JA It’s My Future

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Program Overview

JA It’s My Future® is recommended for 8th Grade. The program provides practical information about preparing for the working world while still in middle school.Following participation in the program, students will be able to:

  • Explore potential careers, discover how to plan for a job, and learn how to keep it.
  • Develop personal-branding and job-hunting tools for earning a job.

Session Overviews & Objectives 

Session One – My Brand

Overview: Through interviews, self-reflection, and creation of a personal logo, students explore the importance of building a positive personal brand for the future, starting in middle school.


  • Recognize that the choices they make in middle school can have a direct impact now and in the future.
  • Identify corporate and personal brands that represent positive reputations.
  • Design a logo as part of expressing a personal brand.

Session Two – Career Clusters

Overview: Students explore career clusters and identify jobs for additional research. They also recognize the value of and need for all jobs.


  • Examine career clusters and the jobs in each cluster that they would like to further explore.
  • Understand the interconnectivity and value of all types of jobs.

Session Three – High-Growth Careers

Overview: Students learn the four factors to consider in choosing a job, and they take a close look at some high-growth career fields.


  • Recognize the four factors to consider in choosing a job.
  • Describe industries that are forecasted to have high growth.

Session Four – Career Mapping

Overview: Students explore how to use life experiences to develop work skills and how to map a path to employment goals.


  • Identify work skills already developed from experiences and activities.
  • Plan significant markers they need to reach to earn a particular job.

Session Five – On the Hunt

Overview: Students are introduced to the basic aspects of job hunting through a scavenger hunt. They are given an organizing tool to keep all their vital job-hunting information in one place.


  • Recognize basic job-hunting tools, including applications, resumes, recommendations, and interviewing.
  • Analyze where to look for a job.
  • Understand the importance of keeping a record of vital information.

Session Six – How to Keep (or Lose) a Job

Overview: Students learn the difference between technical and soft skills, and they recognize the impact that their personal behavior has on their ability to succeed in a job.


  • Differentiate between technical skills and soft skills.
  • Describe specific soft skills they already possess and those they need to practice.

Program Basics

  • Includes a series of six sessions recommended for middle school students.
  • Average time for each session is 45 minutes.
  • Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.
  • Provides practical information about the following key topics: developing a personal brand, skills, interests, working environment, job outlook considerations when exploring careers and industries, career mapping, job-hunting tools, and soft skills, work ethics, and professionalism.
  • Session-specific, student-friendly materials included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
  • Correlates well to state social studies, English, and math standards, as well as to the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts.

JA It’s My Future enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts—Brand, Career clusters, Career mapping, Career planning, Employee, High-growth jobs, Interests, Job application, Job forecast, Job hunting, Job interview, Logo, Long-term consequences, Personal brand, Recommendation, Resumes, Short-, middle-, and long-term goals, Skills, Soft skills, Symbolism, Tagline, Technical skills, Working environment

Skills—Analyzing data, Analyzing information, Categorizing data, Creativity, Following written instructions, Goal-setting, Interviewing, Mapping, Model building, Oral and visual presentation, Oral and written communication, Organizing information, Reading for Understanding, Self-assessment, Working in pairs and groups

Training Videos

Courtesy of Junior Achievement of South Dakota: