I believe it is essential to identify one's occupational skills and interests in order to seek employment and/or determine where to pursue further training or education. For all job interviews, selling oneself in a 30-second elevator speech requires having self-knowledge and occupational vocabulary. Here's an exercise we did recently in a computer-based ESOL class with intermediate students to begin to develop these skills. The test is really fun and can be used with Adult Basic Education students at many levels.
I use Word to create a Web Quest, an in-class guided lesson with specific links leading to information, then questions students need to answer using higher-order thinking skills.
- Preview Holland Codes. What are Holland Codes? Here is the O*NET explanation. Simply put, they are six personality types aligned to specific careers. Finding a career that matches your personality type leads to greater success. Holland Codes are widely used. I have used them with groups of engineering students when I was a career counselor in a university. Our local high school administers it in their classes. O*NET has a Holland section in each job Summary Report. Look at the Summary Report for 25-3011.00 - Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors. Scroll down to Interests to see the Holland Code: SAE.
- Teach vocabulary. Include short definitions of Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional, like/dislike, and appeal the most/least.
- Take the free test. This consists of fifteen sets of four activities with great clip art and minimal text. Have students print out their results and send them to their own email.
- Have a class discussion on the segmented graph of your personality type.
- Prepare for next class. The test results suggest 20 occupations. Have students pick three that they want to investigate further or that they are interested in, even if they didn't show up on the list. This gives the students time to reflect and look up any words they need to know. Individuals may spend a lot of time investigating their top three jobs and the different levels of work within a field. For example, one student compared Physical Therapist, Assistants, and Aides and the links given for each to find training, certifications, and licenses.
- We then work in pairs to rehearse answers to a typical job interview question like, “What can you offer us that others cannot?” In front of the whole class, we each make “I am great because...” statements using adjectives from the personality types and tying them to specific examples of personal accomplishments. This becomes the basis for the 30-second elevator speech.
Have you used the Holland Codes in your classroom? Tell us about it in the comments!
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