Host a career fair where parents, guardians, and community members share their professional expertise.
Planning for life after high school can be challenging, and it’s difficult to imagine all the possible career paths available. Host a career day where parents, guardians, and community members can share their career experiences and talk to students.
Recruit people from diverse career paths and fields – work that does and doesn’t require a post-secondary degree, full time and part time, big and small companies, private and non-profit, and self-employed. Set up a room and give all the guests a table, booth, or other space so that they can bring materials and have space to talk to students. Assign the spaces and create a map or program with key details about each person like title, field, and experience so students can locate people they’d like to meet. Offer students sample discussion questions to get the conversation started.
Depending on how much time you have, consider having a few people speak to all students attending and give an overview of their work and career path. Another option is to have several guests speak on a panel moderated by students.
Tips & Suggestions:
- It’s common for professionals to form and join professional organizations and networks. Research local professional organizations, groups, or unions and see if they would be willing to send representatives.
- Don’t forget about staff at school – see if anyone would like to represent their field!
- When schools offer opportunities for students to learn about careers the prevalence of school drop-out decreases and the rate of students graduating on time increases (Kemple & Snipes, 2000).
- Gaining exposure to potential careers can promote students’ self-efficacy and helps students establish goals (McWhirter, Crothers, & Rasheed, 2000).
- Having a role-model or mentor can help reduce the rate of school dropout for at-risk students (Slicker & Palmer, 1993).