Lesson 5: WORK it out now!
Do you want your teen to support himself one day? Do you want him to hold a satisfying and meaningful job? If so, before he enters the workforce, he will need to have the basic skills that all jobs require, like well-honed interpersonal skills and the ability to accept constructive criticism. There are things you can do at home to assist him in developing work related skills so he can obtain and maintain a job. This series of activities will equip you with the information you need to further prepare your teen for the working world. This lesson will require you to get involved more than ever, especially since the best way for you to prepare your teen for work is by giving him jobs to do at home and in his community!
(Teacher Name/Contact information)
Complete the activities and return your responses to your teen’s professional to review and respond to.
Activity 1: Skills for Success at Work
Read Success at Work for Young People with Visual Impairments. Answer the following questions.
- Describe your teen’s work habits.
- Does your teen understand an employer’s expectations of their productivity at work will change over time?
- Does your teen have effective communication skills?
- Does your teen listen well and respond appropriately during conversations?
- What is your teen’s process for solving problems?
Does he use that process effectively?
- Does your teen ask for help appropriately at home and in the community?
- What does your teen do to return favors to others?
Think about ways you can teach work-related skills at home.
- When a problem occurs at home this week, have your teen solve it. Describe the problem and how your teen solved it.
- Give your teen a job—such as babysitting, washing a car, sweeping the driveway, pet sitting, mowing the lawn—to do at home. Give him feedback about his completion of the job.
- Ask your teen to schedule an appointment for himself such as a doctor’s appointment, haircut, or taxi.
Activity 2: Broadening Interests through Job Exploration
You are probably wondering what type of job your teen could hold and how he should go about choosing a career for himself. For starters, he will need to explore his interests, values, and skills. Too often, teens with vision loss do not have an array of experiences with different jobs and therefore choose a career associated with a limited interest of theirs such as playing video games. Teens often forget to consider their abilities and possible limitations. Families and professionals need to help expand the interests of the teen so they will broaden their career options and pursue realistic job opportunities. Read Job Exploration for Blind Adolescents and answer the following questions.
- What are your teen’s strengths?
- What are your teen’s weaknesses?
- Share your thoughts with your teen and encourage him to ask another person about what they perceive his strengths and weaknesses to be.
Activity 3: Job Interview Skills
One very important skill your teen will need to learn in order to obtain a job is how to hold a job interview. Read Helping a Visually Impaired Teen Practice Job Interviewing to learn more about how you can help him develop the confidence needed to land his first job.
- Interview your teen by asking him common interview questions. Note which questions your teen answers well and which need more work.
- Choose a question to which your teen needs practice refining his answer. Ask the question to him during dinner, on the way to the grocery store, or as part of his homework.
- Once he masters the first question, choose another question to work on.
For additional information on preparing your teen for transition, read Transition from High School to Adult Life – Headed to work.
From completing this activity, I learned….
I would like more information on….
I have the following questions for my teen’s professional….
I am going to do the following things to prepare my teen for transition….