Aspiration: Career Building (Class 8)

Straight-A Guide Job Training Program

Lesson #8: Aspiration: Career Building

Strategies to add more value to company

Materials Required:

  • Classroom space
  • Sufficient number of chairs with writing surface
  • Career building handout 

Introduce Lesson #8 (5 minutes):

  • Provide overview of what it means to add value to an employer’s company.

First steps (10 minutes):

  • Take roll of participants.
  • Facilitator discusses his personal career objectives. He describes how and why he makes career decisions.

Goals and Objectives (5 minutes):

  • Explain reason why each participant should leave class with a full understanding of how and why he should think about the career he wants to build in strategic, deliberate ways.

Expected Learning Outcomes (5 minutes):

  • Facilitator will show participants how they can use a deliberate guide as a tool that will help them sustain high levels of energy, discipline, and motivation even when working on labor-intensive jobs for an entry-level wage.

Preliminary introduction (5 minutes):

  • Facilitator opens discussion with John F. Kennedy’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” How does that philosophy relate to career building?

Direct Instruction (10 minutes):

  • Facilitator discusses concept of business. He talks about the investment that shareholders make to launch a business and ways that business owners define success. Shows participants that if they work to understand the fundamentals and metrics of the business, they can demonstrate contributions they’re making and work in strategic ways to add more value.

Guided Practice (20 minutes):

  • Facilitator issues handout to group.
  • Facilitator opens 10-minute group breakout session.
  • One leader from each breakout group responds with group findings of what steps employees can take to advance career.


Lesson #8: Strategies to add more value to company

Entry-level jobs are available at following types of privately-held businesses:


  1. Restaurant chain that employs more than 50 people
  2. Construction company that employs more than 50 people
  3. Retail grocery store that employs more than 50 people
  4. Warehouse that employs more than 50 people
  5. Landscaping company that employs more than 50 people


Each of those companies has a policy that discourages the hiring of people who have felony records. Respond to the following:


1. What does each of those companies have in common?



2. What are the interests of shareholders?



3. If the employer had an entry-level job available, and nine people applied for the job who did not have a felony record, what case could you make that the business owner should hire you?



4. How would an entry-level job relate to the long-term goals that you’ve set for your life?



5. Describe how you could use the Straight-A Guide as a selling point for your candidacy for the job.



6. Describe why you would welcome an entry-level wage.



7. Describe steps you would take to prepare yourself for advancement within each of those companies.