Add career awareness to end-of-year meetings

“Name that Career” activity is a simple way to add some fun career awareness to meetings during the holiday season.

Name that Career” is a 4-H activity available on the Michigan State University Extension website under Networking and the Job Search resources. It may be used as an ice breaker or as a part of a longer lesson. Participants will learn about effective communication, how to ask good questions and be able to identify careers. These are all important elements in the world of work and participants will work on building their life skills in the areas of communicating, gathering information, working in teams and thinking creatively. The overall objective is to correctly identify the career name that has been placed on your back.

All you really need for this activity are names of careers, labels or tape, and a group of individuals to participate. Everyone gets a career name taped or stuck on their back so that they cannot see the career they represent. Individuals then move about the room and ask another person a “yes” or “no” question of each other. You only get to ask a person one question before you move on to someone else. This is where you learn to ask good questions. Here are some examples:

  • Does this career require post high school training or education?
  • Does this career require traveling?
  • Does this career require you to work outside?
  • Is this career related to the medical field?
  • Does this career require using a computer?

This activity is targeted to be used with 14-to-19-year-old youth. Volunteers, parents and guests could also benefit from and enjoy this activity. You could even use some career or job names related to a theme or the holiday season such as elf, reindeer, florist, tree farmer or snowman. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Another variation would be to use job and career names related to 4-H project areas. Examples might include jobs and careers related to woodworking, clothing and textiles, animal science or healthy living. Hopefully, this gives you some alternative ideas, and the Name that Career activity instructions provide additional alternative ways to run the activity.

To wrap up Name that Career, there are some processing questions to help the audience get the most out of the activity. What careers were hard to identify from the questions asked? Pick a career to research further. What did you learn from doing this activity? Plan on 10-30 minutes to complete the activity depending on how you decide to implement it.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to contribute to our future workforce.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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