Teen job challenges

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Endorsed by Career Development Association of Australia

12 - 18 years
Father and son talking

Is your teen an expert on jobs already? Play these games together to get them thinking more deeply about skills, interests, jobs, and how they all fit together.

Where could I…?

This game will help your teen appreciate that one skill can be used in many jobs, and prepare them to think creatively about jobs where they can pursue their own skills and interests:

  • think of a skill—eg ‘arranging flowers’
  • think of jobs where you could use that skill—eg florist, interior decorator, still life painter, café owner (decorating tables), real estate agent (readying houses for open days)
  • keep a running total.

To vary the game, start with interests instead of skills. If the interest is ‘a love of horses’, jobs could include vet, jockey, horse trainer, animal photographer, jackaroo/jillaroo and riding school owner.

Who am I?

This is a good game to get your teen thinking about what jobs involve, and looking for unusual jobs so they can challenge you next time:

  • the first person thinks of a job and gives clues
  • the other person guesses the job.

Good clues include:

  • I have to wear…
  • I need to be able to …
  • I work in a …
  • One tool I use is a …
  • One thing I like about my job is …

You can also play this as a question game – instead of the ‘job holder’ giving clues, the ‘guesser’ asks questions. This can be more challenging, as you might not know the answers!

Supply chain

This game also has a deceptively simple concept:

  • think of a product you can buy in a shop
  • name jobs that have helped to bring that product to the customer.

For example, if the product is ‘ice cream’, the jobs could include dairy farmer, cane sugar farmer, ice cream factory workers, and ice cream delivery truck drivers.

Note: teens who think broadly may come up with quite tangential answers, such as:

  • the manufacturers of the fertiliser spread on the grass that the cows ate
  • the workers in the power plants that generated the electricity for the ice cream factory
  • the workers who repair the roads that the trucks drove on.

Answers like these show their understanding of how interconnected the economy is, but can be offputting to other players! If you want to, you can narrow the game to people who have directly touched the product (or an ingredient which went into the product).

More in this series
Teen drawing
12 - 18 years
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Last modified
20 April 2020