges and choices ahead of them.
Enjoy your day!
Five minute introductions Please take five minutes or so to introduce yourself to the students. You may wish to reveal:
Job title and who you work for Family life Spare time hobbies and interests Different jobs you’ve held in the past Favourite CD, film, football club, band What type of mobile phone you have!
Choose the Destination It is essential that the students focus effectively on THEIR idea of a compelling future. At this stage the students will be thinking logically about the circumstances they desire. Some students will take to this easily – using the list of questions to let their imaginations run wild. Others may need more support. Supporting questions may include:
Is it sunny or raining: hot or cold? Is it quiet or are their lots of different noises? (If so what are they?) Do you have a job? Do you work for someone else or for yourself? Are you with other people? Are you inside or outside? Some of these questions may seem a little unusual! They are simply to start the thinking process. The students do not need to complete ALL of them. Allow the students time to think and develop this picture.
How does the future feel? Now that the students have a picture of how their perfect future will look and sound, they need to consider how achieving this future will feel. At this stage the students will be thinking emotionally about the circumstances they desire. The students should be encouraged to “put themselves into the place they have just described” and then to think about how this situation makes them feel. The students have over 50 example words and images in their workbooks to help them identify how they feel. They may need help with some of these words. They may also come up with their own. Once they have chosen their words they should be encouraged to close their eyes and “experience” these feelings. Encourage them to sit (or stand!) quietly. Ask them to sit (or stand) as they would when they feel this way. Ask them to make the facial expression they would when they feel this way (every one has their eyes shut so they needn’t worry about what they look like to others!) Once they have this feeling ask them to “double it”. This feeling is their final destination – ask them to summarise it in the space provided. (This feeling is copied into their destination box on the map).
The Starting Point This is the students’ opportunity to think about themselves NOW! They have nine headed boxes to help the thought process. Encourage the students to come up with three examples for each section. Examples of adjectives will be provided to help with “I am”; “I am not”; “I would like to be“ and “Others see me as”. “I enjoy” and “I dislike” may include hobbies; music; sport; books; films; politics; subjects at school. “I’m a bit scared of… “may prompt immediate responses such as spiders and heights etc. Encourage the students to also think of things such as change, meeting new people, new challenges, failure, and the unknown. “I’m great at” can be challenging for some people. Asking the question “What would your friends / family say that you’re great at?” can help to clear the thought process.
This is Me! Each student will be provided with a piece of paper on which to create an advert. The students should swap booklets and each person design an advert to sell the person whose booklet they have. This advert must be based upon the attributes identified in the nine sections of the previous page. Once the adverts have been designed the booklets should be returned to their owners with the advert. The adverts should then be stuck into the booklet. Help the students to construct a “personal statement” in the section below. This statement will outline ALL of the attributes identified in their advert and on the previous page. The statement should be designed to sell the individual to potential employers.
The Curriculum Vitae Students will have been covering CV writing during normal lessons. Use this as an opportunity to discuss different approaches. Run through the CV template section by section ensuring that the students understand the relevance of each part, getting examples from students. Discuss “most recent first” rule when writing about education and work experience.
Get Proactive This page supports the students in thinking about the type of job, company or sector they may wish to work in. Before looking back at their own skill sets, challenge the students to think about how they may be able to find out more about these areas. â€œThis is about chasing your ideal future rather than waiting for it to come to youâ€?.
References In the student workbook you will see a page which helps the student think about the type of reference a teacher /mentor from The school would complete for them if requested. Emphasise honesty and facilitate discussion. Now complete the reference form HONESTLY
Get The Edge These eight criteria crop up repeatedly in surveys asking businesses what skills they look for when recruiting and developing staff. It is essential for the students to have REAL LIFE EXAMPLES relating to each area.
When Might This Be Necessary? Discuss the importance of having a good CV with a strong personal statement. As the students progress towards their chosen goal they will be faced with different “routes” to get there. The stronger the CV and personal profile the more “choice” the individual will have about the best route to take. This increased choice gives the individual more control over the journey. Refer the students back to the map at the start of the booklet. We now have a destination and a starting point. Look at the various routes / choices / junctions along the way. Relate some examples of choices that they have had to make during their life “journey” to date. How have these choices been influenced by them? What would they choose to do differently if you could? Ask the students to identify four future “junctions” at which they will need to make a choice at various timescales. These should be written into the four spaces in the workbook.
Ideal Candidate The students have been looking at jobs, apprenticeships or further educational establishments for their future within their time-tabled lessons. Where this activity refers to the “job advertisement” this may also be applicable for university applications, or generic skills required in certain industry sectors. Next, help the students to think about the skills that they feel will be a benefit to the position or sector they have chosen; e.g. good time keeping, reliability, patience, team worker, computer knowledge, typing skills, flexibility, cheerful etc Next, encourage the students to look back at their “personal profile” and “personal advert”. Help them to select all the qualities that they have that would be beneficial to successfully applying for their chosen position. Next, help the students to construct a paragraph detailing these skills and attributes using the box beginning “I am the ideal candidate for this position or placement because…….”
First Impressions Last! The students have been provided with some possible phrases that could be used when phoning to express an interest in the position. Discuss the importance impression.
a strong first
Help the students, as a group, to identify the positive and negative phrases and then help the students to think about the type of positive phrases and language they would use if they were to phone about their selected advert.
The Covering Letter / Email The student workbook includes two examples of covering letters. The first is an example of how NOT to write a covering letter. The second gives an example of a structured layout, outlining relevant skills and experience.
The Covering Letter / Email (Cont) Mistakes include: Incomplete address No address for recipient, preferable to write to a ‘name’ where possible Incorrect alignment / indenting Spelling mistakes Post-script about computers Not completing the application form fully ‘calling the shots’ regarding interview times Mentioning ‘no luck finding a job’ First name only at the end
Have a look at the covering letter template on the following page. Discuss how this can be used to help the students apply for their selected jobs. Emphasise that this exercise also relate to emails, which are an increasingly common way to apply for jobs. Discuss the similarities and differences between covering emails and covering letters. Emphasise that informality in emails may not be the most appropriate route for job applications. KEEP IT SMART, KEEP IT FORMAL!
The Application Form Run through some ground rules for completing application forms. These are included in the student workbooks.
Always photocopy the form and do a ‘dummy run’ Read through the form before you write anything Use BLOCK CAPITALS Use BLACK ink (it photocopies clearly). Take your time Check the form when you have finished
Once these ground rules have been agreed, hand out the application forms to the students (they can assume that these ARE the photocopies mentioned above). Help the students to complete these application forms relating to the advert they selected from the options. Once they have completed the form they must keep hold of it in readiness for their interview.
Interview Preparation The students will shortly be interviewed for their selected position. Before they attend the interview they will need to understand how to prepare effectively. They will also need to understand the IMPORTANCE of his preparation. The workbooks break the preparation down into 4 key areas:
Dress code / appearance Body language Location / timing Research / questions
Discuss each of these areas in groups; encourage the students to write down their preparation tips in the appropriate boxes. Possible areas include:
Smart dress Clean hands, face, teeth Smile Firm hand-shake, Sit up straight Eye contact Practice trip to find the location Arrive early Find out about the company Internet research Think of questions to ask Think of questions that may be asked
Example Questions The student workbooks contain five examples of typical interview questions. Spend a few minutes with the students discussing possible answers in relation to their own applications. Encourage the students to come up with at least one answer for each of the questions.
All Change! Congratulations! You have mentored and shaped your students to be “interview ready” for their selected jobs. You will now take on another group of students, assuming the role of interviewer. Conduct a brief interview with each student from your new group. The remaining students will observe the other interviews. Please base your interviews upon the student’s application form, using their CV and personal statement as supporting evidence. Feel free to use the questions from the workbooks or to use your own questions.
Recap and congratulations! Retrieve your original student group and congratulate them on all the hard work they have put in. Congratulate them on identifying their destination, on identifying where they are now, and in recognising their strengths. Congratulate them for applying for their chosen job, completing the application form and for going through the interview process. Choose your vehicle (Choose your attitude) The final page of the student workbook encourages the students to choose their attitude. We return to the analogy of the road trip. In the same way that the vehicle they choose would have an impact on the success of their journey, the attitude they take will have an impact on how smoothly they proceed towards their goal. Choosing a positive, â€œcan-doâ€? attitude will significantly increase the rate of success. It will also enable them to enjoy the journey not JUST the outcome. Give each student a model car as a memento of the day.
Finally.... Thank you for your involvement and support during the day. Having a mentor with â€˜life experienceâ€™ is a great benefit to the students when putting this theory into practice. During the day you will encourage the students to think logically AND emotionally about their future. You will help them to anticipate the choices they will be faced with. Most importantly you will help them to understand that it is how they approach their choices that will determine their level of success. Without your time Road to Success would not have been possible. Thank you.
MoCo is an innovative training and development company who works closely with businesses and educational centres throughout the UK. MoCo uses a unique, flexible, three-stage development approach to engage learners of all abilities and backgrounds. Our development methods vary; the results are consistent – a significant improvement in relevant knowledge, skills and attitude reinforced with a real sense of empowerment.
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