Developing character for career preparation

Developing positive character traits benefits youth for career and workforce preparation.

When the words career and workforce preparation come to mind, someone can think about job shadowing, internships, using career assessments to help find a career path, learning to write resumes or participating in programs to prepare a student for higher education. These are all effective ways to prepare for a career. What about teaching character education as a part of career and workforce preparation?

First, the Michigan 4-H Youth Development website for Character Education states that, “Character education is the process of learning common attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that are important for people to have as responsible citizens.” Youth developing these traits as responsible citizens can carry these same qualities into the workplace.

An example of positive character traits are the Six Pillars of Character from CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. There are other character education programs that provide examples of positive character traits as well.

Character education can begin in a 4-H Club or youth group. It can be taught through emphasizing positive character traits and providing teambuilding activities for your meetings. Coordinating volunteering and service learning opportunities can develop positive character traits also. Positive character must be a club focus or a club theme to help youth realize the importance of character not only for career preparation but for preparation in life.

Here are some connections on the importance of character education and career and workforce preparation.

In writing resumes and filling out applications, youth seeking jobs need references. Here is a question to think about in reference to the importance of character in relation to seeking a job. If two students were equal in ability, would an adult rather serve as a reference for a student with good character or not-so-good character?

Helping youth to make the best character decisions in life can follow into their career. Good character and learning to make good character decisions helps youth as future employees. Training youth to make good character decisions now is a step to help prevent them from losing a job because of poor character decisions in the future.

Positive character building is a step in the right direction for creating a more positive community to live and work in. To learn about resources for developing positive character traits in youth for Michigan 4-H Youth Development, please visit the Michigan 4-H website.

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