Career exploration through a game

Playing a twist of the classic “Would You Rather” game starts a career exploration conversation.

Group meetings can easily include career exploration through a fun and short game. Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H program share a fun twist on a common dinner-table conversation starter game.

Play a game of “Would You Rather” with youth where you discuss different career experiences and interests rather than the typical dilemmas. For a more engaging and hands-on version, have youth (and adults can play too!) stand on either side of the room, based on their choice.  In the true spirit of the game, encourage participants to make a choice rather than stand in the middle.

Some possible questions to use include… Would you rather:

  • Work indoors or outside?
  • Wear a consistent uniform every day or wear professional work clothes every day?
  • Work alone on a project or work with a team?
  • Have a workday that changes each day or have set tasks that stay the same each day?
  • Have regular feedback and interaction with your supervisor or work independently and have little feedback from your supervisor?
  • Work close to home or travel away from home for work?
  • Work daytime hours or work evening hours?
  • Have a set schedule or have a schedule that changes every week?
  • Be your own boss or work for someone else?
  • Be poor and work at a job you love or be rich and work at a job you hate?
  • Sit or stand all day?
  • Get a salary but work as many hours as needed to complete the job or get an hourly rate and potential overtime but only get paid for what hours you work?

Try making up a few yourself or invite youth to come up with career-related questions. To end the activity, it is important to ask a few reflection and application questions such as:

  • Was there a question that was easy for you to respond to? Why?
  • Was there a question that was harder for you to respond to? Why?
  • Why is it important to consider your preferences for a work environment?
  • Do you think your preferences for your work environment will stay the same or change during different parts of your life?  Which preferences might change?  Which might stay the same?

The start of career exploration does not have to be lengthy or difficult. It involves creating a space where youth can consider what their values, strengths, interests and skills are and how that fits into a career path. This easy game can start that conversation.

MSU 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 make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

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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