Identifying Job Values


Identifying Job Values

Learning Objective

To help students identify what job values are and their importance in choosing a career

Materials Needed

Handouts: “Job Values Inventory” and “Work Values Clarification”


Values, rank or prioritize, compatible, benefits, salary, job security, working conditions,

Environment, organization, promotion/advancement, prestige, respect, value system


Basic skills: Speaking

Thinking skills: Decision making

Information: Acquires and evaluates information

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

Explain to students that as part of the career awareness process, they have had an opportunity to identify skills they have.

Another step in the career awareness process is identifying what they value in a job. Their personal value system – the things in life they find most important that influence and direct their lives – contributes to their job selection.

Group brainstorm:

Ask students to name things that are important to them in a job. Record the list on the board. Ask students to say why the things are important to them.

Guiding questions include:

  • What is more important to you – a good salary or work hours that meet your needs?
  • Is it important to you to move up or advance in your job?
  • Does it matter where your work is located? In your neighborhood ? Accessible by public transportation ? Not more than a one-hour commute?
  • How important is it that you get along with your coworkers ? Supervisors ?   Customers ?
  • Do you need health benefits? Insurance ?
  • Do you want a job that will last for a long time? One that is not likely to have lay-offs?
  • If there are students who are employed, ask them if their values are different today than when they first started working? For instance, was money the #1 value to begin with and now is it health benefits?

After the students have discussed this, distribute the “Job Values Inventory” handout. Review the checklist and what each item means. Relate the items back to the list they developed on the board.

In class, or for homework, ask each student to rank the items from 1 to 12 with 1 being most important and 12 the least important. Have them bring it to class the next day for another job values lesson.

Extension Activity

This work values clarification activity helps students look at the influences on their own values. Explain that a value is an idea or thing that we believe is important and will benefit our life. We learn values when we are young children and gradually expand and apply them to our lives as we get older.

Distribute the “Work Values Clarification” handout and have students answer the questions on their own. Then either compile a group list on the board or have students pair up to share their answers.

From “Personal Management: An Integrated Curriculum,” Patti McLaughlin, Curriculum Developer, Adult Basic and Literacy Educators Network of Washington, 1993



Note: This exercise can be done on your own without being in a classroom setting.



Integrating Career Awareness into the ABE & ESOL Classroom | Section II, Lesson 10: Identifying Job Values |




How Do People Get Jobs ?

You 're hired ! - Job and Business Concept

Looking at How We Get Jobs

Learning Objective

To identify and explore student’s awareness of self and culture in relation to career exploration

Handout: “How People Get Jobs”


Culture, career exploration, want ads, interviews, college, university, word-of-mouth, job application, resume, skills, training


Systems: Understands systems

Information: Interprets and communicates information

Basic Skills: Listening

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

Tell students they are going to learn more about each other and themselves by looking at the different types of jobs people have had in their home country or the US.

Spread around the Language Builder Occupation Cards and ask students to identify 2–3 jobs that friends and family had/have in their home country or in the US.

Getting a job

How do people get jobs in your home country and/or in the US?

  • Is it by word-of-mouth?
  • Referrals by relatives or friends?
  • Apply through the paper? Apply online?
  • Does the government tell you what job you can have?
  • Do you have to fill out an application? Do you need a resume?
  • Do you have to have an interview?

Education and Training

What kind of education or training (if any) is needed for these jobs?

  • Do you have to be a high school graduate?
  • Do you need education beyond high school? How much?
  • Do you have to have a certificate or degree?

Wrap up this discussion by pointing out the differences and similarities of answers for different countries. Emphasize that the students come with unique experiences and understandings of how people get jobs.

Extension Activities

  1. In an ESOL class, you can ask students what they know about how people in the US get the same type of jobs, the education and training needed, and how to access the education and training. This can be a way to identify gaps or misperceptions in students’ knowledge of how the US labor market works. Other lessons can then be planned around these gaps.
  2. Distribute the survey, “How People Get Jobs” and ask students to interview 5–9 people about how they got their job and to record the information by putting check marks in the boxes. If the group is hesitant about interviewing, the teacher can role-play an interview. The homework activity below helps students, both ESOL and ABE, identify how people get jobs in the US.
  3. As a follow-up to the homework, have students report back on what they learned in their interviews as to the ways people got jobs and then combine the information to make a list of all the ways people reported getting a job and noting how many reported each. Discuss things from the list the participants can use to help get a job, for instance, filing an application and then calling to check on it; and which might only be available to a few people, like knowing about a position from a family member.



Based on an activity from “Personal Management: An Integrated Curriculum,” Patti McLaughlin, Curriculum Developer,

Adult Basic and Literacy Educators Network of Washington, 1993.


Things I Have Done


Things I Have Done

Learning Objective

To help students identify transferable skills

Materials Needed

Handouts: “Things I Have Done” and “Student Future Timeline”


influence, timeline, career


Thinking Skills: Reasoning; Creative thinking

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

Distribute the “Things I Have Done” handout. Review the checklist as a group, and then ask students to identify what things on the list they did in order to begin attending English or GED class. Using the handout as a guide, ask them to identify 4–5 “Things I Have Done” that relate to the new event.

Then return to the “Things I Have Done” handout and ask them to write on a post-it note a list of some of the skills they can use to reach their future “hopes, dreams, or plans.”

The students can complete the worksheet “Student Future Timeline” the following day to reinforce this lesson.

Extension Activity

Ask each student to choose one event to “tell a story” about the event each chose. The Telling student describes what the event was and what s/he did to make the event happen or as a result of the event. The Listening student writes down a list of steps taken by the student. Then together the two students review the steps written down and identify the skills used to do each step. The students can refer to the skills listed in the “Things I Have Done” handout.

The students then come back together as a large group. Ask each student to complete the “Future Timeline.” Then ask each student to name out loud one of his/her future employment goals/events. Finally, ask the student which skills identified in the pairs activity can be used to help accomplish the goal or get to the event.


Note: This module, as well as all the others, can be done alone. No need to be part of a classroom.


Identifying Your Skills


Identifying Your Skills

Learning Objective

To help students learn about skill categories and to identify their own skills

Materials Needed

handout: ”Skills Identification”


communication, self-management, management, technical


Interpersonal: Participates as a member of a team

Thinking Skills: Problem solving

Information: Organizes and maintains information

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

Explain that knowing what skills are and being able to identify one’s own skills is essential for deciding on a career choice or finding a new career.   Here are the seven categories of skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Number skills
  • Technical skills
  • Business skills
  • Management and Self-Management skills
  • Creative/Artistic skills
  • People skills

Review the categories and the skills in each. Ask students to name some jobs that they think require the skills in the different categories.

Extension Activity

Distribute the “Skills Identification” handout to students and ask students to check those skills they believe they have.

Have a group discussion using the following questions:

  • Do you have skills in more than one area?
  • In which category do you have the most skills?
  • What are the skills needed for the jobs that you are interested in?
  • Do the skills you have match the skills needed for those jobs?
  • Are there some skills that you would like to have but don’t have right now?
  • What education and/or training might you need to develop those skills?




Integrating Career Awareness into the ABE & ESOL Classroom