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Getting Work Experience

The student will list several ways to get work experience.

There are opportunities available all around for young people to get work experience -- which is sometimes a prerequisite for someone to hire them for another job! Some of the jobs may not pay much (and some may involve volunteering just for the experience), but the experience gained can be beneficial and look great on a resume. In this lesson, students are to think of lots of ways they can gain work or leadership experience.

Introductory Activities:

  1. Have students think of ways or times when they have been in a leadership position. List them.
  2. Have students raise their hands if they have ever baby-sat, cleaned out a garage, walked a dog, or washed a car. Inform them that they have work experience!

Discussion: Ask students to share their ideas. See if students can come up with at least 20 different ways they can gain work experience.

  1. How many of the ways you thought of involved earning money for your services?
  2. How important is it for you to have money for what you do? Would you consider working for free if you got good experience?
  3. What are some unusual experiences you have had that would apply to a job you might eventually do?
  4. What are some organized volunteer programs in your community? (Meals-on-Wheels, hospital gift shop, etc.)
  5. What does the fact that you have done part-time work and volunteer work say about you to a potential employer? (you are creative, resourceful, and are interested in others, etc.)

Extension Activities:

  1. Have students find out about volunteer programs in the community. Encourage them to sign up to give it a try for the experience.
  2. Set up peer tutoring or cross-age tutoring within your school. Provide training for helping the students learn to be tutors and start them off with a volunteer experience.
  3. Have students contact some local businesses to find out if there are part-time work/study positions available. Some businesses will work with a school as partners in education.


  1. List at least five possible work/leadership experiences you have already participated in or would consider doing.
  2. What are at least two reasons why volunteering is a helpful experience both for you and the agency for which you are working?

Uploaded by: Jessica Soltesz/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major